Category: Favorite companies

Archos G10 xs, Archos Elements and Arnova 50€ announced

Posted by – March 15, 2012

Archos had an investors event in Paris today, they showed a teaser video for the next generation Archos G10 xs series:

The keyboard dock magnetic screen protector is awesome. But I'd like them to use the kick-stand and attach the thin keyboard dock like a Laptop in a way there's a mouse pad that can be used. Archos has always innovated using Kick-stands, I hope they continue and I think using the kick-stand is the best way to make the thinnest, coolest ARM Powered Tablet/Laptop convertible. If possible the kick-stand angle can be adjustable. If you're in an airplane and the space is limited, you don't need to use the kick-stand, the tablet can rest against the seat that is in front of you. I think the keyboard should also fit behind the tablet when the keyboard does not need to be used. Preferably in a way so that the kick-stand can also still be used even when the keyboard dock is magnetically fixed behind the tablet.

Archos claims to have technology that makes G10 the thinnest tablet on the market. Something about patented paper-thin steel assembly technology. Archos has always been good at fitting huge battery capacity in extremely thin designs. I hope that Archos manages to make a deal with Pixel Qi and use the 10.1" 1280x800 sunlight readable screen on this one. That'd provide for 20+ hours of battery life, sunlight readability, Kindle Reader competitiveness for reading and use for education and work, and it'd use much less power thus enabling a form factor and weight in the ultra-light class of 400-something grams for a 10" tablet. Perhaps best to use Neonode's IR touch technology instead of capacitive for least reflections and best readability.

For the processor on Archos G10, I think that one can expect either the OMAP4470 1.8Ghz Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 with SGX544 graphics or even the OMAP5430 with SGX544 graphics which can also run upwards 1.8Ghz in frequency or more. It depends if Archos plans to release the G10 already from mid-year or if they don't plan to release it before the end of the year.

I don't know if Archos will continue to sell that 3G Stick solution in G10. Maybe there is a way to allow for a modem module of any of the 3G/4G/LTE types to be manually added by the user, under full warranty, in some slot on the back of the device without it having to be through a USB host port. Maybe the multi-mode wireless modems are now so cheap, can even be included on the same CPU dye, that maybe they just included it by default even on the cheapest G10 tablet and provide just an unlocked SIM card slot on the side.

Archos did mention making one Windows 8 on ARM based Tablet/Laptop convertible by the end of the year. I hope they make sure to make it dual-boot the latest and greatest Android also.

Archos Elements brings Google Certified tablets at as low as 100€/$100. My guess is that Archos Elements brings the Rockchip RK30 Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 performance and higher capacitive screen resolutions than Arnova at extremely competitive pricing.

The new Arnova with Ice Cream Sandwich are going to be sold for as little as 50€/$50 at retail price!! My guess is 50€/$50 is the 7" WVGA Dual-touch or single-touch resistive type with an RK2918 512MB RAM and Ice Cream Sandwich. It goes up to 150€/$150 retail price for what I think is probably the 9.7" IPS capacitive RK2918 1GB RAM and Ice Cream Sandwich tablet. Basically with the new upcoming Arnova G3/G4 you get $49 basic alternative to the Kindle Fire and a $149 better-than-iPad1 tablet. Those are amazing low-priced targets for mass consumer retail Ice Cream Sandwich tablet pricing.

Archos is the top Android tablet seller in the major European markets, about equal to Samsung, in front of Asus, Acer, Motorola, Dell, LG, Toshiba and others. Archos CEO Henri Crohas sees a great opportunity to expand that lead with his company. Archos has announced a 32.9 Million € gross profit margin for 2011 on a yearly revenue of 171.4 Million €. They have announced an agreement to borrow upwards tens of millions of Euros more from one of the leading French banks Societe Generale (in exchange for stock guarantees, probably something similar to a capital increase, basically adding new stocks for cash to be used for the expansion) which Archos can use to further accelerate the mass production and mass distribution of their tablet series in the coming months.

You can discuss this post in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=63964

ARM Cortex-M0+ announced, to power the Internet of Things

Posted by – March 13, 2012

Here's the press release:

CAMBRIDGE, UK - March 13, 2012- ARM today announced the ARM® Cortex™-M0+ processor, the world's most energy-efficient microprocessor. The Cortex-M0+ processor has been optimized to deliver ultra low-power, low-cost MCUs for intelligent sensors and smart control systems in a broad range of applications including home appliances, white goods, medical monitoring, metering, lighting and power and motor control devices.

The 32-bit Cortex-M0+ processor, the latest addition to the ARM Cortex processor family, consumes just 9µA/MHz on a low-cost 90nm LP process, around one third of the energy of any 8- or 16-bit processor available today, while delivering significantly higher performance.

This industry-leading combination of low power and high performance provides users of legacy 8- and 16-bit architectures with an ideal opportunity to migrate to 32-bit devices, thereby delivering increased intelligence to everyday devices, without sacrificing power consumption or area.

The Cortex-M0+ processor features enable the creation of smart, low-power, microcontrollers to provide efficient communication, management and maintenance across a multitude of wirelessly connected devices, a concept known as the 'Internet of Things'.

This low power connectivity has the potential to enable a range of energy-saving and life-enhancing applications from sensors to wirelessly analyze the performance and control of domestic or industrial buildings, to battery-operated body sensors wirelessly connected to health monitoring equipment. Current 8-bit and 16-bit MCUs lack the intelligence and functionality to deliver these applications.

"The Internet of Things will change the world as we know it, improving energy efficiency, safety, and convenience," said Tom R. Halfhill, a senior analyst with The Linley Group and senior editor of Microprocessor Report. "Ubiquitous network connectivity is useful for almost everything - from adaptive room lighting and online video gaming to smart sensors and motor control. But it requires extremely low-cost, low-power processors that still can deliver good performance. The ARM Cortex-M0+ processor brings 32-bit horsepower to flyweight chips, and it will be suitable for a broad range of industrial and consumer applications."

The new processor builds on the successful low-power and silicon-proven Cortex-M0 processor which has been licensed more than 50 times by leading silicon vendors, and has been redesigned from the ground up to add a number of significant new features. These include single-cycle IO to speed access to GPIO and peripherals, improved debug and trace capability and a 2-stage pipeline to reduce the number of cycles per instruction (CPI) and improve Flash accesses, further reducing power consumption.

The Cortex-M0+ processor takes advantage of the same easy-to-use, C friendly programmer's model, and is binary compatible with existing Cortex-M0 processor tools and RTOS. Along with all Cortex-M series processors it enjoys full support from the ARM Cortex-M ecosystem and software compatibility enables simple migration to the higher-performance Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4 processors.

Early licensees of the Cortex-M0+ processor include Freescale and NXP Semiconductor.

"We're excited to further strengthen our relationship with ARM as a lead partner in the definition, and first licensee of the smallest, lowest-power ARM Cortex-M series processor yet," said Dr. Reza Kazerounian, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale's Automotive, Industrial & Multi-Market Solutions group. "The addition of products built on the Cortex M0+ processor will make our fast-growing Kinetis MCU line one of the industry's most scalable portfolios based on the ARM Cortex architecture. With the ability to reuse code, higher performance and improved energy efficiency, the Cortex M0+ processor will enable designers to transition from legacy 8-bit and 16-bit proprietary architectures to our new Kinetis devices, without sacrificing cost and ease of use benefits."

"NXP is the only MCU vendor to have adopted the complete ARM Cortex-M processor series, and we're excited to be able to add the Cortex-M0+ processor to our portfolio," said Alexander Everke, Executive Vice President and General Manager of High-Performance Mixed-Signal businesses, NXP Semiconductors. "We have already proven the success of our Cortex-M0 processor portfolio with over 70 part types shipping in high volume today, this new Cortex-M0+ processor further accelerates our momentum into the 8/16-bit market."

"The Cortex-M0+ processor is yet another demonstration of ARM low power leadership and its commitment to drive the industry forward towards ever lower power consumption," said Mike Inglis, EVP and GM, Processor Divison, ARM. "With our expertise in low-power technology, we have worked closely with our Partners on the definition of the new processor to ensure that it can enable the low-cost devices of today, while also unlocking the potential benefits delivered by the Internet of Things."

Supporting ARM Technology
The Cortex-M0+ processor is ideally suited for implementation with the Artisan® 7-track SC7 Ultra High Density Standard Cell Library and Power Management Kit (PMK) to fully capitalize on the ground-breaking low power features of the processor.

The Cortex-M0+ processor is fully supported from launch by the ARM Keil™ Microcontroller Development Kit, which integrates the ARM compilation tools with the Keil µVision IDE and debugger. Widely acknowledged as the world's most popular development environment for microcontrollers, MDK together with the ULINK family of debug adapters now supports the new trace features available in the Cortex-M0+ processor. By utilizing these tools, ARM Partners can take advantage of a tightly coupled application development environment to rapidly realize the performance and ultra low-power features of the Cortex-M0+ processor.

The processor is also supported by third-party tool and RTOS vendors including CodeSourcery, Code Red, Express Logic, IAR Systems, Mentor Graphics, Micrium and SEGGER.

I’m on the BBC (on YouTube)

Posted by – March 13, 2012

Rory Cellan-Jones from the BBC interviewed me at Mobile World Congress last week about my Motorola Kopin Golden-i Augmented Video-blogging system. By the end of the year, thanks to the fast moving world of Technology, we'll all be walking around with compact wearable computers, augmenting our reality, it's going to be awesome!

Appear, Kopin Golden-i Software provider, won 2nd price at CeBIT

Posted by – March 10, 2012

Based at the Kista Science City, Mobile City in Stockholm Sweden, Appear talks about integrating their industrial systems software into the Motorola Kopin Golden-i headmounted computer. Here at CeBIT they talk about how people working in the railway, airports etc industries can use the Golden-i in the next level of their augmented reality system.

Joyplus shows Pixel Qi 10.1″ and 7″ tablets at CeBIT 2012

Posted by – March 9, 2012

Joyplus is working on using the Pixel Qi 10.1" 1280x800 (for now, only showing the 1024x600 glossy in a prototype) and they are showing the 7" Pixel Qi 1024x600 on a resistive touchscreen prototype.

Found via: netbooknews.com

Archos G9 ICS Firmware update released

Posted by – March 8, 2012

Archos now releases the Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich firmware update on their website for their OMAP4 based 8" and 10.1" Capacitive Android tablets of the Archos G9 series. Here's some more information about the firmware update: http://store.archos.com/docs/Android%204%200%20Update%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

You can download the firmware update at Archos.com

Here's the changelog:

Version 4.0.4 - March 8th, 2012

Initial Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 firmware release
MediaCenter Video: support for MKV3D on TV with automatic switch to best 3D mode
MediaCenter Video: allow to disable system notifications in video player
MediaCenter Video: collection of VOB files from DVD are now gathered into a single movie item
MediaCenter Music: integrate Music control panel in Lock Screen
MediaCenter info dialog: allow to edit the name used for performing the Movie and TVShow online search
File Manager: display a notification when file copy continues in background
File Manager: improved drag and drop support
File Manager: new option to prevent indexing of some storage/sdcard folders by multimedia library
Applications: more robust video conferencing support (Google talk, Skype etc.)
USB file transfer: a samba server is now activated on the tablet when using USB network tethering for easier file transfer on non Windows based hosts
Archos widgets: new USB network tether widget
External Keyboard: french layout has been expanded to handle AtlGr keys for special symbols
Accessories: Xbox gamepad support

You can discuss this firmware update in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=84&t=63669

I’m interviewed on DRadio Wissen, German National Radio

Posted by – March 1, 2012

In this Interview conducted by Moritz Metz broadcast on the German National Radio Network DRadio Wissen, I talk about Augmented Reality, Head-mounted wearable computing, the new user interfaces that provides. You can listen to the 5-minute audio Interview in English at: http://wissen.dradio.de/datenbrille-golden-i-internet-im-gesicht.36.de.html?dram%3Aarticle_id=15321

You can also listen the Interview Moritz Metz did with me last year at CeBIT for the same Radio station where I talk about my job as a video-blogger here: http://wissen.dradio.de/cebit-blogger-reist-gadgets-hinterher.36.de.html?dram:article_id=8810&dram:audio_id=11295&dram:play=1

Eric Schmidt at Mobile World Congress 2012

Posted by – February 29, 2012

I didn't actually interview him. But here's the official 1-hour keynote video. I think Eric Schmidt takes the role of kind of being the President of the Internet. He talks for connecting the next 5 billion people to the Internet through $20 ARM Powered devices as soon as possible. He talks about lowering the price of Internet access in developing countries. He talks about the amazing time in technology that is now.

ARM TrustZone at Mobile World Congress 2012

Posted by – February 28, 2012

ARM is showing the latest implementations of ARM TrustZone. This can be the secure and easy way to authenticate logins, payments, money transfers on the Internet.

Google Booth at MWC 2012, Archos, Tablets and Phones on Display

Posted by – February 28, 2012

Here are some of the phones and tablets rotating at the back of the Google Booth at Mobile World Congress 2012, between the free smoothies and the slide.