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Samsung Launches 12GB Smartphone Memory Packages

Samsung just announced what it claims to be the world's highest-capacity mobile DRAM package in production. The Korean company's new LPDDR4X modules combine six 16-gigabit, "10nm-class" DRAM ICs into a package that's 1.1 millimeters tall, allowing manufacturers to stuff just as much RAM as the desktop I'm typing this on into razor-thin phones. Samsung also says the module can hit transfer rates of up to 34.1GB per second, and claims that power consumption is only minimally increased in spite of the dramatic capacity boost. Thanks to cageymaru for the tip.

Since introducing 1GB mobile DRAM in 2011, Samsung continues to drive capacity breakthroughs in the mobile DRAM market, moving from 6GB (in 2015) and 8GB (2016) to today's first 12GB LPDDR4X. From its cutting-edge memory line in Pyeongtaek, Korea, Samsung plans to more than triple the supply of its 1y-nm-based 8GB and 12GB mobile DRAM during the second half of 2019 to meet the anticipated high demand.

Posted by alphaatlas March 14, 2019 10:43 AM (CDT)

Firefox Send Is a Free File Transfer Service Featuring Encryption

Mozilla has announced Firefox Send is now available for use as a free file transfer service with built-in end-to-end encryption. Send allows users to safely and simply share files from any browser without having to worry about their private information existing in the cloud. Send will be available as an Android app in beta later this week. Users can set when their file link expires, the number of downloads, and whether to add an optional password for an extra layer of security. Send allows for fast file transfers of up to 1GB with an option to transfer 2.5GB if users sign up for a free Firefox account. Recipients only have to click a link to download the file.

We know there are several cloud sharing solutions out there, but as a continuation of our mission to bring you more private and safer choices, you can trust that your information is safe with Send. As with all Firefox apps and services, Send is Private By Design, meaning all of your files are protected and we stand by our mission to handle your data privately and securely.

Posted by cageymaru March 12, 2019 1:23 PM (CDT)

Energizer Smartphone has a 18,000 mAh Battery

While the big Android smartphone players like Samsung, Huawei, LG and others tend to dominate the headlines and the markets, occasionally, smaller companies or corporations from other markets will come out with crazy designs. Caterpillar, for example, has a lineup of rugged, steel bodied steel Android phones, and Phone Arena reports that Energizer is throwing their hat into the fray as well. At MWC, they showed off the "Energizer Power Max P18K Pop" smartphone that comes with an 18,000 mAh battery. Insane capacity aside, the phone features a 6.2 inch 2160 x 1080 display, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a MediaTek Helio P70 SoC, a relatively clean instance of Android 9, and 5 cameras, putting it on par with other upper-middle range Android handsets.

18,000 mah - this is the amount of charge this beast of a phone can hold. To put this figure into perspective, this is 4.5 times the charge capacity of a Galaxy S10+ or a Galaxy Note 9. The device can sustain a 90-hour phone call and will last 50 days in stand-by. To drain it, you'd need to play video for 2 days straight. The phone also doubles as a power bank, while a full recharge requires around 9 hours if its bundled quick charger is used. But perhaps it is now time to address the elephant in the room: this phone is humongous, reminiscent of Thor's hammer, and it barely fits in a normal pocket. It also weighs a ton and can literally be used for self defense as the frame is made of metal. We can imagine it being a great phone for long flights or trips in the wild, but we can't picture ourselves with this as our primary handset. The blue color is pretty, though... We're told that the phone is set to launch in September of this year.

Posted by alphaatlas February 26, 2019 10:59 AM (CST)

Nokia 9 PureView: The World's First Quintuple Camera Smartphone

Because one, two, three, or even four cameras isn’t enough, Nokia has announced a new PureView phone that boasts five rear sensors: "ZEISS optics on the back, two of which are RGB and the other three - monochrome." These work in unison, capturing lighting, detail, and color data to stitch a 12MP image. "According to HMD, taking a single photo results in at least 60 MP of imaging data being processed."

This is made possible with a dedicated image co-processor, which helps out with the heavy task. Every picture is HDR, can have up to 12.4 stops of dynamic range, and ends up with a full scene 12 MP depth map. Yes, this means that you will be able to use a depth editor to specifically adjust bokeh effects after the photo has already been taken. It'll even allow you to tweak colors and contrast between different depth fields. And yes, it can shoot RAW.

Posted by Megalith February 24, 2019 11:25 AM (CST)

Huawei Announces the $2,600 Foldable Mate X Smartphone: It Folds Outwards!

Samsung, hold my beer: Huawei has unveiled its own vision for the foldable smartphone, the Mate X. Unlike the Galaxy Fold, Huawei’s contraption folds out on itself: "its display wraps around the outer sides of the handset when it is in a folded state." Keeping the 8-inch, 2480 x 2200 AMOLED panel and pieces together is a patented hinge with over 100 components, the "Falcon Hinge." It also supports 5G and incorporates a 4,500mAh battery.

When unfolded, it's not one uniform slab -- it's a 5.4 mm (0.21 in) thick tablet with an 11 mm (0.43 in) bulging strip located in the rightmost part of its back. It works sort of like a handle, giving you more meat to hold on to, and also houses the phone's triple camera sensor. When it folds, the "back" display meets with the bulge to make for a uniform shape all around, giving you an 11 mm (0.43 in) thick handset.

Posted by Megalith February 24, 2019 10:30 AM (CST)

Apple Plans on Combining iPhone, iPad, Mac Apps by 2021

Things are about to get a lot easier for iDevelopers in the coming years: Apple is currently working on a new software development kit allowing coders to create a single app that works on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac (alternate source sans paywall). The initiative, dubbed "Marzipan," will be fully realized by 2021: "developers won’t have to submit their work to different Apple App Stores, allowing iOS apps to be downloaded directly from Mac computers -- effectively combining the stores."

The work coincides with the company’s preparations to merge more of the underpinnings of its hardware. Currently, iPhones and iPads are powered by Apple processors, while Macs use Intel Corp. chips. Apple plans to start transitioning some Macs to its own chips as early as 2020, Bloomberg News reported last year. Despite the app merger plan, Apple has said it won’t combine iOS and macOS into a single operating system.

Posted by Megalith February 24, 2019 10:05 AM (CST)

Samsung Unveils a Folding Smartphone

What's old is new again. While smaller manufacturers have already "launched" a new generation folding phones, and bigger ones like Xiaomi have teased folding prototypes, Samsung officially unveiled the aptly names "Galaxy Fold" at the Samsung Unpacked event yesterday. Unlike your old flip-phone, the Galaxy Fold features a flexible 7.3 inch display that takes up the phone's entire unfolded face, and it's powered by a "7nm, 64-bit processor" that has more cores and just as much RAM as the desktop I'm typing on. Some sources claim the unspecified processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, but Samsung could also follow in the footsteps of the conventional Galaxy lineup and use their home-brewed Exynos 9820 outside the U.S.

The internal screen does not merely bend. It folds. Folding is a more intuitive motion, and a more difficult innovation to deliver. Samsung invented a new polymer layer and created a display around 50 percent thinner than the typical smartphone display. The new material makes Galaxy Fold flexible and tough, built to last...No matter which way you hold-or fold-the device, a camera will be ready to capture the scene, so you never miss the moment. With six lenses-three in the back, two on the inside and one on the cover-the Galaxy Fold camera system has flexibility built in. Galaxy Fold introduces a new level of multitasking, allowing you to use other apps during a video call.

Posted by alphaatlas February 21, 2019 8:47 AM (CST)

Here's a Tutorial for Applying Liquid Metal TIM to a Laptop

Thanks to its remarkable thermal performance, liquid metal TIM is a favorite among high end desktop PC builders who aren't turned away by the somewhat daunting application process. But Overclocked Inside points out that liquid metal TIM can give laptops a huge boost as well, as their CPUs and GPUs are strongly limited by their relatively meager heatsinks and low-cost TIM. The site posted a tutorial for applying Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut to laptop CPUs and GPUs, and reportedly observed a performance jump of around 17% after applying the compound to a Dell XPS 17 notebook.

Before the application with liquid metal, the CPU reached the maximum core temperature of 100C under load after less than 1 minute on turbo clock and then only clocked at 2.2GHz and kept this clock just below the temperature limit. By default, the laptop is configured by the manufacturer for 45W continuous load and 65W short-term peak load. With these performance values, the CPU, as already mentioned, ran so hot after a few seconds that the thermal protection function had to reduce the clock frequency to the standard clock... After using the liquid metal, the full all-core turbo clock rate of 2.8GHz could now be maintained after any number of runs of the benchmark without a break in between. With a Long Term Power Target of 52W. The Short Term Power Target has also been adjusted to 52W. As a result, we now received 478 points in the Cinebench R15, which corresponds to a performance increase of more than 17% and an equally reduced computing time.

Posted by alphaatlas February 18, 2019 8:51 AM (CST)

Asus and Razer Want To Make a "Gaming" Smartphone with Tencent

A recent report from the Taiwanese news site Digitimes claims that Razer and Asustek are both in talks with the Chinese gaming giant Tencent over the release of a "gaming smartphone that supports Tencent's games." Asus's recently released ZenFone Max Pro is reportedly the last "consumer" smartphones the company will make, and that a higher end ZenFone "for power users" is expected to come mid 2019. In related news, Digitimes claims that TSMC is about to start manufacturing the 7nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processors that will likely power these higher end (and higher margin) smartphones.

Asustek and Razer both declined to comment... Asustek is set to release a new ZenFone prior to mid-2019 for power users and is also looking to form partnership with Tencent for the ROG-brand gaming smartphone, the sources said. Asustek's new ROG smartphone is expected to come with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 processor and priced at CNY5,000 (US$741) for the smartphone itself and CNY12,000 for the whole set. The smartphone's high gross margin will have a chance of helping Asustek's handset business turn profitable, the sources noted. Razer reportedly also contacted Tencent with a similar plan for its gaming Razer Phone 2, but Tencent so far has not yet made a decision on which it will cooperate with.

Posted by alphaatlas February 15, 2019 10:42 AM (CST)

The Army's Next-Generation Rifle Will Be "The iPhone of Lethality," Officials Say

Researchers with the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapon program, who have been brainstorming a replacement for the M4 carbine and M249 light machine gun, are reportedly looking to the iPhone for inspiration. Officials believe Apple found success when it focused on platform rather than bells and whistles, ultimately providing a better path for expandability. The Army’s next-generation weapons are expected to flaunt a plethora of capabilities (e.g., onboard processor hardened against cyberattacks), so they’re adopting the same philosophy.

"Imagine that Steve Jobs and his engineers were trying to convert the iPod Touch to the first 3G iPhone," said Army Col. Elliott Caggins, project manager for soldier weapons. "There were a thousand technologies they could have put in the first iPhone but they were looking to mature the platform before they could actually go onto the system. We have hundreds of capabilities we can put into this weapons system, but we want to do it by holistically creating a system that that takes advantage of everything we've done in the past," he added. "This means its capabilities will only grow, just as the iPhone's did."

Posted by Megalith February 10, 2019 1:25 PM (CST)

Apple: You Can't Sue Us for Slowing Down Your iPhones Because We're "Contractors"

Apple is in the process of defending itself from a class-action lawsuit alleging they intentionally slowed down processors with an iOS update, but desperation appears to be growing based on their legal team’s newest defense on why they shouldn’t have to pay up. In what is described as a "bizarre" argument, lawyers say Apple is essentially a building contractor: a typical job (iPhone) may involve excessive destruction (degraded hardware), but initial consent (user agreeing to updates) pardons the contractor from such liabilities.

Apple is like a building contractor you hire to redo your kitchen, the tech giant has argued in an attempt to explain why it shouldn't have to pay customers for slowing down their iPhones. Addressing a bunch of people trying to sue it for damages, the iGiant's lawyers told a California court this month: "Plaintiffs are like homeowners who have let a building contractor into their homes to upgrade their kitchens, thus giving permission for the contractor to demolish and change parts of the houses." They went on: "Any claim that the contractor caused excessive damage in the process sounds in contract, not trespass."

Posted by Megalith February 03, 2019 1:40 PM (CST)

Smartphone Manufacturers Slow Production as Global Demand Weakens

According to reports, the global smartphone market is cooling off as manufacturers slowed production in Q4 2018 and have modest goals for Q1 2019. Smartphone sales in Q4 2018 were lower-than-expected and this has led to the scaling back of production by smartphone manufacturers. "TrendForce forecasts that the global smartphone production volume for 1Q19 will come to 307 million units, showing a YoY drop of 10%." Inventory management concerns are rife throughout the industry as the manufacturers ignore the availability of cheaper components. This sentiment seems to match Apple's recent earnings call where CEO Tim Cook revealed the company's 15% decline in iPhone sales. Trendforce is predicting a significant YoY decline of nearly 26% for Apple iPhone sales as the recent ban on older models in China takes its toll. Market saturation concerns in China are affecting manufacturers and Samsung is rolling out upgraded, economically priced, high-spec devices to fight off Chinese rivals.

TrendForce notes that major brands will continue to pursue hardware optimization in the immediate term, mainly focusing on these four main areas: display (i.e. high-resolution displays and all-screen design), camera (i.e. high-resolution multi-lens cameras and in-display cameras), biometric recognition (i.e. in-display fingerprint sensors), and memory (i.e. high-density solutions). However, TrendForce believes that smartphone makers, in the long run, will have to do more than just upgrading the hardware specifications of their devices. To expand market shares, they will also need to invest in software development and explore peripheral opportunities.

Posted by cageymaru January 30, 2019 10:07 AM (CST)