Evidence mounting that NFC may happen
Apple is indeed planning to incorporate NFC into the iPhone 6, using chips from Dutch firm NXP Semiconductor, say sources for the Financial Times. The technology is mainly expected to be used for mobile payments and ticketing, but might enable functions in an "Internet of things" (home automation) context. Both Apple and NXP have refused to comment on the matter.
RIM faces patent lawsuit by Dutch company NXP
Dutch company NXP BV has filed a lawsuit against Canadian smartphone maker RIM for allegedly infringing on six of the company's patents. The firm is a wholly owned subsidiary of NXP semiconductors and wants compensatory and triple damages, though the numbers aren't revealed. It also seeks a stop of the sale of devices that infringe upon these patents, which include the BlackBerry Torch, Curve, and Bold, as well as the PlayBook tablet.
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.
Galaxy Nexus on Verizon changes multiple pieces
A new teardown of Verizon's edition of the Galaxy Nexus by TechRepublic has shown just how much of the phone has changed in the switches over to CDMA and LTE. It now uses a Silicon Motion dual-band chip and a companion VIA chip for its CDMA and EVDO-based 3G. The new Nexus uses a micro SIM slot for the card it needs for LTE where those on the HSPA+ version still use full-size cards.
Key can be used to find car, check diagnostics
NXP Semiconductor has unveiled a new product, labeled KeyLink Lite, that serves as a bridge between NFC-enabled vehicles and smartphones. Using short-range communication and encryption, the key securely transfers data between vehicles and mobile devices. In one possible application, the key stores GPS location data as a user exits their car. When the time comes to find the car, the user can bring the key close to their smartphone and quickly use a maps app to find the proper location.
iPhone tests using near-field tech from NXP
Apple's plans for an iPhone with near-field wireless gained solidity today as a rumor claimed that prototypes already exist. The company is reportedly testing NFC chips made by NXP Semiconductor and is already using them for mobile payment tests. TechCrunch didn't elaborate further but noted Apple could switch to Broadcom or another firm for the finished product.
Apple may adopt 5Gbps USB standard early
Apple could be one of the early computer builders to adopt USB 3.0 if a leak proves true. Those within the Taiwan electronics business claim Genesys Logic is providing test samples of USB 3.0 controllers to Apple. Publicly, Genesys has denied the talk, though DigiTimes notes that it's not uncommon for Apple to depend on many local Taiwan suppliers for its parts.
WPG Ships 2K9 iPhone Parts
Taiwan-area integrated circuit maker WPG is said today to be shipping power management chips for Apple's next-generation iPhone. The United Daily News says the part production will ramp up to where WPG will be producing "several million" chips per month. While not necessarily connected to the supposed contract, the firm is expected to boost its revenue between 5 and 10 percent in the spring and may be helped by such a deal.
2009 iPhone Supplier Leak
The companies responsible for manufacturing parts in the next major iPhone release have potentially been named by industry contacts of DigiTimes that also predict ship dates and numbers. The Taiwan-area site reinforces its previous claim that OmniVision is making a 3.2-megapixel sensor for the Apple handset's camera and now says that Largan Precision is making the rest of the imaging unit. Infineon is continuing to provide the cellular baseband (likely upgraded to 7.2Mbps 3G) as well as the GPS chipset.
ARM Cortex M0 Processor
ARM on Monday rolled out the Cortex-M0 as its smallest and most energy-efficient processor design. The 32-bit chip is as featured as the earlier Cortex-M3 but has a small enough number of circuit gates and other optimizations that it consumes just 0.085mW of energy and is estimated to have a footprint the size of a much simpler 16-bit processor. The shift lets companies make small media and communication devices that need very little energy but which still need the same complexity as other processors.
BMW and NXP Smart Key
NXP and German automaker BMW today revealed a prototype of what they claim is the first true smart car key. The pocket-sized device holds both wireless communications and a security chip that let drivers store information that can be sent to nearby devices without much risk of a security leak. Owners could pay for public transit and road tolls or have rented cars that remember a regular driver's preferred settings, NXP suggests.
NXP intros 4G mobile modem
NXP Semiconductors today announced it's set to launch the world's first 4G mobile modem, called the Nexperia Cellular System Solution PNX6910. The modem uses soft architecture to achieve claimed download speeds of 150Mbps and 50Mbps upload speeds. When it launches, it will be capable of supporting the LTE, HSPA, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS and GSM networks in mobile data devices, says NXP.