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FCC does it again, leaks new Archos generation

Posted by Charbax – July 29, 2012

Another year, another Generation of Archos tablets is leaked exclusively through blurry pictures on the FCC leaking machine. Same happened with G5 in 2007, G7 in 2009, Home Tablet in 2010, G8 in 2010 (2). Here's the Archos G10 XS (all FCC documents):


Rumored or confirmed:

TI OMAP4470 ARM Cortex-A9 processor
New Proprietary Dock for the included Keyboard Dock (maybe something else too)
Kick-stand (called Tablet Stand) is on the Keyboard Dock
Keyboard doubles as thin screen protector and seems to use a new twist function (with or without magnets) to attach and detach from the tablet.
Micro-SD, Mini-HDMI, Micro-USB (dunno if doubles as host)

Is there some kind of conspiracy? Why does the US FCC always leak Archos new devices before Archos decides to unveil those products to the press officially?

Consider some reasons why Archos Generation 10 can be very attractive to massive audiences:

- Price can start $299 for 10.1" with the included Keyboard Dock.
- That can be $200 to $300 cheaper than Microsoft Surface.
- No technical reason that Archos G10 can't also dual-boot into Chrome OS for ARM and even triple-boot into Windows 8 for ARM, Windows RT, if Microsoft simply allows Archos have a triple-boot on it (give the option to the consumer to pay for the Windows RT licence if they want to be able to triple-boot into it).
- This at $299 can be a very attractive ARM Powered Laptop/Tablet combo. Why not triple-boot Ubuntu, or Archos pick up the phone and talk with Canonical to ship it with the Ubuntu on Android app.
- This is the first TI OMAP4470 Tablet that I hear leaked and talked about. Texas Instruments dominated the market by the end of 2011, they can do it again and Archos has a long relationship with TI always shipping TI's latest most advanced processors early. Expect a wide range of smartphones and tablets other than Archos to also use OMAP4470 before the end of the year, that helps provide a foundation for good software support, such as Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean using the OMAP4460 Powered Samsung Galaxy Nexus as the reference design. That makes it easier for Archos to always stay up to date on the latest version of Android.
- OMAP4470 uses the SGX544 GPU, one of the most powerful GPUs on the market yet.
- OMAP4470 increases memory bandwidth further from OMAP4460, memory bandwidth is one of the most important functions of a powerful ARM Powered device, often more so than Ghz, number of cores and other.
- Consider this ARM Powered Laptop/Tablet combo can weight less than 500 grams. When productivity proves itself sublime on Android, Ubuntu on Android, Chrome OS dual-boot and an eventual Windows RT triple-boot, this form factor can prove itself to be one of the most demanded by consumers.

Neonode to turn OLPC Pixel Qi Laptops into Tablets

Posted by Charbax – July 27, 2012

Neonode announced today a licencing agreement with the One Laptop Per Child project, turning a new version of the OLPC XO 1.75 Marvell Armada 600 ARM Powered Laptop into a tablet. Keeping the exact same form factor, keeping the exact same readability, keeping the same screen bezel form factor but adding in there the cheap Neonode IR based touch-screen technology. One Laptop Per Child thus far have shipped over 2.5 million Pixel Qi Laptops to Children in about 50 mostly developing countries worldwide. OLPC is still the biggest deployment of Pixel Qi screens worldwide, until someone as Google, Amazon or Apple comes in and gets it mass manufactured for commercial Tablet use. To keep the best possible readability, the least possible reflections in sunlight, using Neonode's IR touch screen technology may be the best idea for the future of Tablets and Smartphones instead of capacitive.

Here's the press release:

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – July 26, 2012 – Neonode Inc., (NASDAQ:NEON), the MultiSensing touch technology company, announced today a licensing agreement with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), a non-profit organization that designs, manufactures, and distributes laptops to children worldwide, to embed Neonode’s MultiSensing™ touch technology into the next generation of OLPC’s XO-1.75 laptop, called the XO Touch. The innovative OLPC XO Touch 1.75 is a 7.5” combined laptop and tablet that has a Dual-Mode (sunlight-readable) TFT LCD display which rotates 180 degrees and folds flat over the keyboard for tablet/e-book or game mode.

Embedding the Neonode MultiSensing touch solution will allow OLPC to build a completely new type of rugged laptop-tablet that is extremely fast, cost efficient and energy saving, offering 100% visibility in bright sunlight. This is done without compromising the quality of the first-rate user experience, in full color, and with the highest resolution possible, i.e., 300 dpi. The Neonode MultiSensing technology consists of a state-of-the-art interactive touch user interface that includes gestures, multi-touch, and sweeps at an extraordinary scanning speed of 1000 Hz. Thanks to the energy efficient engineering, consuming just 2W, the XO Touch can be powered through alternative power generators like solar cells or even hand cranks. In addition, Neonode’s green engineering feature AlwaysON™, enables full gesture activated wake-up of the XO Touch when it is in sleep or off mode.

OLPC, created by faculty members from the MIT Media Lab, sells the laptops in large quantities to governments and private institutions around the world, that in turn issue them to children or schools on a basis of one laptop per child.

“We are honored to be collaborating with OLPC to produce the XO Touch, a truly pioneering and sustainable device that shows the broad versatility of our technology. This market entry confirms that our MultiSensing technology makes it possible to create a top class product that is both affordable and extremely energy saving and still has a user interface that is radical enough to satisfy the uncompromising demands of knowledge and entertainment thirsty children” says Thomas Eriksson, CEO Neonode. “Our company philosophy is to contribute to a better and happier world, and we have the opportunity to do so by supporting OLPC’s mission”

“OLPC is proud to partner with an organization that shares its appreciation for innovative and transformative technology. Neonode’s expertise in engineering and design will turn the XO Touch, which combines the best features of laptop and tablet, into a next-level innovative machine.” said Rodrigo Arboleda Halaby Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at OLPC

See how awesome Neonode's touch-screen technology looks outdoors in sunlight on a Pixel Qi tablet in this video I filmed in May 2011:

Here's my video filmed with Neonode last February:

EU makes sure full Chrome browser is on Windows RT at launch

Posted by Charbax – July 19, 2012

Reuters reports that the European Union antitrust regulators are right now making sure Windows RT ships with the Chrome Browser, Firefox, Opera and more.

the investigation will focus on charges that Microsoft allows only its own Internet Explorer browser to be installed on devices running Windows 8 on Windows RT tablets with British chipmaker ARM's chips.

The way I see it, the ARM Powered Windows RT Laptops and Tablets to be released starting October 26th should be able to run a full Chrome bowser, run most x86 applications through Remote Desktop software like Teradici PCoIP, full Microsoft Office and then of course all Metro apps which basically is the new touch-compatible applications platform for Microsoft's Windows 8 RT Tablet/Laptop hybrid system.

In theory as HTML5 improves to support full HD and 4K video editing through the cloud, as web based photo editing apps are available, using the grid to render media files is going to be much more desirable than rendering anything on the local hardware anyway. Making thus Windows RT suitable for advanced users just as well as beginners who them really don't care about x86 backwards compatibility.

Giesecke & Devrient launches SECCOS® Mobile Payment Sticker for all phones without NFC

Posted by Charbax – July 17, 2012

I think we really need to replace cash and credit cards with our smartphones as soon as possible. NFC is now being included in pretty much evey major brand Android phone released since the beginning of the year, there are still hundreds of millions of phones in the world that do not have NFC technology built-in, and some brands may still consider shipping devices without NFC. I've heard one consideration is that integrating NFC does cost some money and that the NFC antennae actually is kind of big and not too easy to integrate.

But, while it may take months or a year or so for 100% of all new phones and tablets to include NFC, here's the solution for the rest of the market to use their phones for payments and identification right now.

Stickers. Basically the sticker triggers the other device to send a message through the Internet to the identified device. Then the payment is done through the app, no need for a PIN code for payments below $25 or 25 Euros, while the bank can automatically choose to require that a pin code be typed in to approve larger payments.

The NFC is just a technology to make it easier to identify a mobile user with a fixed terminal or with another mobile user. Basically it's like a QR code but without having to aim a camera and scan a picture of it, and NFC can trigger actions on the receiving/emitting device. That triggering can thus work with simply a passive sticker on your non-NFC smartphone if the other NFC-enabled entity "simply" beams you the trigger action through the Internet. The only question I guess is how big is the Sticker, may it bother some users or are all non-NFC users going to be perfectly fine with putting such a sticker on the backs of their smartphones. The sticker may also work on the battery behind the case if that case is plastic based or metals that somehow do not interfere with the NFC signaling.

Munich, July 17, 2012 – G&D presents the first payment sticker to meet the specifications of the German banking industry. When the sticker is attached to a cell phone or smartphone, contactless payment becomes possible even if the device itself is not NFC-enabled. The SECCOS® Mobile payment sticker is certified for the MasterCard® contactless payment method PayPass™. This allows bank customers worldwide to pay bills at over 350,000 PayPass locations.

Although there are around 50 NFC-enabled smartphone models now available, the number of users is still relatively low. This has left the field open for contactless payment stickers to play an important role as a bridge technology on the road to mobile payment by cell phone.

Read the rest of the press release here: gi-de.com

brightsideofnews.com: Carriers boycot Windows Phone because of Skype, non-upgradeability and Nokia’s bad strategy

Posted by Charbax – July 14, 2012

I think carriers prefer Android mostly because it provides the most competitive hardware environment, with the best prices, the best hardware features and the best variety of components, styles, brands, choices for consumers and more. Tomi Ahonen of brightsideofnews.com writes:

The total Nokia Lumia line has been Osborned [announcement of a future product ahead of availability], not by Elop, but by Ballmer (...) by announcing no upgrade path to Windows Phone. (...) even after Nokia was brought in, today the combined market share of Windows Mobile and Windows Phone is down to 2% globally (with share still falling). (...) Ballmer says there won't be a migration path for Windows 8 either. Your existing WP7 based smartphone is an expensive paperweight: you have to buy a new smartphone to enjoy Windows 8 - the Microsoft handset partners team has shrunk to four: Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Huawei. Three of them - Samsung, HTC and Huawei do the majority of their smartphones on Android.

(The dotted line is when Elop was hired to join Nokia and here is the second part of that slide, showing what I originally used it for, to explain the madness of the Elop Microsoft strategy:)

Stephen Elop admitted to the Nokia Shareholders Meeting that carriers don't like Skype 'of course' and that some carriers have taken the step to even refuse to sell any Windows Phone based smartphones, explicitly because Microsoft owns Skype. (...)

And this was not just hitting Nokia Lumia smartphone sales, it was hitting all brands of smartphones running Windows. Elop explained further that for more than a year, Microsoft had tried to negotiate with the carriers to get some resolution about the Skype issue - with kind threats like 'Skype will come in any case' (unhelpful) and that after a year of such 'persuasion' there were exactly zero carriers who had taken Microsoft's offer. (...)

This is about Microsoft now owning the hated Skype and being able to bankroll the biggest threat to the existence of mobile operators/carriers. (...)

The Windows dream of smartphones is now dying and money thrown by Nokia into this bottomless pit is money wasted.

The solution for Nokia I think is quite simple. Simply use Android now (2). With Android, Nokia can easily increase their sales by 50x within months. The same easy and obvious solution is the one for RIM. Just use Android like everyone else! Compete with your knowledge of hardware and services and don't try to own or control the ecosystem! Don't try to build AOL when everyone else is using the web!

Kontron KTT30 Tegra3 mini-ITX motherboard announced

Posted by Charbax – July 14, 2012

No price announced yet. Here's a Tegra3 mini-ITX board.

Specs:

- ARM Cortex-A9 Quad Core 900MHz Processor with NEON Technology
- Integrated Chipset
- DRAM Up to 2 GB DDR3L memory down
- Graphics Ultra low power NVIDIA GeForce GPU with enhanced 3D capabilities; 1080p H264 MPEG-4 encoding/decoding Video Processor
- HDMI 1.4a (up to 1920x1080 pixel), 24 bit LVDS (up to 2048x1536 pixel @ 18bpp) and DSI (up to 1440x900 @ 18bpp), support for 3 independent displays
- 1x mPCIe, 1x mPCIe/mSATA, 1x mPCIe for 3G (oboard SIM socket) 2x SD card
- Target power consumption < 7W, full board
- USB 3x port USB 2.0 (2x Type A and 1x Micro (supports also device mode)
- Serial port 2x RS232 (1x 8wire RS232 port and 1x port which can be used either as cc-talk or 4wire RS232)
- Ethernet 1x 10/100/1000 Ethernet Controller
- CSI/DSI/12-bit par. Camara input, Bootable eMMC
- Mass Storage 2x SD Card, 1x eMMC ( Bootable), 1x SATA 2.0
- Sound Line in/out/mic, S/PDIF in/out (electrical)
- Operating temp. 0°C to 60°C

Find more information: kontron.com
Found via: blogeee.net

E Ink/Hydis and Sharp announce cross-licensing agreement for LCD manufacturing

Posted by Charbax – July 14, 2012

My guess is maybe they plan to combine Sharp's Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO) with Hydis's Advanced Fringe Field Switching (AFFS) for LCD screen manufacturing. The cross-licensing agreement lasts 10 years from now.

Here's the press release:

July 12, 2012, Hsinchu, Taiwan – E Ink® Holdings (8069.TW), the leading developer
and  marketer  of  electronic  paper  display  technologies and  FFS  LCD  technologies,
today  announced  that  the  company and  its South  Korean  subsidiary  Hydis
Technologies,  have  each signed  a  patent  cross‐licensing  agreement  for  TFT  LCD
products with Sharp Corporation of Japan.

Under the  terms of each Agreement, which will be in effect  for  ten  (10)  years,  the
two parties will be able  to use certain proprietary  technologies of  the other in the
manufacturing of LCDs.   The agreements make provision for the payment of patent
licensing royalty.  In addition, during the effective period of the Agreements, the two
sides  will  maintain  patent  peace  to  exempt  each  Company and  their customers'
operations  from patent  interference  and  allow each  of  the  parties  to  focus  on
business development.

Hydis’ Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology is currently used in LCD‐based tablet
PCs, smart  phones,  and  other  high‐end  handheld  devices.    LCDs  using  FFS
technology provide users with a wide viewing angle, high contrast, high‐resolution
display with  the  benefit  of  lower  power  consumption and  is  superior  to  other
similar wide  viewing  angle  technologies in  the market.   Hydis FFS  technology has
been  licensed  to  other prominent LCD  manufacturers  in  the  past,  and  these new
agreements will continue to broaden the use of the technology.  Future applications
of the FFS technology include notebook computers and television, markets in which
the potential growth for utilizing Hydis’ FFS technology remain huge.

“We  are  very  excited  about  these agreements with  Sharp,”  stated  Scott  Liu,
Chairman  of  E  Ink  Holdings.    “FFS  technology  can  greatly  enhance  a  user’s  LCD
experience,  and licensing  to  other leading  LCD makers will  allow  us  to  reach  new
markets and customers.”

$129 Exynos4412 Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 development board!

Posted by Charbax – July 12, 2012

HardKernel presents their new ODROID-X, it's a quite affordable open mobile development platform based on Exynos4412 ARM Cortex-A9 Quad Core (same as in the Samsung Galaxy S3) which shows PC-like performance.

Specs:

* Low-cost mobile software development platform
* Quad core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore
* 6 x High speed USB2.0 Host port
* 10/100Mbps Ethernet with RJ-45 LAN Jack
* Audio codec with headphone jack and microphone jack
* Android 4.0.4 ICS

HardKernel pretty much is the official/unofficial Samsung Exynos/Hummingbird development kit maker out of South Korea. You can watch my previous videos when they launched the ODROID-A Exynos4210 Tablet Development Kit in March 2011, the ODROID-T in June 2011 and when they launched the original ODROID gaming development device in March 2010.

I guess you can consider this a bit like the official Exynos4412 development board, the Exynos4412 is one of the most powerful ARM platforms on the market today. If there's a box, you may consider this an awesome ARM Powered desktop and set-top-box also. Can you run Jelly Bean, Ubuntu, Chromium OS and Windows RT on it? And it's a games console, see how Super Mario Kart 64 is emulated smoothly on it:

And Ubuntu:

And if you'd like it in a tablet form factor, HardKernel provides the new $850 ODROID-Q with a built-in 3G modem.

E Ink Booth Tour at SID 2012

Posted by Charbax – July 12, 2012

E Ink CMO Sri Peruvemba shows new products and concepts from E Ink and their partners, including traffic lights, crosswalks, kayak and bike computers, and various signage.

Source: E Ink's YouTube Channel

Lenovo LePhone S899t smartphone using ST-Ericsson Nova A9500 launched in China

Posted by Charbax – July 12, 2012

There's a new dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 3G TD-SCDMA Android ICS phone on the Chinese market to be sold at around $200 (1299RMB) starting mid-july on Lenovo's Chinese website and China Mobile retail stores all over China. In addition to the Nova A9500, ST-Ericsson CG2900 and CW1100 connectivity solutions were also selected by Lenovo enabling GPS, Bluetooth, FM and Wi-Fi features. Maybe the screen size is 4.5" IPS, is it a qHD resolution 4.5" IPS screen? Let me know in the comments if you know more specs about this phone.

This could be a big deal if Lenovo and China Mobile plan to mass manufacture and mass sell this dual-core phone at sub-$200 price points all over China. That can help the ST-Ericsson A9500 platform reach a good position as a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 solution for affordable Chinese Android smartphones, ready to compete with the upcoming dual-core MediaTek MT6577 platform.

Source: press release at stericsson.com