Deal should bring Synaptics back into Apple chain
Synaptics has bought out Renesas SP Drivers in a deal worth $475 million, Reuters writes. The latter is a joint venture between Renesas, Sharp, and Powerchip, and produces all of the display chips for the Apple iPhone, though it does have other clients for products like fingerprint sensors. It in fact controls 90 percent of the fingerprint sensor market, thanks to having bought out Validity last year.
Synaptics seen as leading candidate instaead
Negotations between Apple and Renesas Electronics for a potential buyout of Renesas SP Drivers have broken down, according to Reuters. As a result, Renesas is said to have shifted focus to another potential investor, Synaptics, a fellow smartphone chip supplier. Renesas SP Drivers is a joint venture with Sharp and Powerchip that develops display drivers and controllers.
Move gives Synaptics range of 'Natural ID' patents and technologies
One-time Samsung partner and fingerprint ID technology manufacturer Validity Sensors is being purchased by human interface technology company Synaptics for an offering said to be worth up to $255 million. The company will pay around $92.5 million in cash and stock, with the remainder arriving over the next "several years" in performance-based payments.
NVIDIA DirectTouch on Tegra 3 gets partners
NVIDIA just ahead of Mobile World Congress on Saturday lined up partners for its unique DirectTouch (PDF interface technology. Atmel, Cypress, N-Trig, and Synaptics will have touchscreen controllers that can use NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 to handle some of the touch input processing instead of just their own circuitry. The method not only improves the responsiveness dramatically but could lower power use by keeping just one chip active.
Synaptics to show ClearPad 2200 controller at MWC
Human interface hardware maker Synaptics has just details its ClearPad 2200 multi-touch controller meant for smartphones with touchscreens sized at under four inches. The capacitive panel will be the most responsive touchscreen in the industry, its maker promises, thanks to low latency and a high signal-to-noise ratio. It will achieve this by being the first to use Synaptics' SignalClarity tech.
Samsung Series 5 3G ChromeBook is taken apart
IFixIt has torn down the Series 5 3G ChromeBook and revealed the hardware underneath its skin. All that was required for the teardown was a spudger, a plastic opening tool and a Philips #1 screwdriver. The notebook is also slimmer than the original ChromeBook, the Google Cr-48. It also houses a more competent Atom N455 processor with 512K more of L2 cache compared to the 1.66GHz Atom N570.
Xperia Play hits Rogers pre-orders and FCC filing
Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play has edged closer to a release in the past day with two official appearances. Rogers has put up a pre-order page for both the Xperia Play and its more straightforward Xperia Arc sibling. Both of the Android 2.3 phones will cost $100 on a three-year contract.
Scrybe beta build gesture software released
Software company Synaptics on Monday released a beta version of Scrybe, or software that lets users perform gesture workflows for more efficient productivity. Part of the Synaptics Gesture Suite (SGS) 9.4, the program will let users perform more efficient gesture commands on their touchpads, including writing characters and selecting multiple items. The company's software will also allow users to personalize gesture commands for specific tasks.
Nook reader has Samsung CPU, stock Android
Barnes & Noble's Nook e-book reader has been subjected to a teardown and hack that reveals much of the bookseller's work on the device. It's now known by NookDevs that the Nook is running a stock version of Android 1.5 and is only customized primarily to mask the regular interface and optimize it for the device's unique dual-display design. Inside, it's known to use a Samsung S3C6410 ARM processor that could render OpenGL ES 2.0-level graphics and runs on a simple 2GB SanDisk microSD card.
Synaptics Fuse shows input beyond touch
Synaptics on Monday revealed a concept phone design that shows input methods beyond touchscreens. The Fuse, co-designed by TheAlloy and The Astonishing Tribe, has a multi-touch capacitive screen but also embeds grip and touch sensors on the sides that can recognize when the phone is squeezed or touched beyond its display. It would even have basic touch control from the back of the phone to provide control without blocking the screen itself.
Synaptics ClearPad 3000
Synaptics today vowed to bring itself back to prominence in touchscreens with the unveiling of the ClearPad 3000. The capacitive sensor layer is one of the first its size to support many sources at once and can recognize a full 10 fingers for pinches, rotation or other commands. It also works with touchscreens up to 8 inches across and is precise to within 1mm (0.04in), allowing genuinely accurate input. Going almost entirely without a border or thickness of its own, it's likewise seen as subtle enough to match OLEDs and other very thin displays.
Jabra GO 6400 BT headset
Phone headset maker Jabra has recently announced the upcoming release of its latest Bluetooth headset, the GO 6400-series, on which it partnered up with Synaptics. The collaboration results in the headset lacking any form of traditional buttons, relying instead on the latter's capacitive touch technology. The headset uses the touch controls for its volume adjustments and microphone muting.
Timing its launch for Computex, Synaptics has unveiled a new notebook trackpad design to close the gap between MacBooks and Windows PCs. Similar to Apple's design, the ClickPad removes discrete mouse buttons in favor of a larger unbroken surface. Users press down to click the button and get more space for multi-touch gestures, which are now a staple of the design. Pinching, scrolling and zooming are all possible with two fingers, while three fingers can either swipe or else produce an alternate click.
Nokia Multi-Touch Q3 Rumor
Nokia's recently rumored entry into multi-touch phones may come relatively quickly if a slip through Taiwan circuit designers is accurate. They reportedly tell DigiTimes that Nokia has finally settled on Synaptics to provide the circuitry driving at least one phone's touchscreen and "does not rule out" the possibility of the phone supporting multi-touch input, a first for Nokia's handsets. The product would be launched in the summer, though whether it ships at that time or is simply announced isn't apparent.
Nokia Multi-Touch Rumor
Alleged market sources tell DigiTimes today that Nokia is planning a resurgence that may hinge on multi-touch devices. The Finnish company is said to be planning several cellphones with advanced 3G as well as "multi-touch and multimedia functions" for the year that will help not only itself but the companies that make the cellular chipsets and touchscreen technology, including Qualcomm, Synaptics and Texas Instruments. Other details aren't mentioned, though the multi-touch technology doesn't apply to the N97.
iPhone rivals vs. Apple
The various iPhone rivals on sale or in development may in fact prove serious competition for Apple, writes analyst Yair Reiner of Oppenheimer. In commenting on the performance of Synaptics, a key maker of touchscreens, Reiner previously suggested that the relatively low cost of the iPhone 3G ($199) would harm Apple's competitors, and thus Synaptics' potential market. That view was "wrong," says Reiner, who has once again given the company an "outperform" rating.