Mobile Devices

Mobile Processors Reach 10 Cores

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MediaTek announces an industry first with the Helio X20, a system-on-a-chip (SoC) for smartphone and tablet use packing 10 cores on a single die, all connected with the so-called MediaTek Coherent System Interconnect (MCSI).

Helio X20The 10 cores are arranged in 3 clusters-- two Cortex-A725 cores clocked at 2.5GHz, four Cortex-A53s clocked at 2GHz and four Cortex-A53s clocked at 1.4GHz. The arrangement is compared to a car with 3 gears allowing for fuel efficiency across different terrains, since the low-power cores can handle non-demanding tasks while the 2.5GHz cluster takes care of bigger jobs.

The company also says the grouping allows for power savings of up to 30% off a standard ARM "big.little" implementation.

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Firefox OS Phones Hit MEA

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Mozilla goes for emerging markets to sell its upcoming Firefox OS-powered smartphones, as the company launches the first of such devices in Senegal and Madagascar through its partnership with telco Orange.

Firefox KlifThe launch follows a Mobile World Congress 2015 announcement that Firefox OS smartphones will be first available in MEA territories before an eventual international release.

“We are pleased to partner with Orange to bring the mobile Web to users in a substantial number of new growth markets across Africa and the M. East," the company says. “I’m also thrilled to see how the imminent arrival of Firefox OS has created excitement in the local Mozilla communities.”

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Butterfly Wings: The Key to Glare-Free Displays?

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They say the flap of a butterfly's wings can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world, but the wings of a particular species of butterfly might actually be key to the glare-free displays of the future.

Glasswing butterflyThe butterfly in question is the glasswing butterfly, a Central American species famous for having transparent, glass-like (thus the name) wings. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) researchers say these wings have very low reflection (around 2-5%) of visible, infrared and ultraviolet light-- a survival adaptation for the insect, but an inspiration for the creation of low-reflection surfaces.

For the curious, a flat glass plane has a reflection of anything from 8% to 100%.

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Dell Presents Venue 10 7000

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Dell launches a larger version of the Venue 8 7000 tablet-- the Venue 10 7000, a 10-inch version of the Android-based device designed for use by both consumer and business customers.

Dell Venue 10Like it smaller sibling, the Venue 10 features a 2560x1600 OLED display. It is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 CPU, an RealSense depth camera and audio via MaxxAudio Mobile technology.

Meanwhile a magnetic keyboard accessory allows users to use the tablet in 5 configurations familiar to any user of Lenovo's Yoga devices-- tablet, slate, stand, tent or clamshell.

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Microsoft Intros Surface 3

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Microsoft reveals a consumer version of the 2014 Surface Pro 3-- the simply named Surface 3, a 10.8-inch tablet running full Windows 8.1 on a fanless Intel Atom processor similar to that powering a number of budget notebooks.

Surface 3The tablet is a bit thinner (8.7mm) and lighter (622g) than its Pro sibling, and features a display in the same 3:2 aspect ratio. Like the Pro model the 1920x1280 resolution touchscreen handles pressure-sensitive pen input, and all comes inside magnesium casing complete with built-in kickstand.

Microsoft claims the battery allows up to 10 hours of use, while ports include full-size USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, cover port and micro USB for charging. Wireless connectivity comes through wifi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) and Bluetooth 4.0.

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