Shenzhen Electronics Fair Day 1, lots of cool stuff filmed, now trying to upload

Posted by – April 8, 2011

The fair is awesome. I found a lot of very interesting cheap Android smartphones and tablets. Look forward to my uploads coming up. The internet upload speed is too slow to upload video at the press center, I’ll try to upload elsewhere in Shenzhen. Please subscribe to my RSS feed (add my RSS to your Google Reader) and subscribe to my YouTube channel to get my latest videos from Shenzhen and Hong Kong during these next 10 days. I talked with several very cool Shenzhen based manufacturers, they are inviting me to go film some behind the scenes videos at their factories and interview the engineers at work on cool future products, so look forward to those videos to be posted here also during these next few days!

Chang Jiang Android 007, $150 Android phone

Posted by – April 8, 2011

This is the type of stuff I am looking for. Sub-$150 Android smartphone, with 3.2″ or larger capacitive touch screens, decent looking Android install. This one comes with 3.2″ capacitive and Android Froyo support. Please do some search for this on the web and please post full specs in comments so that I can update this page with the full specs. This one may be based on the Mediatek MTK6516 460Mhz ARM9 with 208MHz DSP.

Meizu M9, $380 Android phone with Retina Display

Posted by – April 7, 2011

The price is $380 unlocked (2499 Chinese remimbi) (no further contracts needed, that’s about half the price of the iphone4 without a contract), for an Android phone with a same type of retina resolution display as on the iphone4. I think it uses the Samsung Hummingbird ARM Cortex-A8 1Ghz processor with 512MB RAM (also sounds similar to the specs of the iphone4). There are actually many Meizu stores all over Shenzhen, I guess Meizu is a major gadgets brand selling here. Do you think Meizu is a bit too obvious at copying Apple’s design?

Here are the specs:

Meizu M9
CPU: 1 Ghz Cortex A8-based Samsung S5PC110
Graphics Processor: Power VR 540 GPU
Audio chip: Texas Instruments TLV320AIC36
Memory: Memory: 512 Mb ROM / 512 Mb RAM
Networks: GSM, GPRS, EDGE, 3G network support: WCDMA, HSDPA and HSUPA with speeds of 7,2/5,76 Mbps (Both schould work in Europe). Only supports the 2100 Mhz band of WCDMA. Check google for info in your country supports the 2100 Mhz band.
Dimensions: 59,8 x 113 x 11 mm
Weight: 123 grams
Expansion slot: Micro SD / TF – No built-in storage, microSDHC support. (Will come with either an 8GB or 16GB TF card)
Display: 3.56″ (49.92 x 74.88 mm), 960×640 pixel resolution, 16 million colors
Operating System: Android 2.2 Modified by Meizu(Includes English language), Android 2.3 will be released in the next firmware update.
Camera: 5 megapixels camera, Pictures in 2592 x 1944 pixels, autofocus, Records videos in 720p HD (1280×720) at 30 FPS, No flash in the first version
Battery: 1370 mAh
Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.1 / WiFi 802.11b/g/n (Different WLAN module compared to M8, WiFi tethering is supported) / A-GPS / TV-out (via mini USB, no HDMI. Not sure if included in the first version)
Ports: Mini USB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack

I’m in Shenzhen, video-blogging 3 tech conferences this week!

Posted by – April 7, 2011

Welcome to my extensive video-coverage coming up here on ARMdevices.net showing you all the newest coolest Chinese gadgets. Not only are basically all your consumer electronics devices made in China, more and more are now also designed and engineered by Chinese companies. Expect consolidation, disruption, innovation, I am going to be looking for new awesome value in Android tablets, Android Smartphones, Android Set-top-boxes and any number of other devices in other tech areas.

I will try to film some of the behind the scenes of the impressive market production domination that this region has on consumer electronics, but it’s not sure that I get the right connections and authorisations to film in actual factories in this region, I’ll try.

Look forward to these events that I will post over 50 videos from during the next 10 days:

- 8-10th April Shenzhen Electronics Fair read more

- 12-15th April China Sourcing Fair at Asia World Expo Hong Kong read more

- 13-16th April HKTDC Electronics Fair Hong Kong read more

It’s been years that I have been wanting to come to these bi-annual consumer electronics shows, now I am here in Shenzhen for 5 days, then going to Hong Kong for 5 days, I will try to film you the best possible videos of the latest that is going on here.

If you would like to help me make sure I find the coolest companies here to video-blog, please click on the trade show links above and do some searches for the Shenzhen or Hong Kong based companies that you know about and check if they are exhibitors, and if one of the cool manufacturers are here, please let me know by email to my charbax@gmail.com or comment here so I’ll try to interview their representatives and show their latest products. Let me know to my email charbax@gmail.com or here in the comments if you know or if you are a cool Shenzhen or Hong Kong based company that I should definitely check out and video-blog about.

Android virtualization on TI OMAP4 processors (dual core Cortex-A9)

Posted by – April 4, 2011

A video released by B Labs today, features Android running as a virtualized guest operating system on Codezero® Embedded Hypervisor. Codezero® Embedded Hypervisor is a multicore virtualization solution for ARM Cortex-A9 processors and Linux based operating systems from B Labs.

Codezero is a multicore capable hypervisor that runs the Linux operating system in paravirtualized fashion. Codezero runs Linux applications, as well as Linux kernel guests in user mode, with memory protection, and requiring no hardware virtualization support. Due to the hardware protection mechanisms and capability based security, Linux guests run in full isolation from each other. Core partitioning, memory partitioning, network virtualization, and RTOS support are some of the other features offered by Codezero.

Larry Page starts today as CEO

Posted by – April 4, 2011

Larry Page starts as CEO

Larry Page starts as CEO

He might quickly become regarded as greatest inventor/innovator/entrepreneur in the world. A modern Nikola Tesla, a modern Thomas Edison. I think Larry Page wants to be CEO so he can get credited for the amazing things Google is about to release:

- Android powering next 3 Billion smartphones/tablets to be released these next 3 years. Android dominating in tablets is also inevitable.

- Chrome OS about to be released as first real challenger to Windows on Laptops and PC. Advances with native code and 3D browser plugins will enable full desktop performance right inside the browser, offline support and full multimedia support also being there.

- Google TV, first set-top-box to be successful at bringing online video to the TV.

- Google Circles, the first real social network that will actually be more useful than for stalking and following famous people.

- Google Cloud storage expanded, with Google Music as part of the deal, users will be able to store terrabytes of multimedia data on the cloud for cheap.

- Google Books to actually launch, regardless of the publishers lawsuits, Google Books is inevitably just about to revolutionize reading.

- YouTube to take over majority of people’s daily TV watching hours. With Google TV as tool, algorithms for a perfect on-demand lean-back experience are coming. YouTube already accounts for more than 50% of worldwide bandwidth usage, but this will only increase. YouTube will likely soon become Google’s main source of revenues.

- Most adults might actually be using Google Apps as main tool for collaborative productivity. Google Wave features might get integrated to empower the real-time collaboration.

More revolutions Google might attempt to get to do :

- Revolutionizing the cell carrier industry. They may invest giant sums in developing White Spaces worldwide. To actually create a free wireless broadband network for all. Very disruptive to telcos.

- Revolutionizing fixed line Internet access through proving that cheap Gigabit/s Fiber to the home can get built everywhere worldwide.

- Revolutionizing energy production, helping to prove that solar, wind, geothermal can be built and used for cheaper than coal and nuclear energy.

- Revolutionizing education, through establishing more of the Khan Academys, enabling talented teachers get their teachings out to students worldwide simply through clever video production.

Sure, Larry Page will probably be humble and say that the work was actually done by the more than 24’000 Phd engineers working at Google. Yet he will be the CEO while all these things get released, upgraded and implemented. Having co-founded the company, he might just as well want to be in charge when all these new products are launched. I also think that he might know about the potential trouble that his competing companies like Apple, Microsoft, Intel and others might get by not being positioned effectively in the cloud computing world. If somehow Google turns out to the be the last Silicon Valley giant standing through the next potentially upcoming bubble, it will make him look even more impressive.

You can also see my post on the day they announced that Larry Page was going to be the CEO: What Google should do. Now.

What do you think Larry Page will do as CEO of Google starting today?

Acer to focus much more on ARM Powered devices

Posted by – April 1, 2011

Category:Acer Incorporated

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday, Gianfranco Lanci was fired (or resigned) as CEO of Acer. The official reason is that the board of Acer now thinks that they need to stop being a Wintel company and become more of an ARM/Linux embedded devices company.

This is part of the big wave of change in the industry that is happening across the whole range of ex-Wintel-exclusive laptop makers such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, Apple, Toshiba and even Asus. All are moving away from Windows/Intel, and into rapidly re-focusing on making ARM and embedded Linux/Unix based devices. Here’s the reason why and Apple has been the biggest exemplification of this:

Profit margins:
- ARM and Linux can bring much larger profit margins to these companies. Instead of making 10-20% profit margins selling Intel powered laptops, these giants can make upwards 300% profit margins selling ARM Powered devices, like Apple does between the $150 BOM and $600 retail/consumer sales price of the iphone. The difference in profit margins are huge! ARM enables better distribution of profits among supply chain participants. In Apple’s case, their profit margins are 10x larger selling ARM Powered devices compared to the companies trying to compete in the Windows/Intel world.

Differentiation and design:
- ARM and Linux offers plenty more options, the giants of device making can put their engineers to work for the first time, in designing innovative, diversified and differentiated devices, to implement new amazing technology and at the same time have the possibility to aim at making a very significant fashion statement in the innovative designs that become possible. Apple is the ultimate example of this, their ipod/iphone/ipad are regarded as fashion examples, and the possibilities to set new trends opens up to everyone else in the industry. This is why the ARM and embedded code based product innovations are changing and improving much faster than Windows/Intel products. A giant of manufacturing always wants to be in control of their differentiation options, and not be locked into very limited reference designs and rules required to make Windows/Intel based products.

How hard is it to focus more on ARM? As previous anti-trust lawsuits against Microsoft and Intel have shown, these companies try to enforce exclusive relationships with other big players in the industry. They go as far as to use predatory tactics, dumping price on components, dumping price on licences, in exchange for exclusivity and they do what they can to block out of the competition from gaining any significant market share. But ARM/Linux is reaching a point of leadership.

So it will be a very hurtful and perhaps violent moment when giants like Asus, Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, all one after the other announce more and more devices based on ARM and free software such as Android, Google TV and Chrome OS, it hurts Intel and Microsoft. So while these ex-Wintel-exclusive giants don’t want to make it look like the start of a nasty divorce, they still feel forced to make the transition, and so you see them all bringing more and more devices, until like with Apple, more than 60% of their revenues and profits suddenly comes from ARM Powered devices, and until they suddenly all come to their senses and realize that ARM is the place to be, and they invest most of their R&D in creating differentiation in that ARM Powered world.

That does not mean nobody wants to make Windows/Intel laptops anymore. It just means everybody spends much more effort to make much more profits in bringing differentiated product designs in the ARM Powered world.

I am the new Editor in Chief of Engadget

Posted by – April 1, 2011

Bestselling author Steven Carter with celebrit...

On the phone with Arianna Huffington

I just got off the phone with Arianna Huffington. She likes what I do and has asked me to be the new Editor in Chief at Engadget.com effective immediately.

I told her I will do it under one condition, that they agree to rename Engadget.com to ARMdevices.net, all visitors going to the previous Engadget.com will be automatically redirected to the more future-proof ARMdevices.net brand instead.

Under my command, the site will only feature Benchmarks and Funny Videos. I believe that snarky news items are a waste of time. Any Engadget editor who owns an iPhone, who knows someone who owns an iPhone or who has been in an Apple Store during the previous 6 months will be fired.

100% of the posts will be ARM related, 10% of which will be Archos and ARM related, as I believe Archos is the best company in the world. Any negativity towards Google will not be tolerated, let them close Honeycomb and ban emulators if they want!

If anyone has a problem with this, you can send me an email.

Here I’m being interviewed with Arianna Huffington at the announcement event this morning here in Davos:

Qualcomm’s next generation Snapdragon behind the scenes

Posted by – April 1, 2011

Last year, they invited us into their top secret R&D centers, now here’s a look into how they train their engineers to build the next generation Snapdragon processor:

Google tries to control Android fragmentation

Posted by – March 31, 2011

There has been some talk about Google’s decision to delay the Honeycomb source code release. If Google releases Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Google TV and Chrome OS source codes within a month, then all this will be forgotten. Sure sure, M$/NOK will make Bingdroid, HP will make Webdroid, and RIM is making Playdroid.

It is OK if Google enforces rules on Google Marketplace and the Google Apps to demand a one-click search engine or social network change, meaning the Bingdroids cannot lock users into only using Bing but that it must be a one click easy process to change the search engine to Google as default if that is what the user wants. Same thing with the Facedroids, one click should be available to move contacts out of Facebook.

It is great if Google’s purpose starting with Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwidth is to try to regulate the home replacements and manufacturer’s custom UI layers. Please make it default to allow the Android bloatware user interfaces to be turned off! I don’t mind if manufacturers think they absolutely have to make Touchwiz, Sense, Blur, Rachael or other, but they should all make it an easy to find one click process to restore default UI, they should all provide a one-click Android Vanilla switch.

The main requirement that I think Google has with Android, is that they have to make sure that everyone making Android devices with full native Android Vanilla UI and OS, must be allowed the Google Marketplace, especially the cheap Tablet and Smartphone makers, no absolute need for compass, dual-cameras or any other very specific hardware features, apps in Google Marketplace with very specific hardware requirements (a small minority) can easily be filtered based on the hardware detected.

Google must have teams working closely with all the ARM chip providers, Texas Instruments, Rockchip, Telechips, Samsung, Qualcomm, Marvell, Freescale, ST-Ericsson, VIA, Nvidia and more, and Google has a responsibility to make sure each of those platforms support the full Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Google TV and Chrome OS, as soon as they totally open source them in a month or so. That is what I expect Google is doing with their ARM chip provider partners. And that work on deep SoC optimizations level must also be coordinated with each of the serious companies using each of those SoC to bring Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Google TV and Chrome OS products to market in the next couple or three months.

If for some reason you hear that Google is not willing to give access to Honeycomb source code to any serious Tablet maker (with a reputation of releasing tablets that can be trusted, no minimum company size) or to any of these chip makers, that could be scandalous and would have to be brought to the attention of the blogosphere, so in case you hear about any of those cases please post in the comments or send me an email to charbax@gmail.com so that I can try to understand who gets access to the Honeycomb source code, when and exactly how.

Some people (especially Apple fanboys) have been complaining that Honeycomb tablets supposedly only have 100 apps HD tablet optimized yet. Those people should also mention that about 90% of the 250’000 Android apps are built with Android 1.6 Donut SDK or newer, and since then, most Android apps are built to scale to medium density screens, which means they work fine on tablets. That actually means, the number of apps that work fine on Android tablets is more something like 220’000 apps, more and more of which are being re-optimized for more than 800×480, yet still most of those scale to 1024×600 or 1280×800 just fine.

Also, I believe the goal of Google is to implement future versions of Android, perhaps including Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich already with a new system that auto-upgrades even the core parts of the OS, meaning that once devices are ready to ship with Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich, they may never really need to be firmware updated by the manufacturer, that core Android system upgrades could be done automatically and securely through the Google Marketplace. That would be a very deep anti-fragmentation move, and that would mean that all future Android devices would all be automatically future-proof.