Processor

MediaTek chip leapfrogs Samsung and Apple (in core count, anyway)

MediaTek chip leapfrogs Samsung and Apple (in core count, anyway)

How many cores does your smartphone have? If it's anything less than ten - and it's almost certain to be - then MediaTek has just eclipsed it, its new Helio X20 mobile processor packing a whopping ten cores. The company calls it Tri-Cluster architecture, and is promising the usual mantra of simultaneous power and efficiency. Still, before we discount the chip as just another case of "more is better" thinking, there could well be something to MediaTek's approach.

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Apple Watch S1 SoC teardown shows custom processor

Apple Watch S1 SoC teardown shows custom processor

The beloved iFixit has already torn the Apple Watch apart, but those teardowns are meant to gauge repairability, not get gritty with the details on specs. While we might glean a thing or two from them, the overall aim is to let us know how much of a pain in the wallet it’s going to be when we bust our tech up. After that teardown, we’re now getting a better look at what makes the Apple Watch actually tick, and guess what — it really is pretty groundbreaking.

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Qualcomm tipped to be eying Samsung fabs for next chips

Qualcomm tipped to be eying Samsung fabs for next chips

In the tech industry, the term "frenemies" isn't entirely new. Companies that lambast each other in public usually have quieter, friendly deals in some corners. Despite the almost toxic rivalry between Apple and Samsung, the Korean manufacturer has been, at several points in time, a supplier of components for Cupertino's devices. And now, despite the perceived tension between Qualcomm and Samsung, the San Diego, California chip maker is now rumored to be looking at Samsung's foundries for making its next high-end chip, the Snapdragon 820.

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Happy 50th Birthday, Moore’s Law

Happy 50th Birthday, Moore’s Law

In an industry which sees the latest and greatest outdated within months or even weeks, sticking around for fifty years is impressive indeed. Then again, Moore's Law - the infamous observation on how computer chip density increases exponentially over time - is anything but a constant, instead more a ticking metronome that has variously haunted and chivied the electronics world into constant movement.

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New Atmel IoT chip’s battery life can last 10 years

New Atmel IoT chip’s battery life can last 10 years

Batteries, already the Achilles heel of mobile devices, present an even bigger challenge for even smaller devices, like wearables and the budding Internet of Things industry. These latter devices are not things that you would, or should, associate with the frequent charging and battery replacement we are used to on smartphones. How do you balance performance and battery life? Atmel, a micro-controller manufacturer based in San Jose, may have the answer. Its new ultra-low power SAM L21 32-bit ARM-based MCU (micro controller unit) is advertised to last more than a decade before needing a recharge or replacement.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 teased with Kryo cores

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 teased with Kryo cores

The first phones running Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810, like the HTC One M9 announced yesterday, may only just be arriving, but the chip firm couldn't help but tease its next-gen silicon. The Snapdragon 820 isn't expected to begin sampling until the second half of 2015, but Qualcomm decided that there was no better place than Mobile World Congress to slip out a few early details about what might be powering your smartphone upgrade in 2016.

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LG to take on 64-bit Samsung Exynos, Qualcomm Snapdragon

LG to take on 64-bit Samsung Exynos, Qualcomm Snapdragon

There is very little doubt that 2015 will see the shift to 64-bit architecture on mobile processors, especially with Qualcomm making available such chips that straddle all device tiers. Major mobile chip makers are already making the transition, but there seems to be one very small and new player who wants to catch up. LG is now reported to still be eying a spot in the mobile AP (application processor) market with its own 64-bit octa-core chip to rival Qualcomm and, of course, Samsung.

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Snapdragon 810 benchmarked: 5 things you need to know

Snapdragon 810 benchmarked: 5 things you need to know

The pace of mobile chip development is relentless, something Qualcomm knows better than most with its new Snapdragon 810. Announced nearly a year ago, yet only set to show up in commercial phones and tablets in the coming months, the new Snapdragon arrives at a challenging time in mobile: raw performance simply isn't enough to win customers any more. So, it was with expectations broader than for just another fast chip that I sat down in Qualcomm's San Diego offices, the new Mobile Developer Platform (MDP) tablet and phone in front of me. After the cut, yes, there are benchmarks, but pure potency isn't all that you should care about.

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Qualcomm admits “large customer” loss amid Samsung speculation

Qualcomm admits “large customer” loss amid Samsung speculation

They're not naming names, but we can pretty much read between the lines. In its Q1 2015 fiscal report, chip maker Qualcomm is lowering its revenue outlook for the second half of this fiscal year due to a number of huge factors. Aside from a shift in share among OEMs and higthened competition in China, where is actually facing some legal battles, Qualcomm also mentions the loss of a "large customer" of its Snapdragon 810. Given how things are going, it's hard not to believe that it is referring to Samsung.

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Button-sized Curie module is Intel’s latest wearable bet

Button-sized Curie module is Intel’s latest wearable bet

Intel has almost pretty much given up on the smartphone market, except for a few models from ASUS and Lenovo, so it has set its eyes on wearables instead, where things are still somewhat in flux and no clear winner is in sight just yet. In 2013, it announced the Intel Quark, what is to be its bargaining chip (no pun intended) in the wearables race. Now at CES 2015, it is announcing the latest real-world application of that chip: the button-sized Intel Curie module.

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