ZMS inZair, free messaging on WiFi and Data networks

Posted by – February 23, 2012

inZair ZMS is being demonstrated at Lift12 in Geneva, can be used for free instant messaging and also provides social networking, localization layers are more.

Sennheiser Innovation Office mega-trends at Lift 2012

Posted by – February 23, 2012

Sennheiser has an advanced research and design center in Zurich Switzerland, they are working on implementing future trends for what Sennheiser might do in 5-10 years.

Web Browsing on OMAP5 vs Tegra3

Posted by – February 22, 2012

Texas Instruments posted this video showing the web browsing speed on the upcoming TI Dual-core OMAP5 ARM Cortex-A15 processor running at “only” 800Mhz compared to a 1.3Ghz ARM Cortex-A9 Quad-core processor (sounds like Tegra3, but TI does not specify if that processor is the Tegra3, I think it probably is). The OMAP5 ARM Cortex-A15 finishes the 20 complex HTML5 full page loads (while playing an Mp3 file and downloading a video file) in 95 seconds and on Tegra3 it takes 201 seconds. Check back here on http://ARMdevices.net next week as I will film much more on the TI OMAP5 ARM Cortex-A15 processor as Texas Instruments is going to showcase it at their booth. Let me know here in the comments which questions you would like me to ask the TI representatives about the preformance of the OMAP5! I can think of asking them about memory bandwidth vs OMAP4460/OMAP4470 and vs Tegra3, what frequencies it can run at, how many cores, what GPU performance vs OMAP4460/OMAP4470 and vs Tegra3.

Anandtech tests Qualcomm Krait S4 MSM8960, it’s super fast!

Posted by – February 22, 2012

Anandtech got their hands on the 28nm Qualcomm S4 Krait MSM8960 Dual-core 1.5Ghz reference development platform running Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich and they put it through some benchmark tests posted here. It looks to be extremely fast! Consider benchmarks aren’t always relevant nor reliable to measure performance, some setups can be more optimized to look better on benchmark. Actual in-app and in-use performance is what counts and can be hard to measure. This new Qualcomm 28nm processor looks awesome though, look forward to lots more Qualcomm S4 Krait MSM8960 video-coverage here on ARMdevices.net this coming week as plenty of new phones and tablets are likely to be shown using this processor at Mobile World Congress!

You can see a couple of my MSM8960 videos filmed last month at CES:
Lenovo IdeaTab S2110, Android ICS Qualcomm Krait MSM8960 Tablet with Keyboard Dock
Qualcomm S4 MSM8960 Tablet Gaming performance

Source: anandtech.com

Huawei D1 Q Diamond Series teased

Posted by – February 18, 2012

This one uses the new Huawei HiSilicon 1.5Ghz Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 and is also of only 6.68mm of thickness! Huawei seems to claim that their 1.5Ghz Quad-core processor is 2x faster than a Tegra3! Huawei has been manufacturing ARM Processors for a while, but I had only seen some slower Single-core HiSilicon 3716 ARM Cortex-A9 versions used for Set-top-boxes (such as in the Coupoint at $65 and Blue Times at $50), this is the first Huawei HiSilicon processor for Android Smartphones as far as I know! The Tegra3 runs at 1.3Ghz so if this one really runs at 1.5Ghz in Quad-core mode, it really might be the fastest processor yet! The question is how soon Huawei is going to be ready to release this one. It’s really awesome to see Huawei be so aggressive and innovative with their designs, it’s going to be very interesting to follow what types of price segments Huawei plans to aim this device at.

Check back for much more on this High-end Quad-core Huawei phone and on plenty moire Huawei Android devices to be shown at Mobile World Congress next week!

Source: xataka.com

Renesas MP5232 1.5Ghz Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 released!

Posted by – February 17, 2012

Here’s the press release:

TOKYO, Japan, February 15, 2012 — Renesas Electronics Corporation and its subsidiary, Renesas Mobile Corporation, a leading supplier of advanced cellular semiconductor solutions and platforms, today announced the availability of the MP5232, the first single-chip, high-performance, scalable smartphone platform optimised to address the US$150-300 range device market. The MP5232 platform is designed to enable OEMs to accelerate the creation and delivery of high volume LTE/HSPA+ capable smartphones, tablets and mobile Internet devices the industry requires to deliver the full potential of LTE.

The MP5232 platform sets a new benchmark in terms of levels of integration and performance for fully featured high-volume LTE devices. At its heart, the Renesas Mobile modem, deployed in over two billion devices to date, delivers the industry’s highest throughput and low power multi-mode FDD and TDD-LTE Category 4 capabilities. Combined with a state-of-the-art application processor the platform delivers a no-compromise user experience with multi-core computing power, industry-leading graphics, video and imaging capabilities. The platform also includes advanced RF transceivers, power management and audio solutions. This highly integrated smartphone platform is delivered fully tested and certified to enable customers to bring new generations of fully-featured LTE/HSPA+ smartphones to market in as little as six to nine months.

“We are seeing a number of US$600+ LTE super phone devices being launched in the market, but the industry needs a wider penetration of LTE devices for the business case for LTE to pay off,” commented Jean-Marie Rolland, CTO and Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Renesas Mobile Corporation. “The MP5232 platform represents a new category of mobile platform optimised to increase the number of fully-featured, LTE high volume smartphones in the market. By integrating high performing, proven technologies the platform offers a low risk path for device manufacturers to create high volume, premium capability LTE multi-mode products for multiple market segments quickly and effectively, without having to make any compromises in terms of features or user experience.”

“The whole mobile industry is undoubtedly committed to LTE as the technology of choice for 4G services. However, it becomes increasingly challenging adding LTE to an already packed mobile devices that are required to support different legacy modes and bands,” said Malik Saadi, Principal Analyst, Informa Telecoms and Media. “In order to achieve global economies, vendors are keen to offer LTE multiband and multimode devices capable of roaming across different networks and regions, without compromising price, user experience, form factor, or power consumption.”

Renesas Mobile has brought its extensive consumer electronics industry expertise to the development of the platform, ensuring that the MP5232 benefits from the latest process technologies, methodologies and multimedia capabilities. The resulting platform is smarter by design with the lowest possible platform cost compared to current generation chipsets and an extremely high level of integration. In addition, the platform benefits from a unique modem architecture designed to consume the lowest possible power. Scalability and flexibility are baked in, allowing OEMs to create devices that address multiple price points and segments with minimal development time and maximum hardware and software reuse. Certified and proven technologies ensure that development, certification and maintenance costs are reduced.

Based on the Renesas Mobile’s state-of-the-art application processor technology, the MP5232 platform delivers a no-compromise user experience with 1.5GHz dual-core computing power, industry-leading graphics, video and imaging capabilities. The platform supports differentiating features including multi-camera and multi-display support, full HD 1080p multi-format video encoding/decoding, stereoscopic 3D (S3D) video and advanced graphics to deliver a console-like gaming experiences and engaging user interfaces.

Renesas Mobile consulting and support services leverage the company’s extensive system and production expertise to provide assistance at all stages of implementation, from design through to production. This support significantly reduces not only development time, but also production tuning and test time.

Availability
Samples of the MP5232 platform are available Q1 2012 to lead OEM’s in the form of reference designs together with supporting documentation, software and hardware. Pricing is available on request.

Some of my expectations for Mobile World Congress

Posted by – February 17, 2012

The MWC is the ARM conference, all the latest fastest newest ARM Processors are unveiled, all the biggest Smartphones of the year are demonstrated, the Smartphone and Carrier industry generating Trillions of dollars of yearly economic activity converges in Barcelona between February 26th and March 1st, expect the best video coverage to be posted right here on ARMdevices.net!

Please help me in getting well prepared for this event, send me an email with any tips for awesome things to be shown at MWC that you think that I should video-blog. You can also post here in the comments what your expectations are for MWC, interesting leaks and prediction articles to check out, please let me know what you think I should film in priority.

Here are some of the topics which I am looking forward to see:

- ARM Cortex-A15 demonstrated by Texas Instruments, Samsung. Maybe Nvidia shows Project Denver for the first time. ST-Ericsson may show it also. Does Qualcomm have an equivalent Mega-Krait on demo?

- Single-core ARM Cortex-A9 becomes a huge deal. I expect sub-$100 Cortex-A9 smartphones based on MediaTek MT6575 and ST-Ericsson U4500. It’s a big deal it brings performance to the sub-$100 unlocked smartphones market which can be hundreds of millions of phones per year.

- Samsung upgrades Galaxy Nexus up to OMAP4470 1.8Ghz. Samsung upgrades Galaxy S2 to Plus with latest Exynos4 at 32nm (Dual 1.5-1.8Ghz or Quad 1.2-1.5Ghz?). Samsung upgrades tablets with 1200p screens, newest Exynos, TI OMAP4470 and/or Nvidia Tegra3?

- Sony goes crazy on Android. Expect powerful and good looking Sony Xperia phones with latest screen and processor technology. Sony needs Android for its economic recovery. Expect a new range of Sony branded phones.

- Panasonic launches its ARM Cortex-A9 processor for other than Set-top-box/HDTV use? Maybe they use their dual-core for a Lumix phone. For people who care about the smartphone camera this is going to be good. Real point-and-shoot optics with a full Android smartphone integrated.

- Google acquires Motorola. Motorola announces new OMAP4460 1.5Ghz and OMAP4470 1.8Ghz phones and tablets with ICS. Makes Lapdock hardware system an open standard. Lapdock devices are now more powerful at Laptop productivity use than the Intel Atom netbook. Does Google use MWC to launch its Google Entertainment System for cheap Android@Home Hubbing, ARM Powered Google TV platform upgrade, new level of support for ARM Powered Native Code video-games and advanced ARM Powered Google Desktop software.

- LG aims very high, showing stuff even better looking than their LG Spectrum phone. Using fastest processors and latest IPS LCD HD screen technology. There is talk of Optimus 3D2 and X3.

- Huawei positions themselves as potential top challenger for smartphone volume of sales throughout the world. Launches the awesome OMAP4460 super slim P1S at (I guess sub-$300 unlocked) and shows their new Diamond series with even faster processor and even larger screen (I guess at sub-$400 unlocked). Also, launches range of low-cost sub-$100 Android phones with up to approx 4″ screen sizes and single-core ARM Cortex-A9 processing, thus near Galaxy S2 performance at sub-$100 unlocked pricing. Huawei wants to be one of the best value for price makers worldwide.

- ZTE does it like Huawei, cheap, good value, innondates the market with mid-range sub-$200 unlocked and sub-$100 low-cost.

- Microsoft shows off Windows 8 on ARM Tablets/Laptops convertibles, for the first time, journalists are allowed to actually play with it. They probably are going to give a thousand Windows 8 on ARM Tablets to developers at the conference. Expect Samsung, HTC, ZTE, Nokia to show Windows 8 on ARM Tablets/Laptops Convertibles. Microsoft announces plan to acquire Nokia.

- Toshiba ramps up their tablets. Toshiba shows a successor to the AC100 ARM Powered Laptop, this time OMAP4470 1.8Ghz or Tegra3, ICS with an awesome Chrome for Android support.

- HTC shows Tegra3 and Qualcomm Krait stuff. May expand Wildfire to approx 4″ screen sizes and Single-core ARM Cortex-A9 level of performance for the sub-$200 unlocked smartphones market.

- Fujitsu joins the Android market with a new slim Tegra3 smartphone.

- For expensive high-end, 720p is the new standard for smartphones and 1200p is the new standard for tablets.

What do you expect from MWC?

Archos sells more tablets than Asus and Acer, has Europe’s number one sub-400€ tablet market share

Posted by – February 16, 2012

Archos worldwide revenues increased 106% in 2011 compared to 2010. For the tablet sales in Europe, Archos is the second biggest tablet maker tied to Samsung. For the sub-400€ tablet market in Europe, Archos is the number one. Archos yearly tablet sales in Asia has exploded 464% going from 4,4M€ to 24,9M€ in revenue.

Think about it for a second. Archos is a 250-employee company based in Paris, and they are the European leader for the sub-400€ tablet market, they are virtually tied with the Samsung tablet sales in Europe and they are far in front of giants like Asus, Acer, Motorola, Toshiba, LG, Huawei, ZTE, HTC tablet sales in Europe.

Archos revenue from US sales “only” increased 57% year/year from 18,2M to 28,6M, my theory is because Archos has to prioritize where to spend their cash for production and distribution. Just as the Samsung Galaxy S2, Galaxy Note were released in Europe and Asia before the USA, Archos also has to choose to prioritize shipments to the European and Asian market, some markets also where Archos may be able to extract larger margins and satisfy resellers more evenly (a US reseller constantly having to be out of stock gets angry..). Over the past 3-4 months, monitoring the forums at http://forum.archosfans.com one can see hundreds of messages of American consumers being somewhat dissapointed not being able to buy the latest Archos G9 series of tablets, and due to Texas Instruments OMAP4460 1.5Ghz Processor being delayed, Archos can only really start shipping that promised 1.5Ghz tablet speed since recently. Also to consider, Archos has yet to annonce a 3G/4G/LTE USB Stick carrier for the US market, as the US market isn’t compatible with the rest of the worlds open unlocked 3G/HSPA+ SIM card USB stick system (I do believe some carrier, at least an MVNO should soon be allowing Archos provide a USB stick compatible with their network).

Consider this, Archos is a 250-employee company, with currently their record yearly revenue at 171,4 Million Euros ($224.669 Million). Apple has 60400 employees and a 2011 revenue of $108.249 billion. That means Archos makes 481 times less revenue than Apple. Yet, Archos manages to be second largest tablet seller in Europe behind Apple and tied with Samsung.

My theory is that if/when a company like Archos can get access to more cash, they can increase the mass production of their products and I think Archos has no problems selling out of all of their inventory, pretty much regardless of the worldwide region. The likely upcoming Socialist French President Francois Hollande (likely to be elected April 2012 instead of Nicolas Sarkozy) can make it a National priority to use State cash to invest in promising high-tech companies like Archos, France can heavily and rapidly invest in Archos to help Archos grab even more worldwide market share in a tablet market analysts predict to more than double again in 2012 compared to 2011. More investments can create a situation where Archos can expand R&D and Marketing/Sales efforts in Paris, thus upgrading firmwares even faster, developing new hardware skews faster, optimizing manufacturing and BOM techniques faster, something Archos can use to increase the value for money even faster making it even easier to sell all stock regardless of volume produced. With significantly more cash for more production, faster R&D, I believe Archos can grow and be the French high-tech company to seriously compete with Apple worldwide.

The Android tablet market has exploded in 2011. I believe the daily Android tablets activations worldwide has now overtaken the iPad2. The regular stack of analysts will only demonstrate that when they estimate Q1 2012 tablet sales in early April. I base my estimation on the fact most major latest Android tablets were released not before December 2011 (Archos G9, Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, Motorola XyBoard, Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0, Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7, etc), thus counting since December 2011 (and not October 2011 as the latest analysts have) positions Android tablets even more favorably against the iPad2. If you count the Samsung Galaxy Note as a tablet (which most analysts aren’t), it’s even more obvious that Android tablets daily activations have overtaken the iPad.

With excellent value for money in Archos ICS-capable tablets, such as the $279 Archos 101 G9 Turbo 1.5Ghz, the $229 Arnova 9 G2, the $199 Archos 70b Internet Tablet and the $149 Arnova 7b G2, all of them imminently fully running Ice Cream Sandwich, (all those are MSRP prices, street prices can be 20-30% lower than MSRP with volume) I believe Archos is well positioned to continue their growth in tablet market share. It’d be awesome to see Archos find the time to also provide an OMAP4460 1.5Ghz 7″ Kindle Fire killer (at around $249) and a 5″ Galaxy Note killer (at around $199) tablet with USB 3G/4G/LTE stick support as my favorite tablet sizes are 7″ jacket pocket sized and 5″ pants pocket sized.

Revenue for the fourth quarter 2011

In M€ non audited Q4
2011
Q4
2010
Var
(M€)
Var
(%)
EUROPE 46,3 24,6 21,7 88%
ASIA 8,7 2,2 6,5 300%
USA 10,2 8,8 1,3 15%
TOTAL 65,2 35,6 29,6 83%

 

Total revenue for 2011

In M€ non audited 2011 2010 Var
(M€)
Var
(%)
EUROPE 117,9 60,7 57,2 94%
ASIA 24,9 4,4 20,5 464%
USA 28,6 18,2 10,4 57%
TOTAL 171,4 83,3 88,1 106%

 

Yearly revenue (Million €)

2009 : 57,9 ($76M)
2010 : 83,3 ($109.5M)
2011 : 171,4 ($224.7M)

Source: Archos Q4 2011 earnings press release on abcbourse.com, boursier.com, easybourse.com and investir.fr

MediaTek MT6575 single-core ARM Cortex-A9 launched!

Posted by – February 14, 2012

Here’s the third generation MediaTek ARM Processor for low-cost Android phones! This can make the sub-$100 Android phones (no contract, not subsidized) better than the performance of a Nexus One. With support for dual-SIMs, qHD displays, 8MP camera, 720p video playback/recording, 3G/HSPA modem, SGX Series5 GPU (SGX540?). MediaTek claims:

MT6575 offers over 35% improvement for browser applications and over 20% improvement in graphics capabilities for gaming when compared to competitors’ best offerings in these segments.

I don’t know which competitors best offerings MediaTek is comparing with. Are they talking about AmLogic AML8726-M? ST-Ericsson U4500? Freescale i.MX6Solo?

The MT6575, delivered in 40nm CMOS technology, builds on the proven track record of the 2nd generation MT6573 platform – i.e., the platform that powers the Lenovo A60, China Unicom’s top selling handset in the sub‐RMB 1000 (approx. $160 USD) smartphone category.

The MT6575 is currently being incorporated into the latest smartphone offerings by many of MediaTek’s leading customers and the first smartphone models based on this new platform will hit the market in the first quarter of 2012.

Source: mediatek.com

Google Wallet should use ARM TrustZone for 100% security

Posted by – February 13, 2012

Google Wallet should rely on ARM TrustZone to make the pin code authentication system 100% secure. I filmed about ARM TrustZone a couple years ago. (I suggested this last May when Google Wallet was launched). The way ARM TrustZone works is to create a separate 100% trusted OS used just to enter the pin code on a hardware level separation, thus a little secure-mode light diode can light up when in it, the main purpose is to prevent software snoopers/fake logon screens etc. I expect something like this is enabled by the NXP PN65 security chip that Google has suggested using on the initial couple NFC-enabled phones on the market, but actually using ARM TrustZone is the best idea. I expect to see new ARM TrustZone enabled phones at Mobile World Congress in a couple weeks from now. Here’s a latest news item about ARM TrustZone for Mobile Wallets: ARM to add NFC mobile wallet support (NFCworld.com)