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

Posted by – 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.

Freescale MPL3115A2 pressure sensor / altimeter

Posted by – July 11, 2011

Freescale launches the new altimeter MPL3115A2. This device uses a piezoresistive bridge as its sensor element. It also includes a dedicated ASIC which performs ADC conversions, oversampling, trim compensation, data path calculations and I2C port control. What this means is that your next smartphone can detect on which floor you are in a building, it can detect the altitude of your smartphone in theory to as small a distance as 3cm (they guarantee 30cm because of potential interference and uncertainties). IT can also do barometric weather forecast and measure the ambient temperature. When you combine this new sensor with all the other sensors in a device such as accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer you can get a complete inertial navigation system which helps you to have a more accurate positioning for indoor and outdoor navigation.

Freescale Healthcare products

Posted by – July 11, 2011

Connect a new blood glucose meter, blood pressure monitor, weight scale, digital thermometer, spirometers and other devices to sensors in your bed, on your arm and to your smartphone, tablets etc to monitor your health and help improve lifestyles and prevent disease. Freescale presents a whole range of new technologies to lower the cost of those healthcare devices so everyone can afford to have them at home and want to use them regularly as the data being wirelessly transfered and visualized online makes it easier and very useful for everyone to live a healthy lifestyle, eat good food, sleep well and do enough exercise.

Freescale i.MX50 processor series for e-readers launched

Posted by – July 11, 2011

Freescale is expanding their line of processors that are customized for e-reader type of applications with the i.MX502, i.MX503, i.MX507 and i.MX508 processors. Compared with i.MX51/53, i.MX50 is built to lack GPU for 3D acceleration (unnecessary on e-readers) but they can do 2D and have the option (i.MX503 and i.MX508) to hardware accelerate vector graphics through the OpenVG accelerator. This series is the first processor on the market to combine ARM Cortex-A8 with an EPD controller. Those are in different configurations to be used for e-ink (i.MX508 with OpenVG and i.MX507 without) or LCD e-readers (i.MX503 with OpenVG and i.MX502 without). Read the full press release here. Find more info at freescale.com

Freescale Kinnetis K50 ARM Cortex-M4 for Healthcare products

Posted by – June 27, 2011

The Kinnetis K50 has integrated operational amplifiers and transimpedance amplifiers, allows to reduce the PCB size and thus cost of healthcare sensor products. Expect to see many Healthcare oriented products arrive on the market using this Cortex-M4 processor. You can find more information at http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/prod_summary.jsp?code=K50

Android for cars using COQOS by OpenSynergy

Posted by – June 27, 2011

They have Android running on the Freescale i.MX53, but it's running virtualized using a separation micro-kernel they call COQOS offering the real-time features that are required in a car running the industry-standard AUTOSAR software also at the same time, thus this solution is fully secure. You can find more information at http://www.opensynergy.com/en/Products/COQOS

Michelin Active Wheel, electric traction, suspension, breaking

Posted by – June 27, 2011

This new type of wheel includes two motors controlled by Freescale procecssors, one to accelerate the car and to have regenerative breaking, and the second is the manage the suspension and the control of the chassis. This could be transformational for cars, no more engine could be needed under the hood, no more traditional suspension system, and no more gearbox or transmission as all the essential components have been integrated into the wheel itself. The Active Wheel System could outperform Ferrari and Porsche in a straight line when it comes to braking. While a typical high performance supercar takes about six seconds to come to a complete halt from 100km/h, the Michelin concept does it in a mere 2.8 seconds at up to 1G. Find more information: motorauthority.com and gizmag.com

Freescale’s High Resolution 77Ghz Radar System

Posted by – June 27, 2011

This is the 77Ghz chipset demonstrating Freescale's for Automotive Radar Millimeter-Wave Technology, this is a demo of a radar for cars to see through the dark, through rain, through any weather. Find more information at http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/overview.jsp?code=AUTRMWT

Freescale Xtrinsic radar chipsets are the most advanced SiGe technology on the market, consisting of a transmitter and a multi-channel receiver with an integrated phase-locked loop (PLL). Freescale's 77 GHz technology allows a device to switch between long- and short-range functionality simply by issuing a serial peripheral interface (SPI) command. This enables the same radar module to be used for multiple safety systems, such as adaptive cruise control, headway alert, collision warning and mitigation. Long-range radar, used for adaptive cruise control and lane departure warnings, has long and narrow coverage directly in front and back of the car. Short-range radar, ideal for blind spot detection, pre-crash and stop-and-go applications, monitors the car's immediate surroundings with a wide spatial view that covers shorter distances.

Freescale MakeIt Challenge, third place winner, search and rescue robot

Posted by – June 25, 2011

Tom Minnich presents his Freescale powered search and rescue remote controlled robot.

AllGoConnect for Auto Head-unit to smart phone connectivity

Posted by – June 25, 2011

Last year, AllGo presented the $35 tablet idea, which they are still working on. This year they are focusing their FTF presentation on their Android powered in-car interactivity features, with Nokia Terminal Mode and USB/MTP/iPod playback.