New iPod Touch’s A8 CPU running at 1.1GHz, includes 1GB of RAM | Ars Technica

New iPod Touch’s A8 CPU running at 1.1GHz, includes 1GB of RAM | Ars Technica.

Apple’s 5th generation iPod Touch is certainly a very nice upgrade since it has been 3 years since the last update. The CPU has been upgraded from A5 to A8 and it should represent a significant improvement in the overall speed of the ipod Touch.

The most interesting part about the new ipod is that Apple has chosen to slow down the A8’s to 1.1 GHz to keep the ipod cool and running longer. Why not ship with an A7?

Anyway, I wonder if this new Ipod Touch will entice consumers to pay $299 for the 32 GB model?

China’s SMIC and Qualcomm 28-nm Deal

The collaboration between China’s SMIC and Qualcomm to manufacture 28-nm wafers in China is a big win for the Chinese foundry. Qualcomm is offering support to SMIC so that it could manufacture Snapdragon processors on 28-nm nodes.

SMIC is not new to Qualcomm as it has previously supported Qualcomm on power management, wireless and connectivity products at various process nodes. This strategic move brings the two companies closer, and allows SMIC to manufacture 3DIC as well as RF front-end ICs in addition to the Snapdragon products.

The supply constraints of 28 nm process at TSMC is sending companies like Mediatek and Qualcomm scrambling to secure capacities at SMIC, UMC and Globalfoundries.

In addition to the collaboration with SMIC, Qualcomm is also working with Samsung and Globalfoundries on 14 nm process, which is scheduled to go into production in early 2015.

On the acquisition front, Qualcomm is also making acquistions critical to its success in the future. It announced acquisition of WIlocity to acquire 60 GHz technology (IEEE802.11ad) also known as WiGig. Looks like Qualcomm is eyeing the60 GHz Gigabit WIFI market and to get a head-start against rivals.

HP’s $99 Android Tablet

HP is trying to win consumers who want low cost tablets and offers them an Android Tablet Hp 7 Plus that costs only $99.

According to reviews, this tablet has low specs and poor battery life of only 5 hours and 30 minutes of usage.  At such rock bottom price, what can one expect?

Despite its shortcomings, it seems to be a popular tablet. It is out of stock on HP’s web site (it is the only way to get it). HP’s is certainly testing its ability to deliver low cost solutions and to compete against white box tablets from China. It may just be able to gain a foothold in this market if it can use its brand to attract cost sensitive buyers and do this at razor thin margins. Perhaps HP has figured out a way to make tablets at low cost and be profitable? Or, is it selling tablets at single digit margins via e-commerce?

 

 

‘iPad Pro’ rumored to be 12.9″.

I am wondering if there is a need for a large Tablet with screen size close to 13″. One of the issue with tablets is that as the size gets larger, it becomes a lot more difficult to carry it around everywhere you go.

Macbook Air vs ipad pro

It is interesting to see the rumored 12.9″ iPad Pro in comparison to a 12″ Macbook Air. It is increasingly difficult to differentiate a ultraportable PC with a larger tablet. Only difference is that the ultraportable PC has a keyboard and track pad. Maybe there are more ports on an Ultraportable PC, like HDMI, USB 3.0 or display port. Another difference maybe integrated 4G radio on the large tablet making it a lot more convenient to access the Internet anywhere 4G is available.

I wonder if road warriors will ditch the Ultra-portable PC in favor of a larger tablet. Most certainly, if the tablet can run all the applications that its PC counterpart, then, perhaps it is possible. The real question then becomes, why wouldn’t anyone do that? Is the Ultraportable PC really more powerful? Is it because it supports SSD with 256 GB of storage?

The Ultraportable is viewed as a necessity as a productivity tool but not a larger tablet PC? I guess consumers just view the tablet as something that they use after work? Like browsing the web or checking personal emails or playing games?

Read the article on MacRumer to get an idea of the size of the giant ipad vs a 13″ Macbook pro.

Alleged ‘iPad Pro’ Model Shows What the Giant Tablet Might Look Like In-Hand – Mac Rumors.

“Wrist communicator” from Rufus Cuff

rufus-cuff-wrist-communicatorThe market for wearables has been slow to take off. Lots of smartwatches and fitness bands but nothing really that exciting.

I came across the Rufus Cuff “Wrist Communicator” which is somewhat interesting. It reminds me of “that thing that is on my wrist” worn by Leena in Futurama. It was also referred to as “Lojackimator” in one of the Futurama episodes.

One thing for sure, the “Wrist communicator” is not for everyone. It is a big enough to make it a little too geeky for most people. Despite its ability to run full Android apps, it does not replace your cell phone. It has to be tethered to your cell phone to be able to send SMS messages or answer the phone. It is unlike the Neptune Pine, which is a full fledge phone on a wrist. It does not support a color display, so it is limited in what it can do.

In any event, I question the viability of a full fledge wearable cell phone. The bulkiness and awkwardness is unlikely to appear to most people. How does one type on the phone when you are wearing it? Take it off? If so, that is exactly what the regular cell phone does. How about battery life of a device that sport a 3″ display?

 

Don’t call it a smartwatch: This enormous “wrist communicator” runs full-blown Android.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Teardown

Samsung Galaxy S5 Teardown.

I really like the teardown of Samsung Galaxy S5 posted on teardown.com. The comparison table of S4 vs S5 shows the improvements made to the flagship Galaxy phone. A slightly bigger screen 5.1″, better battery 2800 mAh, higher resolution camera 16 MP and most importantly, upgraded mobile processor. The BOM cost edged up from $192.61 to $206.44. Also new is a fingerprint scanner which uses Synaptics VAL0048A8-T chip.

There is also a picture showing the S5 partially submerged in water. So, there is a certain level of waterproof protection added to the S5. Another interesting thing mentioned by one of the teardown reports is that Samsung has completely reconfigured the inside of the phone making it difficult to open but easier to repair.