Employees en route to improve efficiency, cost-effectiveness of manufacturing
Chip manufacturer Freescale Semiconductor revealed today that 20 employees, responsible for streamlining manufacturing efforts in China and Kuala Lumpur, may have perished in this weekend's disappearance of Malaysian Air's flight MH370. While less than one percent of the overall workforce, most of the 20 were high-level engineers with "a lot of experience and technical background," according to a company spokesman.
Intel widens chip share lead despite ARM rush
Intel has managed to not only hold on to but widen its lead as the world's largest chip designer in the past year, iSuppli determined Monday. By revenue, Intel had seen its revenue in 2011 go up over 20 percent to $48.7 billion dollars despite the effect of the iPad and other tablets. ARM's champion, Samsung, had moved just over half a point to $28.6 billion.
Toshiba LT170 tablet due in Italy this month
Toshiba has launched its LT170 budget Android tablet in Italy, with the specs shared by NotebookItalia. It uses a 1GHz Freescale CPU, 512MB of RAM, and 8GB of integrated storage space. For expansion, there is a microSD card slot.
ARM shows world's most efficient microprocessor
Computer chipmaker ARM on Tuesday claimed that its new Cortex-M0+ processor is the world's most energy-efficient microprocessor. The 32-bit chip is said to consume just nine microamps for every 1MHz on its 90-nanometer, low-power architecture. This is about a third of the energy of any 8- or 16-bit processor on the market, ARM said, while also outperforming them.
Toshiba BD50 color e-book reader slated for Japan
Toshiba has introduced a new seven-inch color e-book reader in Japan, the BD50. Effectively a local alternative to the Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet, the Android 2.3 slate carries a 1024x600 LCD as well as 8GB of internal storage space. A 1GHz Freescale CPU powers the device and is paired with 1GB of RAM.
ARM Cortex-A7 promises speed in sub-100 phones
ARM chose Wednesday to reveal a new mobile processor design that could make possible smartphones under $100 that still have real performance. Cortex-A7 MPCore borrows some of the optimizations from the A15 and rolls them into a budget design. Although it's a fifth the size of the older Cortex-A8 at 0.5mm square and five times more power efficient, speed is "significantly greater" and closer to that of a higher-end $500 phone, ARM argued.
Haier shows HaiPad with phone functionality
China's Haier has unveiled a new so-called smartphone tablet with the HaiPad. The seven-inch tablet will indeed have the ability to make phone calls and is powered by Android 2.2, though customized by DianXin. An 800MHz Freescale iMX515 A8 processor powers the tablet, which has both 3G and Wi-Fi.
Integrate processor with EPD/KCD controllers
Freescale Semiconductor has expanded its iMX50 family of applications processors. The three new products, the iMX502, iMX503 and iMX507 offer ARM Cortex-A8 800MHZ cores with integrated LCD controllers. The iMX507 adds an integrated Electronic Paper Display (EPD) hardware-based display controller. The combination of processor and controller is well suited for uses such as e-readers as well as outdoor signs and even smart labels.
Extent of rights unknown
Apple has acquired rights to over 200 patents and patent applications from Freescale Semiconductor, a report notes. Although assignment of the patents dates back to April 11th, it was only recorded on May 18th, and more recently discovered. Freescale was originally a division of Motorola, dating back to 1949, which also makes it one of the oldest semiconductor makers in the world. Motorola divested itself of Freescale in 2003.
About 76 tablets and e-readers shipped at CES
An unofficial tracker from Shawn Dubrovac has revealed the sheer extent to which companies leapt on the tablet market following the early success of the iPad. The list shows at least 100 tablets and crossover e-readers having shipped, including not just major entries such as the BlackBerry PlayBook and Motorola Xoom but also relative newcomers such as Enspert's Identity Tab line and Notion Ink Adam. The list factors in 24 generic tablets at Freescale's booth.
Plans replace IR tech newer RF technology
Freescale and RealD have teamed to develop a new RF technology for active shutter 3D glasses. The jointly developed solution uses Freescale’s RF4CE platform for the over-the-air 3D synchronization combined with advanced lens switching, filtering and optical technology from RealD, resulting in an enhanced 3D TV active eyewear solution. Freescale’s MC1323x System on a Chip (SoC) powers the new platform.
Story HD first product of LG/iRiver collaboration
The first product of the partnership between iRiver and LG Display has been announced at CES. At 768x1024, the display of the Story HD eBook is said to be an ebook reader with the highest resolution 6-inch display. . The Story HD also gets Freescale's i.MX508 processor with integrated Wi-Fi. The device sports the Easy Wi-Fi Network feature that will automatically access any open or subscribed Wi-Fi hotspots without having to log in.
Freescale i.MX 6 brings quad-core ARM Cortex-A9
Freescale today previewed its new processor architecture for smartphones and tablets. The i.MX 6 design can use one, two or four cores running ARM's latest Cortex-A9 architecture at speeds of up to 1.2GHz. At such speeds, it can not only power 1080p playback, even at 60 frames per second, but record it at 30 frames per second or play back 3D video while still keeping HD level output.
Linaro to make Linux tablets, handhelds sooner
Key electronics producers today formed a new coalition to boost the creation of Linux-based devices. Linaro's partners ARM, Freescale, IBM, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments are all providing software and tools to help bring out open-source tablets, and other devices, easier and sooner. The help won't be limited to pure Linux and will include Android, MeeGo, webOS and other variants that are mostly open.
Freescale shows reference tablet with Chromium OS
Freescale is again showing off its reference 7-inch tablet that is expected to come in at under $200, this time running on the Google's Chromium OS. The proof-of-concepts were demonstrated by Freescale's product manager of Software Development, and run on the company's i.MX51 chips. The video demonstration shows that the Chromium OS-powered tablets support hardware acceleration of HTML5-based videos.
Freescale iMX508 will make readers cheap, fast
Freescale used CeBIT to unveil a new processor that it hopes will up-end the e-book reader business. The i.MX508 is the first chip tailor-made for the e-paper devices and cuts out features that aren't needed for the usually grayscale, non-video devices and also builds in its own E Ink controller. Without the unneeded overhead, an e-book reader should cost about $30 less on average and could drop to a total price as low as $150.
Lumigon Android phones get 720p video, 800MHz CPU
Previously unknown Danish phone maker Lumigon on Monday introduced three new handsets at Mobile World Congress on Monday, two of which will run on the Android 2.1 operating system. The S1 and T1 will otherwise share a Freescale processor, an FM tuner, the ability to output 720p HD video over an HDMI output and can double as universal remotes for home theater equipment. Details and photos of the third handset, to be called the E1, are scarce, but it is said to get a unique navigation system and shape.
Most Android phones shut out
Adobe today provided a disappointment for some Android users as it revealed that Flash 10.1 will only be available for phones running Android 2.1 or later. Showing it off in a demo (viewable below), the developer new OS is necessary due to certain software-level access but effectively shuts out the majority of Android phones, most of which are either waiting for upgrades or are unlikely to ever receive the upgrade. Only the Motorola Droid and Nexus One so far carry 2.1.
Freescale tablet concept dips below $200
Freescale today staked its ground by unveiling a reference tablet design ahead of Apple. The touchscreen-only smartbook would have a 7-inch display and use either Android or an optimized Linux build for its interface. It would reportedly be fast and use the company's i.MX515, which would not only give it all the speed of ARM Cortex-A8 processors like those in the iPhone 3GS but also HD video decoding.
Pegatron demos 10-inch smartbook with Ubuntu
A 10-inch smartbook from Pegatron was spotted at the Connected Community Technical Symposium on Friday. It runs on Linux Ubuntu and is powered by an ARM processor, though other details are scarce. The sighting comes just one day after Pegatron GM Chou Biao Sheng said the company will bring out a smartbook in the first quarter of 2010, priced at less than $200.
Qualcomm banned from using brand in Germany
German computer maker Smartbook AG has continued to threaten companies, including EE Times, that have been using the term "smartbook." The manufacturer recently sought a restraining order against the chip maker Qualcomm. Although Qualcommm and other companies, such as Freescale, use the term smartbook as a generic reference to portable Internet-ready devices that fall between the typical classifications for netbooks and smartphones, Smartbook AG has argued that it owns the sole rights to the trademark.
Sharp intros NetWalker
Sharp Japan today launched a new entry into ultra mobile PCs with the PC-Z1, otherwise known as the NetWalker. Unlike most UMPCs that are based on either Windows or custom Linux versions, the PC-Z1 uses Ubuntu Linux 9.04 as its platform. Processing is handled by Freescale's i.MX515 800MHz CPU, there is 512MB of RAM and just 4GB of internal memory, though a microSDHC memory card slot lets users expand it by another 16GB. Users interact through a 5-inch, 1024x600 resolution touchscreen and the device is also light at under 1lb. The very small form factor makes the device ultra-portable, while a built-in Wi-Fi connection lets them access the Internet from these remote locations.
Acer Android netbook a go
Despite a recent report to the contrary, Acer is still on track to deliver a promised Android powered netbook PC later this summer, according to a representative at the company. The announcement was made after reports of a delay emerged, and the Aspire One-series netbook will sport a 10-inch screen along with an Intel Atom CPU. Thus far, Acer's Aspire One runs on Windows XP, but a prototype device on display recently contained both operating systems. Acer executives said the production version will only have Android.
Android netbooks coming?
The Android platform for mobile phones, developed by Google, may soon be used in netbooks, with HP confirming interest and ASUS and Dell rumored to be developing devices as well, says the Wall Street Journal. HP says its engineers are testing the technology, but the decision has not yet been made to go ahead with the plan. The free open-source software could drop the prices of netbooks, which are entry-level devices with low margins that make ultra-low price points hard to achieve. Taiwan's ASUS has said it is considering Android-powered netbooks; Dell may be more likely to develop Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) with the software, but neither company has elaborated on statements.
ARM-based netbooks coming
Qualcomm and Freescale, who build ARM-based platforms, are expected to demonstrate netbooks using their products at the Computex Taipei expo in June, DigiTimes reported on Thursday, citing sources at netbook makers. The show will reportedly see the debut of a Pegatron netbook running on Freescale's i.MX51 CPU on ARM's Coretex A8 mainboard as well as a Wistron model with a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU.
ARM Cortex 32nm Chip
Joining in the slew of mobile introductions, ARM today demonstrated its first 32 nanometer (nm) mobile processor. Part of the Cortex series, the chip is much smaller than many existing designs and allows smaller smartphones while simultaneously increasing the speed by shortening the distance between components. The new design additionally hinges on high-K metal gate process that reduces energy leaks and prevents the chip from wasting much of its power. ARM also expects the chip to be less costly to build.
Fujitsu Built for Android
Fujitsu has revealed that it plans to push Google's Android platform deep into home electronics with a new initiative known as Services Built for Android. The program will see the Japanese company offer its consulting, engineering and other expertise to help run the open-source mobile OS on embedded hardware. This could include media devices like portable media players as well as cellphones, GPS devices, set-top boxes and even thin-client PCs, according to Fujitsu.
Freescale Netbook ARM CPU
Freescale began its year today by introducing a new i.MX chip it hopes will gain a foothold in netbooks. The i.MX515 is based on the same ARM architecture shared by many smartphones and set-top boxes but is tuned for the higher performance of the mini notebooks, with clock speeds ranging between 600MHz and 1GHz. It also touts rare support for DDR2 memory and an integrated OpenGL graphics core capable of both 3D as well as accelerated 2D, such as video in Adobe's Flash Lite.
Adobe Flash for ARM in 2K9
Adobe today said it would develop optimized versions of its AIR and Flash 10 apps for ARM11 and Cortex processors. The update will be part of the Open Screen Project initiative and is meant to bring both complex Internet apps as well as more advanced web video to more than desktop computers. The partnership specific to ARM includes a combination of chipmakers such as Broadcom, Freescale, NVIDIA, Samsung and Texas Instruments and should use both a newer, faster generation of ARM processors as well as OpenGL ES 2.0-capable graphics hardware to handle tasks that were previously impractical for lower-performance devices.
The Khronos Group late yesterday established a new alliance between vendors that could see standards for high performance computing such as OpenCL gain a foothold across many operating systems and hardware platforms. Called the Computer Working Group, the team includes graphics rivals 3DLabs, AMD, and NVIDIA, processor makers such as ARM, Freescale, Intel, and Qualcomm, and end product manufacturers such as Motorola and Nokia, all of whom hope to create and maintain genuinely open and royalty-free standards for using newer graphics hardware to process very demanding compute tasks.