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Over the past few years, Lenovo has been one of Intel’s stalwart partners in the mobile phone business. The company has launched multiple Atom-based devices going back to the original Medfield SoC, and this year is no exception. Lenovo announced its P90 phone today — the first smartphone based on Intel’s 64-bit Atom.
Intel may have prominently announced imminent shipment of Cherry Trail devices, built on 14nm technology, but Lenovo is tapping the company’s 22nm silicon for this effort. The 22nm Z3560 SoC at the heart of the P90 is based on Intel’s Moorefield design, with a quad-core CPU and a burst clock of up to 1.83GHz. The GPU is based on Imagination Technologies’ G6430 — the same GPU inside the iPhone 5S. While no longer cutting-edge, it’s still more than sufficient for most tasks and mobile gaming.
For the past few years, Canonical, the UK software developer behind the Ubuntu operating system, has been working to extend its traditional desktop operating system into a much broader range of products. Today, the company launched the alpha version of Snappy Ubuntu Core — an ultra-lightweight Ubuntu distribution designed to interface with large-scale cloud application build outs and power the so-called Internet of Things.
Snappy Ubuntu Core is built on the Ubuntu Core project. As the name implies, Ubuntu Core is a barebones, stripped-down implementation of Ubuntu that’s designed to operate in extremely constrained environments. Its advantage is that its software loadout can still be customized with very specific applications, without the additional overhead typically imposed by the full operating system.
Ever since Apple announced that it was building its own smartwatch, fans of wearables have been eager to see what the Cupertino company would deliver. Whether you love it or hate it, Apple has a reputation for excellence, and for waiting until it can deliver a superior experience that make previous products from lesser companies look like floundering newbies by comparison. Now, that long-time reputation for excellence may be sorely tested by the one force in the universe that remains impervious to the company’s Reality Distortion Field — physics.
New reports indicate that while the Apple Watch will pack significant processing power and a fluid, 60Hz display, it won’t deliver much in the way of battery life. 9to5 Mac is claimingthat the CPU inside the Watch is close in power to the Apple A5 and running a stripped-down version of iOS known as SkiHill.
Via Technology said it will be asking OEMs to build its concept of a “Hi-Fi PC”, which it launched at the opening of its Via Technology Forum in Taiwan.
According to Via, The Hi-Fi PC combines instant-on playback of all the latest digital video and audio formats, including CD, DVD and VCD with the flexibility, power and connectivity of a standard PC system. Housed in a sleek 19cm wide x 19cm high x 34cm deep aluminium case, the Hi-Fi PC includes a unique feature: PlayNow!, a full functioned multimedia player contained within the flash memory of the BIOS, is the key to the instant-on application, enabling rapid optical disk play capability at the touch of a button. A user can then boot the PC.
Central to the Hi-Fi PC is the Via EPIA M mainboard, a new 17 cm by 17 cm platform solution to be launched soon that is optimized for the killer digital media applications, such as watching movies and listening to music, Via said. The Via EPIA M mainboard is based on the Via Apollo CLE266 chipset with an integrated MPEG-2 decoder and 2D/3D graphics capability to provide superb DVD playback, and integrates several Via technologies that provide high quality audio, Fast Ethernet networking and support for the latest communications standards USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394 ‘Firewire’. There is also a TV-out to either analog or digital displays.
After traversing the Emerging Technologies demonstrations earlier in the week—as reported in our first report on SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group Graphics)—we spent two days scouring the SIGGRAPH show floor for interesting new products and technologies. We’ll soon be presenting our findings from the tradeshow, but first we have a real treat—a photo essay of the exciting SIGGRAPH CyberFashion Show, held on Wednesday, August 11th.
What exactly is cyberfashion? Think wearable computers and displays (Borg-like for sure, with the head-mounted, eye-level screens, data gloves, and so on). Also luminous attire fits the bill, as do smart clothes that perform various functions, like displaying messages, giving massages, being touch reactive, and performing video surveillance. Heck, we saw one jacket with the ability to communicate over WiFi to the Department of Homeland Security’s website, obtain the current threat advisory level color, and display the color on the jacket’s surface!
Six months after their spectacular unveil, Google is about to send the first round of augmented reality Google Glass devices to developers. Developers will pay $1,500 for the privilege of receiving an early, prototype version of Google Glass, but the polished consumer version — due in 2014 — should be a lot cheaper.
As it stands, Google Glass is a browband — like a pair of spectacles, but without the lenses — with what basically amounts to small ARM computer running Android attached to the right side, by your temple, and a large battery behind your right ear. There’s all the usual hardware that you would find in an Android smartphone — a speaker (near your ear), a forward facing camera, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, a couple of microphones, and WiFi and Bluetooth aerials — but instead of a large touchscreen, there’s a tiny display placed near your right eye.
In theory, if you’ve seen the original Glass promotional video (embedded below), Google’s goggles are meant to finally usher in the era of wearable computing. In reality, Google Glass is currently just like having an Android smartphone strapped to your head.
After more than 50 years at the top of the heap, the CPU finally has some competition from an upstart called the SoC. For decades, you could walk into a shop and confidently pick out a new computer based on its CPU — and now, everywhere you look, from smartphones to tablets and even some laptops, there are SoCs.
Don’t worry, though, CPUs and SoCs are actually rather similar, and almost everything you know about CPUs can also be applied to SoCs.
What is a CPU?
Despite the huge emphasis put on CPU technology and performance, it is ultimately a very fast calculator. It fetches data from memory, and then performs some kind of arithmetic (add, multiply) or logical (and, or, not) operation on that data. The more expensive/complex the CPU, the more data it can process, the faster your computer.
A CPU itself is not a personal computer, however — a whole framework of other silicon chips is required for that. There must be memory to hold the data, an audio chip to decode and amplify your music, a graphics processor to draw pictures on your monitor, and hundreds of smaller components that all have a very important task.