CES 2015 – Las Vegas NV
At the Consumer Electronics Show, nVidia showed off something that was interesting, but also confusing: The Tegra X1. This is a Maxwell based version of the Tegra that sports 256 Maxwell GPU cores, an 8-core 64-Bit CPU and is capable of pushing 4k 60Hz 10-Bit video in either H.265 or VP9. This new member of the Tegra family was hailed by nVidia CEO Jen-sun Huang as the first mobile superchip for its expected performance. Of course nVidia has always like to use the term “super” when talking about new products. I can remember them trying to coin the term Super Phone when Tegra 2 hit the market.
Everyone owns a mobile phone these days, it is just one of those things that you have. If you were to ask people what they like about their phone you might hear about this or that app, the display or a few other things. What you won’t hear about is the charging system or how much they love the cable they have to use. There really is not much exciting about charging a mobile device. However, there are a few companies that are trying to change all of that. One of these is Patriot. They have been working on a magnetic charging system that is intended to help make keeping your phone running easier. So let’s take a look at Patriot’s FUEL ion charging system.
One of the biggest issues with wireless is that you never really get the speeds you are promised. Right now the maximum theoretical speed you can get in consumer wireless is about 1.3Gbps. This is assuming you are running the right router and wireless adapter which means that both have to support three antenna as well as the full 802.11ac spec. To be perfectly honest with you that is not likely to happen in the real world as most wireless adapters do not support AC1300 (full 1.3Gbps). Instead you end up getting AC800-900 with the rare AC1200 popping up now and then. Even if you have both ends at AC1300 you are still not likely to see the nirvana of 1.3Gbps wireless.
On Friday the big news was that NVIDIA had launched two separate suits against Samsung and Qualcomm for patent infringement (International Trade Commission (ITC) and the US District Court in Delaware). In the suits NVIDIA claims that the two companies have willfully infringed on their patented GPU technology and (of course) they would like to start banning devices. So far the list includes the yet to be released Note 4 and Note Edge. The patents in question appear to be Patent Nos. 6198488, 6992667, 7038685, 7015913, 6697063, 7209140 and 6690372.
Apple has made a decision about the data that is stored in their borrowed HealthKit API. The decision is to ban developers from sharing any of the data that the service collects to ad agencies. This move will be in effect the day that iOS 8 and will run until Apple changes their mind. This move is actually a very good thing and does cover some concerns about the amount of personal information that mobile devices are starting to amass.
According to recent rumors it seems that TSMC and Samsung will be able to push out 14nm full node and 16nm half node FinFET products earlier than anticipated. This is certainly going to be good news for many customers of the two foundry companies including Apple and nVidia.
In the wake of the Nokia purchase Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is taking a hard look at the way Microsoft is organized and will be making some rather drastic cuts in staff. This should not come as a big surprise to anyone that has been keeping up with events at the Redmond based Windows shop. Over the last few years Microsoft has tried to transform themselves from a software giant that owns a successful gaming console department to a devices and services company that looks a lot like Apple.
New photos of the upcoming Microsoft Windows Phone device have leaked. This time the represent the new cheapest device on this mobile platform, Luma 530 which will be the successor of the famous model 520 which is currently the best selling Windows Phone device.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has proudly announced that their flagship model Mi3 has surpassed 10 million copies sold. The unit started selling in October last year and is at the moment available only in five countries: China (excluding Hong Kong), Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.
It seems that Microsoft and Google have caved to government demands for “Kill Switches” in their phones. For those of you that might wonder what a Kill Switch is, it is an embedded mechanism that can render a phone inoperable from a remote location. Through the use of simple commands you can shut down the ability to make calls, receive data etc. and in some cases these switches would automatically turn on location features to allow the phones to be tracked.