chips Stories January 27, 2016
chips Stories January 26, 2016
Sony will be acquiring an Israeli chip maker called Altair Semiconductor for $212 million, the handset maker announced in an official press release this week. Altair Semiconductor is known for its advancements with LTE (Long Term Evolution) modems. They’ve been working on making LTE chips that are faster, with lower power consumption, all while at a lower cost. This possibly means that Sony can deploy LTE technology to markets that may not have it as of yet. The acquisition is slated to be all wrapped up early by February 2016, just a few weeks away.
chips Stories January 13, 2016
Samsung announced today that they will be manufacturing Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 820 chip. In particular, the Korean company cites how the Snapdragon chips will take advantage of a new 14-nanometer process and that it will be available on devices being released during the first half of the year.
chips Stories December 29, 2015
Samsung’s new ‘Bio-Processor’ is an all-in-one chip for health wearables
Samsung makes a lot of technology on the consumer side, but it also has a semiconductor division that makes chips comparable to Qualcomm. Their new Bio-Processor is meant for health wearables and can compute numerous health data and “bio-signals” without the need for any other chips.
chips Stories November 24, 2014
Following its ritual teardown of the Google’s new HTC-made Nexus 9 tablet earlier this month, today our friends over at iFixit have torn apart Google’s new Nexus 6 smartphone made by Motorola. While the Nexus 6 scores a decent repairability score— 7 out of 10, which is on par w/ the new iPhone 6 Plus— it does have some shortcomings that you’ll want to be aware of before cracking into your phone for repairs. expand full story
chips Stories April 26, 2013
The guys and gals over at iFixit are once again performing their usual teardown ritual and this time they have gotten their hands on the just released Samsung Galaxy S4. It probably won’t be the most exciting teardown you’ve ever read, as the internal design of the device, like the outer design, hasn’t changed much since the Galaxy S3. The good news is that the S4 gets a higher 8 out of 10 score for repairability.
• Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T 1.9 GHz Quad-Core CPU • Qualcomm MDM9215M 4G GSM/UMTS/LTE modem • Qualcomm PM8917 power management • Samsung K3QF2F200E 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM • Qualcomm WCD9310 audio codec • Skyworks 77619 Power Amplifier Module for Quad-Band GSM / EDGE • Qualcomm WTR1605L Seven-Band 4G LTE chip (same part found in the Nexus 4) • Broadcom 20794S1A standalone NFC chip • Maxim MAX77803 microcontroller • Silicon Image 8240BO MHL 2.0 transmitter • Qualcomm PM8821 Power Management
Check out a full list of highlights from the teardown below and head over to iFixit to see the full teardown step by step: expand full story
chips Stories December 21, 2011
Intel has had little luck putting its chips into smartphones and tablets, as the devices continue to rely predominantly on silicon designs based around Britain’s ARM Holdings technology. Its easy to see why: ARM-licensed chips built by the likes of Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung and Texas Instruments are famous for their efficiency in terms of CPU performance versus power consumption.
Nevertheless, the world’s largest chipmaker is hoping to turn the tables with the Medfield platform: a 32-nanometer Atom processor for tablets and smartphones. Google and Intel announced a partnership at the Intel Developers Forum 2011 in San Francisco that promises to put Medfield chips in Android devices beginning January 2012.
Intel unveiled a reference design today for Android smartphones using the Medfield architecture. According to Technology Review, prototype hardware is speedier than today’s flagship smartphones without taxing the battery heavily. Medfield-driven Ice Cream Sandwich smartphones and tablets, performance-wise, should be able to play Blu-ray-rated high-definition video, stream to the tube over a wireless network, and take up to 10 8-megapixel images in burst mode. Do not mistaken the above image for an iPhone 4S, because it is just a reference prototype design meant as a guidance for OEMs looking to incorporate Intel’s chips into their products.
chips Stories November 30, 2011
Samsung is readying an improved version of the Exynos dual-core chip that will enable next year’s smartphones and tablets to pack in 3D stereoscopic displays with ultra-high resolutions, in addition to the faster graphics and speedier CPU performance. The new chip will be called the Exynos 5250, V3.co.uk reports, and will utilize the Cortex A15 architecture from fables semiconductor design firm ARM Holdings.
It should clock in 14,000 DMIPS, Samsung said, twice the number of instructions compared to the typical ARM Cortex A9-based mobile chips such as Apple’s A5 silicon powering iPad 2 and iPhone 4S or Samsung’s own commonly used dual-core 1.4GHz Exynos 4210 silicon. Samsung did not say what graphics core the 5250 uses beyond mentioning a quadruple jump in graphics performance over the Exynos 4210. The 4210 uses the pretty darn fast Mali-400 GPU from ARM sporting four cores.
Note that Samsung two months ago announced a revised version of the Exynos 4210 chip, dubbed the Exynos 4212. It sports a 1.5GHz clock speed and a dual-core Cortex A9 processing core from ARM, among other things. The Exynos 5250 should make its way into Samsung’s high-end smartphones and tablets in the second quarter of 2012, when the 5250 is expected to go into mass production.
Four times faster graphics processing will let the new Exynos 5250 chip drive tablet displays with WQXGA resolutions of up to 2,560-by-1,600 pixels. Apple too is rumored to upgrade its market-leading iPad with a QXXGA display early next year with. Production of the Retina Display for iPad 3 has already started, the rumor has it. The Cupertino, California company is said to source panels from Samsung Electronic, LG Display and Sharp.
chips Stories November 16, 2011
Qualcomm has just issued a press release announcing the commercial availability of their Gobi 4000 chips for 4G LTE and HSPA+ capable devices, variants of which could very well land in any number of forthcoming dual and quad-core LTE Android devices. Qualcomm is already working with OEMs to include the Gobi 4000 platform, which comes in both LTE/HSPA+ and LTE/EV-DO designs, in devices including Lenovo’s ThinkPad laptops, and Dell’s Latitude E6420 laptops, in addition to other Android and Windows powered mobile devices. Qualcomm explains:
Qualcomm’s latest Gobi-enabled 4G platform features the Gobi Application Programming Interface (API) with LTE extensions and is compatible with leading connectivity standards, including CDMA2000® 1xEV-DO Rev. A and B, HSPA+, dual-carrier HSPA+, and LTE with integrated backwards compatibility to HSPA and EV-DO. The Gobi 4000 platform also includes software enhancements for select MDM™ chipsets that enable a common software interface to help connect, locate and manage 3G/4G devices regardless of wireless interface and operating system.
The new chips, now shipping to OEMs through Novatel Wireless and Sierra Wireless, are based on Qualcomm’s MDM9600 and MDM 9200 3G/4G wireless modems, and as the company notes, have been specially designed for deployment in Android devices utilizing Snapdragon dual-core and quad-core processors. In addition to HSPA+, dual-carrier HSPA+, and LTE support, the Gobi 4000 platform is also backwards compatible with HSPA and EV-DO. You can expect the chip to land in a number of LTE-capable Android devices in the months to come.
Qualcomm’s senior vice president of produdct management for CDMA Technologies, Cristiano Amon, had this to say about the announcement: expand full story
chips Stories September 30, 2011
Samsung Electronics at the eighth annual Samsung Mobile Solutions Forum at the Westin Taipei Hotel yesterday unveiled an improved version of its Exynos system-on-a-chip solution for smartphones and tablets. The Exynos 4212 silicon is a successor to the 4210 processor which powers the company’s Galaxy S II smartphone. The new chip features a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processing core clocked at 1.5GHz (versus a 1.2GHz CPU core in the Exynos 4210). The Exynos 4212 will be manufactured using a 32-nanometer process so it should draw less power than its predecessor. It is also 30 percent more efficient, Samsung claims, and sports a 50 percent better graphics performance.
Unfortunately, the company wouldn’t say which graphics processor unit the new Exynos 4212 chip is utilizing. For comparison, the Exynos 4210 in the Galaxy S II smartphone packs in graphics processing unit based on the quad-core Mali-400 core from ARM Holdings, a fables chip maker from the UK. It’s the fastest GPU in any current smartphone, benchmarks show. However, the Mali-400 GPU core falls short in the triangle throughput tests, which is a major disadvantage over the iPad 2′s A5 processor that clocks nine times the graphics performance of the original iPad’s A4 chip.
chips Stories September 12, 2011
Anandtech has published some interesting findings based on their extensive Samsung Galaxy S II review. It’s the first smartphone to use the graphics processing unit based on the Mali-400 core from ARM Holdings, a fables chip maker from the UK. In fact, Samsung has engineered and manufactured its own system-on-a-chip solution for the handset.
They call it the Exynos 4210 and it combines a dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU core and the aforementioned Mali-400 GPU sporting four cores. The resulting performance, says Anandtech, is comparable to Texas Instruments OMAP 4 chip that incorporates Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX540 GPU core. However, the quad-core 1.2GHz Exynos 4210 probably won’t hold a candle to iPhone 5, which will likely carry the same dual-core processor-GPU combo as the iPad 2’s 1GHz A5 chip:
Samsung implemented a 4-core version of the Mali-400 in the 4210 and its resulting performance is staggering as you can see above. Although it’s still not as fast as the PowerVR SGX 543MP2 found in the iPad 2, it’s anywhere from 1.7 – 4x faster than anything that’s shipping in a smartphone today.
Interestingly, and per the GL Benchmark seen in the above image, the Exynos 4210 is more than twice as fast compared to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that runs Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chi. It’s also nearly four times speedier than iPhone 4’s 800 MHz A4 chip which has the PowerVT SGX535 GPU core. However, the 4210 falls short in the triangle throughput department.
The publication this this could be a big disadvantage over the iPad 2’s A5 processor that clocks nine times the graphics performance of the original iPad’s A4 chip. Triangle throughput is important in graphics-intensive games and will become key in “future games that may scale along that vector rather than simply increasing pixel shader complexity”. The video of Anandtech’s Samsung Galaxy S II review is right after the break.
Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com.