Processor

Qualcomm unveils mid-range SoCs, gigabit LTE, 5G modem chips

Qualcomm unveils mid-range SoCs, gigabit LTE, 5G modem chips

Now that most of 2016’s key smartphones have been revealed, the mobile market can take a breather and focus on the next generation of technologies that will underlie next year’s devices. Samsung fired the opening salvo with the announcement of its 10 nm FinFET Exynos processor. Naturally, Qualcomm isn’t going to be left behind. But instead of simply announcing new processors, three of them even, it is actually unveiling three new chips that will be pushing the envelope of tomorrow’s smartphones and tablets.

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Xiaomi said to make its own mobile processor named “Meri”

Xiaomi said to make its own mobile processor named “Meri”

Soon, it will probably be easier to talk about what Xiaomi isn’t doing yet rather than what the growing Chinese giant is doing next. Following last week’s leak of Xiaomi’s supposedly flexible display prototype, there is now word that it will soon also be making its own mobile processor for at least some of its processors. While it’s hardly going to compete with the likes of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon or Samsung’s Exynos, it does reflect the Chinese company’s desires to step further into the big leagues as far as the smartphone market is concerned.

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Samsung reveals first 14nm FinFET Exynos chip for wearables

Samsung reveals first 14nm FinFET Exynos chip for wearables

Samsung might be moving even closer to independence from Qualcomm. It already has its own application processor for smartphones and is rumored to soon up the ante with its graphics performance. And now it is also striking at the heart of Qualcomm’s newest market: processors for wearables. The Korean technology giant has just announced the start of mass production of the Exynos 7 Dual 7270, a dual-core processor that’s squarely aimed at the wearable, particularly smartwatch, market, taking on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear.

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Qualcomm Clear Sight dual camera tech mimics human eyes

Qualcomm Clear Sight dual camera tech mimics human eyes

Cameras are the big focus of smartphones this year, and dual cameras are all the rage. Even Apple has joined the party with the iPhone 7 Plus. But camera sensors don’t do all the work by themselves and usually work in tandem with dedicated image processors. And when it comes to mobile processors, Qualcomm is pretty much the king of the hill. That is why it is now proudly announcing its new dual camera technology called Clear Sight, which works in perfect harmony with the its Spectra image signal processor (ISP) found in none other than its latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and 821 mobile processors.

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iPhone 7, 7 Plus batteries revealed, A10 chip tops the charts

iPhone 7, 7 Plus batteries revealed, A10 chip tops the charts

Apple is not one to talk about hard specs, preferring to use market-speak in words that regular consumers would presumably understand better, words like “x times faster” or “n hours longer”. Usually it’s up to third-party sites and benchmarks to verify, or even refute, such claims. Despite some rather controversial features, or the lack of them, the iPhone 7 and the larger iPhone 7 Plus seems to at least deliver on the promise of a better battery life and a more powerful processor.

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Sony Ultra 4K streaming service comes to Intel 7th Gen Core PCs

Sony Ultra 4K streaming service comes to Intel 7th Gen Core PCs

While 4K televisions are finally starting to come down in price, the availability of 4K video content to watch on them is still slim. To help push the sales of its own 4K TVs, earlier this year Sony announced its own 4K streaming video service dubbed Ultra. Now the company wants to make the Ultra service available on PCs, and has teamed up with Intel to launch it in January. The only catch? Users must be running Intel's new 7th Gen Core processor.

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Meet Intel 7th Gen Core, the 4K, VR-ready “Kaby Lake” processors

Meet Intel 7th Gen Core, the 4K, VR-ready “Kaby Lake” processors

If we're post-PC, nobody told Intel: the chip company has higher hopes than ever for the computer - albeit in a range of form-factors - running its new 7th Gen "Kaby Lake" Core processors, officially announced today. With headline 7th Gen vs 6th Gen improvements including swifter, less power-intensive media playback and processing, the ability to do serious gaming on the move, and broader support for next-generation interconnects like Thunderbolt and USB-C plus security features like Windows Hello, Intel sees Kaby Lake as more than just a speed bump.

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Microsoft HoloLens powered by TSMC holographic processing unit

Microsoft HoloLens powered by TSMC holographic processing unit

If there were questions as to why AR headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens are so expensive and so rare, then this little tidbit might explain things a bit. Although it was already revealed that the headset uses an Intel Atom Cherry Trail for its main processor, that isn’t actually the one doing the heavy lifting. Instead, it is the 28 nm “holographic processing unit” or HPU fabricated by TSMC that does most of the sensor processing required to deliver a fluid, real-time AR experience.

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NVIDIA Parker chip exposed: DRIVE PX 2’s heart and brain

NVIDIA Parker chip exposed: DRIVE PX 2’s heart and brain

Graphics chip maker NVIDIA may have thrown in the towel as far as commodity smartphones are concerned, but definitely hasn’t given up the fight in the mobile system-on-chip arena. In addition to its Tegra line of mobile chips still powering tablets and embedded devices, it has just revealed Parker, a new, but not completely, ARM-based system-on-chip. You aren’t going to find it in any mobile device, mind you. Unless you consider cars to be literally mobile “devices”. That’s because this Parker chip is the beating heart of NVIDIA’s DRIVE PX 2 computer aimed at powering today’s and tomorrow’s generation of smart cars.

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Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon just got snappier

Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon just got snappier

The processor arms-race slows for nobody, and Qualcomm is already pitching its upgrade to the chip found in many of the flagship 2016 Android smartphones. The Snapdragon 821 is, as the name suggests, a freshened version of the Snapdragon 820, which Qualcomm says offers a 10-percent performance increase for device manufacturers who simply must have the speediest silicon.

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This Tetris runs on a giant home-built “megaprocessor” computer

This Tetris runs on a giant home-built “megaprocessor” computer

Creating a Tetris game to be played on the side of a Seattle skyscraper is undoubtedly a huge undertaking, but that's relatively easy for a company with resources and ready-made components at its disposal. On the other hand, creating a Tetris game to be played on a computer built from scratch to resemble a blown up microprocessor probably takes the cake. It's also insanely hard too. But that's exactly what James Newman from Cambridge has accomplished. Both creating what he calls a "megaprocessor" and using it for what it does best: playing Tetris.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 does the Tango, future 600, 800 too

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 does the Tango, future 600, 800 too

When Lenovo unveiled the first consumer Tango-enabled smartphone, the PHAB2 Pro, it was somewhat curious that the OEM went with a Snapdragon 625 instead of the highest end 820. Although we'll probably never really find out why, Qualcomm reveals that it has, in fact, made specific tweaks to make the SD652 work perfectly with Tango. Now it has done the same for the Snapdragon 820, its current flagship, and promises it will also be the case for future generations of the 600 and 800 chip series, opening the doors for more devices to dance their way to augmented reality as well.

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