Look for the best Mobile World Congress coverage here on ARMdevices.net these next few days

Posted by – February 12, 2011

GSMA Mobile. WorldCongress

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Look forward to the best coverage from Mobile World Congress right here on http://ARMdevices.net, subscribe to my RSS feed, add my RSS feed to your Google Reader, subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow my Twitter, I will be posting more than 60 videos of the best new ARM Powered devices during this whole upcoming week, it is going to be awesome! It is likely going to be the best trade show I have ever covered since I started to video-blog from all consumer electronics shows since CeBIT 2004. Here’s a refresh of my list of expectations for this upcoming awesome Mobile World Congress:

- Samsung’s ARM Cortex-A9 Orion processor with ARM Mali-400 graphics in Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Galaxy Tab2.

- Freescale to show first i.MX6 ARM Cortex-A9 reference board or even announce actual devices using it?

- Texas Instruments OMAP4 in actual products, more than just RIM Blackberry Playbook. I expect several phones and tablets will feature the 1Ghz OMAP4430 to be released by end of Q1 and they will probably show and announce devices with 1.5Ghz OMAP4440 for later availability.

- Google shows Honeycomb. Not just videos as they did at CES, but they actually allow everyone to play around with the UI. They should announce Google Music, an expansion of Google Voice for worldwide free VOIP usage. Honeycomb should bring open Google Marketplace for all tablets, for all devices, even laptops. I am hoping Google even announces Honeycomb and Google Marketplace support for all the ARM Cortex-A8 tablets, Rockchip, Telechips, MSM7227 as well. Honeycomb may be synchronized with the launch of Google TV on ARM as well, or at the least, Honeycomb Google Marketplace should work for Google TV screens. First showing of Chrome OS for ARM Powered laptops would be appropriate as well, full hardware acceleration demonstration for HD web browsing on all the ARM Cortex-A9 processors would be appropriate.

- Texas Instruments nHD Pico Projector could be demonstrated in several upcoming smartphones. Adding a built-in projector will be one of the coolest features of a modern smartphone.

- ST Ericsson U8500 ARM Cortex-A9 will probably be ready for products.

- Nvidia to launch Tegra 2 1.2Ghz 3D edition with full 1080p all codecs high profile playback, faster multi-tab HD web browsing processing and they’ll announce and show some Tegra3 stuff as well.

- Qualcomm MSM8660, 8060, 8260 to be launched in range of new smartphones and tablets. This is Qualcomm’s big Dual-core Snapdragon processor design push. It may be huge and Qualcomm may dominate Dual-core smartphones as well.

- Marvell 628 Tri-core demonstrated in devices. May be the appropriate timing for them to show demos? Marvell in any case is powering the best example of ARM Powered laptop in OLPC XO-1.75 that should be shipping mid-year, and they certainly have some ambitious Marvell Armada XP ARM Powered server projects going on.

- Rockchip’s partners launch more RK2918 devices. Suitable for low-cost ARM Cortex-A8 tablet designs.

- New Telechips TCC8803 ARM Cortex-A8 designs for other low-cost tablet designs.

- It would be nice to test some Windows 7/8 ARM demonstrations. Microsoft can do a good job porting all the apps and fixing up all the necessary drivers. Let’s see what they have! It would be a nice surprise, but I don’t expect Microsoft to precipitate things too fast.

- Motorola releases Atrix 4G and Xoom by the show start. First Tegra2 phone that does it all and first Honeycomb tablet, so it will be fun.

- HTC releases their next generation Android phones and a tablet. It’s their replacement for Nexus One/HTC Desire/Droid Incredible. My wild guess is it could be based Qualcomm MSM8660 dual-core and include a HTC Tablet as well.

- RIM Blackberry demonstrates support for Android apps on the Playbook tablet. This way, they skip the need to start a whole new app marketplace from scratch.

- HP launches WebOS devices. Let’s see what it can do. I think HP will probably have to use Android though eventually. Hey, competition is always nice, but sometimes when a good open-source platform is free, everyone can just as well contribute to that same ecosystem and if anyone thinks they can make things better, they can fork it or demand the improvements implemented at the level of the Open Handset Alliance. HP did a beautiful ARM Powered laptop before in Compaq Airlife, I’d like to see them upgrade that with Qualcomm MSM8660 Dual-core platform and Honeycomb software.

- I’ll be looking for any demonstrations of platforms such as the Broadcom BCM2157 to enable cheaper Android phones. Sub-$100, how soon, how good.

What do you expect from Mobile World Congress? What would you like me to film in priority? Which questions should I ask to what companies? You can send me tips (with product names, booth numbers or private hotel meeting rooms) on what I should film at MWC to my email: charbax@gmail.com Do you agree or disagree with any of my expectations? You are welcome to post here in the comments.

When you see me post a very interesting original video post from Mobile World Congress, that it looks like I have the best video on something or an exclusive view on something that you think is really cool, I would appreciate if you would help me suggest the link to other blogs (blogs usually have “Send us tips” links), as all bloggers are welcome to use any of my videos embedded in their posts if they also quote the post for that video on ARMdevices.net as the source. Thanks for watching, subscribing, commenting, rating and helping!

The City of Geneva welcomes Lift Conference and installs Fiber Internet

Posted by – February 12, 2011

The Lift Conference has been going on in Geneva every year since 2006, with web industry people meeting up for 3 days of talks, workshops and networking. The City of Geneva is happy to host this conference, here they also talk about their efforts in installing fiber internet and free wi-fi hotspots all over the city of Geneva to make the city more competitive.

You can watch the many hours of Lift11 presentations with slideshows at https://liftconference.com/videos

Post Tenebras Lab hacker space at Lift11 Geneva

Posted by – February 12, 2011

Post Tenebras Lab use microcontrollers, screens, sensors, motors, leds, special materials and open source software to hack stuff together.

$99 Android phones by ZTE

Posted by – February 12, 2011

Chinese manufacturers ZTE and Huawei are bringing cheap Android phones to the market. Those cheap Android phones can for example be bought for below £100 in the UK on Orange’s pre-paid plan today. US carriers such as Virgin-Mobile, Cricket, MetroPCS are also bringing these types of cheap Android phones to the US market on pre-paid plans, no contracts needed. This video features the upcoming cheap Android phones ZTE Racer+, ZTE Blade, ZTE P735E (with sliding keyboard), ZTE V852 Dreamer and ZTE V881.

This is exactly how Android has now become the number 1 fastest selling smartphone platform in the world. You thought Android’s 888% market share progress in 2010 was impressive? You haven’t seen nothing yet, as these types of sub-$100 Android phones are bringing Android smartphones to everyone else in the world who hasn’t got one yet. 1 Billion people in China, 1 Billion people in India, all those people are going to have access to the best of Android at more and more affordable prices.

Consumers in Europe and the USA are also going to buy these cheap phones in greater numbers even than the established $500 phones (unsubsidized), as consumers in Europe and the USA choose pre-paid plans for smartphones more and more.

Hacking away with Android pt 7 – February 2011 overview on what you can- and can not do with Android (devices)

Posted by – February 11, 2011


“Hacking away with Android” on Beyond The Keyboard takes a look at Android tablets, what they can do, what they are not yet capable of and what they should do in their opinion.
It has several nice and colorful graphics to compare and show the positioning, differences, gaps, possibilities and shortcomings of tablets in general and tablets compared with each other.

One of the “problems” with Android identified is the lack of hardware drivers for printers and scanners and the lack of support for multiple external drives.

Tablets brands compared are: Archos, Dell, Samsung and Creative. The iPad 1 is – due to its impact on the tablet market – added as a reference.

Samsung Orion “Exynos 4210″ ARM Cortex-A9 in production next month

Posted by – February 11, 2011

After the Samsung Hummingbird ARM Cortex-A8 last year, here comes the Samsung Exynos 4210 ARM Cortex-A9 1Ghz Dual-core (previously code-named “Orion“). The Exynos 4210 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-core processor is scheduled for production next month.

Production starting next month, it’s got to mean Samsung must be using their new Exynos 4210 as pre-production samples in the prototypes of Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Tab2 that Samsung is likely to be showcasing at Mobile World Congress this Sunday at their press conference and at their MWC booth next week?

Exynos 4210 uses ARM Mali-400 graphics for console like performance in your pocket, it can playback 1080p@60fps or 1080p@30fps@3D, more awesome stuff like that.

Here’s the press release:

SEOUL–(Korea Newswire) February 11, 2011 — Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced a new brand name for its application processor family. Exynos will be applied to Samsung’s application processors, which are designed to power mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

“Application processors for the mobile market are one of the flagship products in our semiconductor business,” said Seh-Woong Jeong, executive vice president of marketing, System LSI Division, Samsung Electronics. “We are excited to introduce the brand name of Exynos for Samsung’s application processor family. As consumers demand more from their mobile products, Samsung’s Exynos chips will be the power inside enabling the coolest HD multi-media features with even longer battery life.”

Exynos associates Samsung’s “smart and green” strategy adopted by its semiconductor devices and solutions developed specifically to support the stringent performance and power requirements of mobile devices. Smart refers to high-performance aspect and Green represents low power features of Samsung’s application processors. Exynos originates from the Greek words smart (exypnos) and green (prasinos).

The new naming system will be first applied to the dual core processor codenamed Orion, which was announced in September 2010. Carrying the name Exynos 4210, Samsung’s powerful 1GHz dual-core application processor is scheduled for production next month.

Google TV seeks FCC regulation to start a WebTV revolution

Posted by – February 10, 2011

Google may or may not soon be allowed to add Hulu Plus to its Google TV boxes, which may provide the Google TV boxes access to most of the TV shows and other content that currently is being blocked on Google TV by US TV Networks such as Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC and Viacom. Why would they want to block Google TV? Cause it’s the trojan horse that disrupts TV from within, once consumers are only one click away from any YouTube video, only one click away from all VOD, legal or illegal, once this is easy to use and available for all in a sub-$100 cheap ARM Powered Google TV box, this is when those 5-hours per day people watch TV start spending more and more of that time watching content that is not owned or controlled by these networks.

At the same time, something awesome is going on with Google and Sony vs Cable Networks and the Movie industry at the FCC. Arstechnica published this awesome article explaining how Google and Sony are supporting an FCC regulation called the AllVid system.

The trade association is trying to set limits on how easy it will be for devices like Google TV to access pay TV content and reassemble it into something that will reconfigure both television and the Internet.

That’s at the heart of the FCC’s proposal for an AllVid system, which Google very loudly supports. AllVid doesn’t exist yet, but the idea is to mandate an industry-wide gadget that you could plug into your broadband router and connect to your cable TV provider, then watch online video and pay channels through a variety of AllVid-friendly devices. Not surprisingly, Google and Sony love this idea, because it could transform the Google TV from just a neat product into a revolution.

Big cable hates the proposal, because that revolution could leave multi-video program distributors (MVPDs), if not in the dust, at least working in a far more competitive video environment.

Basically, what this could mean, is that content would be separated from technology. Content owners won’t be able to make exclusive streaming partnerships with one set-top-box maker and not be available on the other. What this means, is that Hulu and Netflix must be available on all devices and that there will be a standard user interface to access all those on-demand and streaming contents.

This probably also means that all of those TV Networks in the USA who are streaming their TV shows for free using ads from their websites, would have to provide all that content to all devices through standardized user interfaces. None of these content providers can choose to block any device from accessing any content, and the advertising and pay-per-view models will thus be standardized.

Big cable insists that the metadata used to create on-screen program guides is copyrighted. The Motion Picture Association of America protests that the AllVid idea would put studio content painfully close to sites like The Pirate Bay.

Program guides should not be copyrighted, that is ridiculous. Anyone should be allowed to list what is going to be on TV at any given time. And anyone should be allowed to list movie titles, directors, actors, plot and even display a poster for each of those contents.

The MPAA is correct, this will mean that pirated content will also just be one click away, but that will force content owners to allow for seamless access to all the contents either for free with ads or at very reasonable cost as pay-per-view. And this will also enable the next step for Government regulation, that is to standardize the all-you-can-eat subscription model so that one Global Licence cover the legal and free access to all contents.

Broadcom announces ARM Cortex-A9 to be shown at MWC

Posted by – February 10, 2011

Here’s the press release:

The new BCM28150 HSPA+ baseband integrates a Broadcom® Merlyn™ applications processor with the latest VideoCore® IV mobile multimedia/graphics technology. This new baseband offers customers one of the highest performance, smallest footprint size and lowest power smartphone solutions available for Android™ and other open operating systems.

Broadcom’s new Merlyn applications processor technology is integrated into the BCM28150.  Merlyn processors combine ARM Cortex A9 class processors with Broadcom’s high performance low latency bus architecture and world class multimedia to create a scalable processing engine for all future Broadcom basebands targeted at smartphone applications.

The accompanying reference platform includes the 40 nanometer (40nm) BCM28150 HSPA+ system-on-a-chip (SoC) smartphone processer, the BCM2091 radio frequency IC, the BCM59056 advanced power management unit (PMU) with charger and audio support, and a full complement of Broadcom’s world-class connectivity technologies. Broadcom will be demonstrating its newBCM28150 smartphone processor reference design at next week’s 2011 Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Spain, fromFebruary 14th through February 17th.

Highlights/Key Facts:

  • The BCM28150 HSPA+ baseband processor integrates the Broadcom Merlyn applications processor technology, providing an optimal combination of high performance and low power applications and multimedia processing power for smartphones. Key features of the BCM28150 SoC include:
    • Dual ARM Cortex™ A9 cores at 1.1 GHz frequencies that incorporate the ARM Neon™ 128-bit SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) engine, which is vitally important for delivering flexible, powerful acceleration and low power operation for consumer multimedia applications such as Adobe® Flash®.
    • An integrated HSPA+ release 8 category 14 modem that supports 21 Megabits per second (Mbps) of downstream connectivity, as well as Class 33 EDGE support for greater flexibility and worldwide roaming.
    • Broadcom’s industry-leading VideoCore IV with vector processing unit (VPU) offering a ‘third processing core’ for offloading MHz from the Cortex A9 cores, reducing power consumption while improving the Android user interface experience.VideoCore‘s high performance graphics engine supports powerful shaders and over 1Gpx/s fill rates and can render 3D mobile games natively at up to 1080p resolution at high frame rates which, in combination with a HDMI output, allows a console-quality gaming experience on large screen HDTVs.
    • Advanced imaging with support for 20Mpx sensors and multiple camera inputs for stereoscopic (3D) capture and gesture recognition with advanced ISP feature support (red eye, face tracking, smile detection, etc.).
    • A small 12×12 PoP memory package.
  • The BCM21850 baseband reference platform has been tailored to deliver the most advanced smartphone features along with built-in HSPA+ connectivity, enabled entirely with Broadcom silicon to ensure the highest level of integration and seamless functionality across its various components.
    • Installed with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and support for popular audio and video codecs, including VP8 and Vorbis audio for support of HTML5.
    • Other platform features include:
      • 4.3-inch WVGA TFT LCD with capacitive touch screen
      • 1080p30 camcorder using Broadcom’s integrated ISP
      • Simultaneous LCD and 1080p60 HDMI output with 3D graphics
      • High quality 3D gaming and graphics at 1Gpx/s
      • Blu-ray-quality 1080p60 video playback at very low power levels
      • 12 megapixel camera imaging (up to 20Mpx)
      • Release 8 Category 14 (21 Mbps) HSPA+ modem support
  • The reference platform also incorporates Broadcom’s industry-leading wireless connectivity technology:
    • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, and other connectivity options are pre-integrated into the platform, enabling OEMs to efficiently add best-in-class wireless technologies and expanded functionality for next generation smartphones.
      • BCM4329 for best-in-class integrated Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and FM technologies
      • BCM47511 GPS transceiver with integrated support for GLONASS, providing a high-performance solution with access to the widest possible constellation of satellites for improved location performance
  • Broadcom’s InConcert® co-existence technology is also featured within the Merlyn platform, applying interference mitigation techniques to make Broadcom’s leading wireless technologies work better together and with less interference.
  • Motorola Atrix 4G to cost $3220 on AT&T ?

    Posted by – February 10, 2011

    So the first reviews of this awesome “Best of CES 2011” device are reaching some blogs today including slashgear, bgr, crunchgear, engadget.

    The talk on the blogosphere and on blogs.forbes.com is that the Motorola Atrix 4G will be $199 alone on 2-year contract, or $499 with the Laptop Dock on 2-year contract. I’m not sure what the Multimedia/Desktop Dock will cost, my guess is $199? (if someone knows the price of the multimedia/desktop dock, please post in the comments).

    Notice, as most phones sold in the USA, consumers have to signup for a 2-year contract. I always think all blogs should make it a rule that all prices should include minimum and maximum pricing both unlocked, terminated (with early termination fees) and with those 2-year contracts.

    AT&T 2-year contracts seem to cost approximately like this:

    - $85 per month for 400 minutes of voice,
    - $95 per month for 900 minutes of voice,
    - $105 per month for Unlimited minutes of voice
    with 2GB data and WiFi hotspot support. That’s between $2040 and $2520 for 2 years.

    Total price of Motorola Atrix 4G (with both Laptop and Multimedia Docks) on AT&T for 2-years: between $2740 and $3220

    This is not really new. Telco carriers are in the business of making tons of cash and money. This is business as usual.

    Yet, as AT&T is making so many tons of money on the 2-year contract, I don’t exactly understand why AT&T doesn’t just give the Motorola Atrix 4G with both docking accessories at a more affordable price than something like this $700 upfront payment.

    I mean, comon AT&T. Don’t you want to have some price competitive Android super phone options to destroy the iPhone now that your exclusive distribution deal with Apple is finished?

    I’d hardly even consider the Motorola Atrix 4G for $499 with both Docks when the whole thing would be sold unlocked. I may be looking at a package for something like $1000 if I want it unlocked.

    Anyways, it’s for sure Motorola still deserves “Best of CES 2011” award, no matter the pricing. Just because they are courageous enough to push the industry forward in terms of all-in-one ARM Powered device. It is understandable that Motorola wants to take ample profit margins on the accessories and not sell the laptop dock for $150 and TV dock for below $100 as they are supposed to. But for AT&T, well, it’s up to them. How fast do they want to sell these devices in the USA? If AT&T would sell the phone $199 on contract, and provide the accessories for $150 for laptop dock and $100 for tv/desktop dock, then they would have something really powerful to outsell the iPhone quickly and quickly get mass adoption. One can hope AT&T and the other carriers around the world who are looking into selling the Motorola Atrix 4G, that they all think hard about pricing, and that they bring the device with accessories to as many people as possible at some reasonable pricing.

    Instrument using accelerometers and gyro by nodesignlabs ircam at Lift11 Geneva

    Posted by – February 9, 2011

    This team from the Research Institute for Acoustic Coordination and Music at Centre Pompidou is working on real-time musical instruments demonstrating the use of accelerometers and gyros to trigger sound and new ways to create music. This could be used by a DJ or musician in live show or concert. It could potentially be triggered directly with the accelerometer, gyro and other sensors inside of a smartphone. Find more information at nodesign.net and http://www.ircam.fr