Category: Favorite companies

My Google I/O (June 27-29th) predictions

Posted by – June 26, 2012

1. Nexus Tablet, 7" preferably with Pixel Qi LCD to merge Tablets with E-readers. Keyboard dock for Chrome productivity.

2. Android Jelly Bean launched, feature major new features and integrates Linaro code talked about in my video Linaro improvements to Android 4.0.4 performance on the Pandaboard TI OMAP4430 platform for speed optimizations. Most important feature I think is the merger of Smartphone, Tablet, Google TV Set-top-box, E-reader, Chromebook with final fully optimized Chrome on Android on ARM, full Desktop/Laptop level Chrome on ARM Android browsing.

3. Google upgrades Cloud Computing platform to support and host php/mysql web apps such as wordpress, phpbb, mediawiki, Google hosts it for free with unlimited bandwidth when AdSense is used on every page.

4. Google Entertainment System (GES) is launched. It's a layer to turn all Android HDMI/MHL devices and Set-top-boxes into full home console gaming machines that can rival Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft as home consoles. Consider Google to launch the Google Entertainment System for $49 with HDMI out only and up to $99 with a full Google TV HDMI input/output and IR blaster functionality. It's ARM Powered, it's powerful enough to replace your Desktop computer outputting a full Chrome browser on your HDTV/Monitor and using Bluetooth or RF keyboard/mice. It includes the new RF signal to manage Android@Home, thus turning your home into an intelligent connected platform. Consider it a sort of Nexus device to show how Google TV should be done, to show home Android@Home should be done, to show how Android can be used to challenge home consoles, to show how ARM Powered Chromeboxes should be done and to show how the Google Android Hub system for WiFi, White Spaces should be done.

5. Google+ launches major Recommendation/Personalization functionality. Consider the web will no longer be the same. You'll have a totally new experience of web content through a new version of Google+ that is able to provide automatic streams for you based on the items you +1. Finally, the + in Google+ is going to be making full sense. Finally the +1 button is going to be used and everyone will instantly understand the meaning of using the +1 button, it is to teach Google what you like and have Google show you better content automatically. It'll be absolutely revolutionary. A totally new way to surface quality on the web. You don't need a lot of followers, you don't need to be famous, you don't need to be viral, soon after you post quality/original content on the web it can automatically reach the deserved audience. Who circles who will make less and less sense. HD Google+ Hangouts (up to 1080p high bitrates) are added as an enterprise on-demand perhaps paid feature.

6. Google may open up Android development process after Jelly Bean. Consider it Google opening up nightly Android advancements to the rest of the world and taking in more upstream suggestions for Android improvements from the open source community in General. As part of Google's anti-fragmentation effort, Google can announce real-time collaboration in the development of future versions of Android, so new versions of Android reach more devices sooner using over-the-air upgrade systems worldwide. Expect Google to announce Android's total daily activations number to be well above 1.5 million if all Android devices are included in the count, meaning not limiting the count to Google Certified devices, but also include all Chinese devices sold not only in China, also sold in India, Brazil and worldwide. Google can announce that Android tablets daily activations also have overtaken the iPad since December 2011, again if all Android tablets are included in the count, also including the millions of non-certified Chinese Android tablets such as the $55 Android ICS tablets featured in my video: $55 AllWinner Boxchip A13 Tablet Factory Tour

7. Google Project Glass to be released before the end of the year. It's not just the Google reference hardware, it's more importantly about a software layer on top of Android optimized for Augmented Reality usages to be used hands-free using any heads-up microdisplay including the Kopin Golden-i that I filmed and that I have been using since October last year: Motorola Kopin Golden-i at CES 2012 I think it's just a layer of new APIs for Android apps to function well in a hands-free headmounted mode, using Google Voice Actions for voice-commands, using the accelerometer, compass, and all other usual sensors and thus simply providing an optimized Android Home Replacement and APIs for that. The first Google Glass compatible devices can be released from $199 to $499 before the end of this year.

8. Google's Self-driving car system should be targeted as sub-$2000 add-on that can be added to any car. Just add some sensors and cameras to the roof of your car, and insert some electronics to the driving system of your car, and it should be turned into a Google Self-driving car. Google can announce partnerships with several major car makers to include the self-driving car functionality as a sub-$2000 option to several car models, to be shipping before the end of the year.

9. $199 ARM Powered Chromebooks launched. imagine it as nice as an Ultrabook, but for $199, running a full speed Chrome OS on one of the latest ARM processors, for example TI OMAP4470, Tegra3, Exynos4412, HiSilicon K3V2, Qualcomm S4, and more. 20-hour battery life. 100% security using ARM TrustZone. Speed is way faster than Intel Atom Chromebooks, browsing speed is comparable to any $1000 Ultrabook.

What else are you expecting from Google at I/O this year?

You can discuss this thread on Google+: https://plus.google.com/106075758531242552855/posts/Sx8ttoic3NJ

Geniatech Headquarters in Shenzhen

Posted by – June 18, 2012

Geniatech is the leader in AmLogic based Android set-top-boxes, take a look inside their Shenzhen headquarters. I previously filmed the latest products from Geniatech at Computex 2012, CES 2012, China Sourcing Fair 2011 and CES 2011.

ARM and AMD partner for TrustZone security and for the future of Heterogeneous Computing

Posted by – June 17, 2012

This is not yet AMD announcing the licencing of ARM Cortex-A15, Cortex-A7, big.LITTLE, Mali-T658 and ARMv8, but it's a big deal for ARM and AMD to jointly announce two new major partnerships in one week.

Read the news about AMD using ARM TrustZone ARM Cortex-A5 for security on future AMD Powered Laptops/Desktops

Read the news about ARM, AMD, TI, MediaTek, Imagination forming the new Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation

Basically, ARM TrustZone (2) nears becoming the world standard to 100% safely replace online passwords and to securely authenticate everyone online. And ARM and AMD really want to make it easier for developers to use all chips on an SoC for attaining a maximum performance, thus enabling broad GPGPU compute etc.

Geniatech HDMI stick and AmLogic AML8726-MX Dual-core Set-top-box

Posted by – June 11, 2012

Geniatech probably is one of the lead partners of AmLogic in the Set-top-box space, here also presenting the first AmLogic based HDMI stick.

Pixel Qi at Computex 2012

Posted by – June 5, 2012

Pixel Qi has a bunch of customers doing tablets and laptops for Military and Industrial use such as the Orchard Inc Toughblet and the InHand Hydra T3 but they are not yet able to announce big orders from some of the major consumer oriented tablet makers. I'm hoping for the Google Nexus Tablet or the next Kindle to use Pixel Qi, but for any eventual announcements on that we'll have to wait further.

ARM Press Conference at Computex 2012

Posted by – June 5, 2012

Graham Budd, Chief Operating Officer and Simon Segars, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Processor and Physical IP Division talk about the status of the ARM ecosystem and industry.

Hydis launches new touchscreen technology: On-Cell Touch for LCD

Posted by – May 31, 2012

Here is the press release:

-South Korea-based TFT-LCD panel maker Hydis Technologies, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based E Ink Holdings Inc., today announced that they will add on-cell touch screen panel (TSP) technology to their LCD portfolio of offerings.

“With on-cell touch, we are able to combine the best LCD in the world with a touch technology that offers better performance at lower cost.”

Hydis is able to offer the TSP technology with on-cell touch, which provides the customer a slim and lightweight form factor, with the added benefit of lower cost versus traditional touch technologies. The touch functionality is embedded within the display itself rather than as a separate component atop the display. This results in more precise touch with better optics due to reduction in parallax errors. In addition, LCDs with this touch technology consumes less power and can take advantage of cost reductions in manufacturing due to the reduction of a glass layer and the alleviation of the need for a separate touch panel supplier.

Hydis will begin offering the on-cell technology to the smartphone and tablet markets beginning this month. Hydis is perhaps best known as the inventors and providers of Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology, which is featured in many smartphones and most tablets currently in the market. FFS LCD provides a wider viewing angle and color gamut, consumes less power and offers better high ambient readability than traditional LCDs. Hydis’ publicly announced customers include Dell, HP, Lenovo, Kobo & Siemens, among others.

“Hydis’ FFS technology is preferred by Tablet and Smart phone makers worldwide,” said Johnson Lee, Chairman of Hydis Technologies. “With on-cell touch, we are able to combine the best LCD in the world with a touch technology that offers better performance at lower cost.”

Is this new touch screen technology really better and cheaper than capacitive? Hydis's Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology is already in use by for example the iPad and other popular LCD tablets. Does it support multi-touch? Does it support pen input? Is it really more precise than capacitive? I look forward to try it out. Perhaps Hydis will show it off at Computex next week? I'll be video-blogging 50 or more videos from Computex next week so check back for those.

Forbes: Display Industry status/history Interview

Posted by – May 22, 2012

Check out this interview on Forbes.com with Sriram Peruvemba CMO at E Ink Holdings. Here are some quotes from the interview:

The big five in the LCD industry based on 2011 revenues are Samsung, LG, CMI, AUO and Sharp. It costs upwards of $1B to build a TV-class LCD factory in Asia. A state of the art Gen 10 LCD factory might cost upwards of $3B if built today. In the past few years, the industry has been more in the red than in the black. Margins in the display business tend to be razor thin, particularly in consumer applications.

So what makes LCDs rule? There is one spec that LCD has that beats every other technology, and when I mention this to a room full of engineers, they think I have crossed over to the dark side. This spec is called “price,” which is the most important spec for displays.

Take your favorite TV or mobile phone, the display is what catches your attention. A significant portion of the purchase decision for a TV, Monitor or GPS unit is based on the impression created by the display, yet the average consumer has no idea who made the display. Being an ingredient display brand in the consumer electronics industry is very tough, I can tell you this from personal experience.

Read the full interview at Forbes.com

Highlights from my 2 weeks of video-blogging at 4 conferences in Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Guangzhou China

Posted by – April 27, 2012

During these past 2 weeks, I posted 122 videos from my trip in China. Thanks for watching! I have now returned back in Europe. Here are the numbers of videos that I posted from each conference:

Hong Kong Trade Development Council

Hong Kong Trade Development Council

- Shenzhen Electronics Fair (April 10-11th): 21 videos

- China Sourcing Fair (April 12, 15th): 32 videos

- HKTDC Electronics Fair (April 13, 14, 16th): 36 videos

- Canton Fair (April 18th): 11 videos

- Videos filmed at the Shenzhen Electronics Market, at Shenzhen company headquarters and at Shenzhen Factories: 22 videos

Here are the trends from these conferences looking at the number of videos that I filmed in each trending chip provider category:

1. Boxchip AllWinner A10 and A13 ARM Cortex-A8 with Mali-400 GPU. 24 new videos filmed. Before this trip, I only had 3 Boxchip related videos on my site, Boxchip has now exploded in popularity among Chinese device makers. It offers a beautifully smooth Ice Cream Sandwich experience for a really low cost. This cheap ARM Cortex-A8 SoC with Mali-400 GPU acceleration for Android 4 ICS might be key to make this solution now very popular: $63 no-name from Shenzhen Market, $47 capacitive Boxchip A13, Aipad Wacom, $120 9.7" iPad-like, $79 1024x600 7" IPS from Daza Electronics, FirstView, $85 10.1" Laptops from Sunlike, $80 1024x600 7" and $57 WVGA from Bmorn, Boxchip in Game players by Yinlips, $59 A13 from T Link, 1024x600 compact 7" from Avaid, $49 resistive, Ochang, Yones Toptech, GDB, $60 Apical, $64 Eken, Rocat, Sanxo, 10" Laptop by Kinstone, 7" Laptop by Kinstone, 4upad, Yamay.

2. Rockchip RK3066 Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 with Quad-core Mali-400 GPU. My Interview with Rockchip about RK3066. The initial benchmarks I've heard about on RK3066 place its performance very high. There are already a range of prototypes with RK3066 inside being shown by a whole range of Rockchip partners. Here are my first RK3066 videos: $128 10.1" 1280x800 by Alldocube, Pipo 10.1" and 9.7". Expect lots new RK3066 devices to be released quickly. The SoC and price difference between this and ARM Cortex-A8 solutions may make this one very popular even for cheap/affordable implementations out of China.

3. MediaTek MT6575 ARM Cortex-A9 with SGX531 GPU. MediaTek looks to dominate the low-cost Android smartphone market out of China. Last year, it was the ARM9 based MT6516 (as in my FG8 phone that I used as my main phone for 9 months until I upgraded to a Galaxy Nexus this February) that only supported 2G Dual-sim, which they then upgraded to the ARM11 based MT6573 with 3G dual-sim about 6 months ago, but now the MT6575 is a single-core ARM Cortex-A9 with full Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich support. The MT6575 is likely going to have a huge influence on the new higher performance yet still cheap Android phones to come in the next weeks and months out of China. ICS on sub-$150 5" WVGA MT6575 Dolphin A80 phone (2), ICS on 5.2" Hyundai H950 MT6575, $142 Galaxy Nexus clone with MT6575, Zopo ZP100 with MT6575 selling now for $174 street price in Shenzhen (I bought one, I'm waiting for the ICS release within days/weeks), Amoi dual-battery MT6575, sub-$140 5.2" MT6575 by Daza Electronics, Quality Industrial MT6575, $75 3.5" MT6575 by Orient and a bunch of companies showing MT6573 solutions: Yooe/Runtong MT6573 7" Tablet, Long Ten Jie, Sharing, Begin, Dynamax, Vinus, Pusite, Zivi, J8000 and X20i, Zhongyi, Goal, LGTD, Migo, Zhenai waterproof.

4. Rockchip RK2906 ARM Cortex-A8 without HDMI for cheap. As with the Boxchip A13 without HDMI, Rockchip now also releases a new lower cost ARM Cortex-A8 skew without HDMI called the RK2906. The thinking might be that many people in China and worldwide do not have a HDMI or do not need the HDMI output, so they may as well design the SoC without HDMI to save another $2-$5 on the bill of material for the device. I've found it in the $49 Rk2906 7" capacitive tablet by Sawink. Rockchip also launched the RK2908 (also featured in my Rockchip interview video) for cheaper ARM Cortex-A8 Set-top-boxes only.

Processors that I have not yet seen or noticed a lot of on this trip but who may have imminent devices that may quickly gain significant market share out of Shenzhen based device makers:

AmLogic announced their AML8726-MX Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9 design. I think I've been hearing about a Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 coming from Telechips. But those can not yet be sighted at the fairs as far as I know.

A bit can be seen featuring the ST-Ericsson U8500 and low-cost skew U8410, I expect several more devices to be shown soon out of China featuring these. Also offering potentially great value Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9 for smartphones and connected tablets. I think ST-Ericsson wants to position their Dual-core Cortex-A9 to compete with Single-core Cortex-A9 solutions.

Broadcom can be found just a bit. Sprodcom was showing some.

I hear rumoring of impending Freescale i.MX6 devices, up to quad-core but I guess possibly also great value lower priced Single and Dual-core devices to come.

Renesas announced their MP5232 1.5Ghz Dual-core Cortex-A9 with integrated LTE modem back at Mobile World Congress. But I have not yet found devices featuring that. I wonder if they plan to regain Chinese makers interest with a faster low-cost successor to last year's EV2 533Mhz Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9.

Qualcomm seems to have upgraded the MSM7227 with skews that use the new faster ARM Cortex-A5 instead of the previous year's ARM11. I am not sure if I have noticed that on this trip. I get a bit confused as they still call it MSM7227 or MSM7225, they add a T or an A at the end, I forget which is the new Cortex-A5 design.

Telechips also has a new Cortex-A5 processor which I first saw in March at CeBIT in the Valueplus Tizzbird HDMI stick, but I am also not sure if I have seen any other devices on this trip using that yet.

Pixel Qi announces 2048×1536 better-than-iPad3 screen, with 100x lower power consumption

Posted by – April 23, 2012

Pixel Qi is finalizing the deals with partners about sizes and quantities to produce their next generation ultra high pixel density Pixel Qi screens, with a new very low power mode that runs at a full 100X power reduction from the peak power consumed by the iPad3 screen. Pixel Qi claims to have a new architecture that matches the resolution of the ipad3 screen, and its full image quality including matching or exceeding contrast, color saturation, the viewing angle and so forth with massive power savings. Here is Pixel Qi's power consumption versus the iPad2 and iPad3:

My opinion and suggestion for Google:
I'd like to see Google invest heavily in Pixel Qi for a 7" 1024x600 screen to be mass produced for the rumored upcoming Nexus Tablet, providing it 20 hours battery life on an ultra slim form factor, with a very small bezel if they can make it have a plastics based screen, suitable for reading Google Books, suitable for outdoor use. Google should invest the money needed in bringing Pixel Qi to the mass consumer market. And then also Google can help bring the 2048x1536 9.7" Pixel Qi screen to the mass Android tablet market.

The success of the iPhone and iPad is due to ARM Technology, but also to the investments Apple has made in using new screen technologies, Apple basically financed exclusivity for the 3.5" capacitive screen when launching the iPhone and they bought an exclusive on the 9.7" IPS screen for the iPad. Now also Apple invested the $2+ Billion getting an exclusive on the 9.7" Retina screen. Google should do the same, not only invest heavily to optimize Android on all the ARM Processors, Google should also invest the money needed in new screen technologies such as Pixel Qi LCD and use that for their "Google Hardware" Nexus devices but then also instantly allow access to the new screen technologies to every other Android hardware maker.

Source: pixelqi.com/blog1