Industry News

Micron Unveils 16nm NAND Flash

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Micron Technology starts sampling 128Gb multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory made using 16nm process technology, an industry first allowing for increasingly smaller memory devices.

Micron flashThe 16nm technology is also "the most advanced processing node for any sampling semiconductor device" the company claims.

"Our customers continually ask for higher capacities in smaller form factors, and this next-generation process node allows Micron to lead the market in meeting those demands," Micron says.


WSJ: Samsung Worries Google

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The Samsung-Google partnership propelled the Android OS to Apple-beating levels-- but as the mobile industry gathers at MWC 2013, does the search company actually think of the Korean giant as a threat?

Samsung MWCAccording to the Wall Street Journal the success of the Galaxy device portfolio makes Google nervous. An anonymous source claims Android head Andy Rubin believes "Samsung could become a threat if it gains more ground among mobile-device makers that use Android," and the recent Motorola Mobility acquisition was actually "a kind of insurance policy" against mobile device vendors becoming too powerful over Android.

The WSJ does not have a comment from Rubin or an official Google representative.

But shouldn't Google actually celebrate Samsung, the biggest smartphone vendor in the world, whose Android-powered smartphone shipments total 215.8 million units (or 39.6% of the global market according to IDC) in 2012?


All LTE Radios, in One Chip

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Qualcomm offers mobile device makers a solution for cellular radio frequency band fragmentation with the RF360 Front End Solution-- a chip family allowing OEMs to build just a single phone able to work with every network (all 40+ of them!) in the world. 

QualcommAccording to the company with RF360 chips OEMs can create multiband, multimode mobile devices supporting all 7 cellular modes (LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD, WCDMA, EV-DO, CDMA 1x, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE) with reduced power consumptions, improved radio performance and and smaller RF front end footprint inside the device in question. 

The Front End Solution also packs an envelope power tracker for 3G/4G LTE mobile devices (an industry first, Qualcomm claims), a dynamic antenna matching tuner, an integrated power amplifier-antenna switch and a 3D-RF packaging solution incorporating key front end components. 

Without such a solution vendors are forced to release multiple versions of LTE phones in order to cover every carrier in every country or territory (explaining why x3 versions of the iPhone 5 exist).

Qualcomm expects OEMs will start selling products using the RF360 Solution from H2 2013. 

Go Qualcomm RF360 Front End Solution Enables Single, Global LTE Design 

Samsung Makes A Move for Enterprise

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Enterprises made iPhone the preferred enterprise mobile platform over the past few years mainly because Apple introduced enterprise features in iOS 4.

Now Samsung wants to make their Android phones and tablets into fully secure and enterprise-grade devices. The Samsung SAFE program is based on a series of APIs and other OS extensions to Android that significantly improve security and offer IT administrators the ability to implement over 300 security policies. Let's call them "BlackBerry replacements."

"SAmsung For Enterprise" (SAFE) has been around for more than a year, but the launch of the SAFE-certified Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 2 were the first devices to launch with SAFE-branding.


Apple and HTC: War is Over

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Sometimes one wakes up to something truly surprising-- Apple and HTC drop all current lawsuits, thanks to a "global settlement" complete with 10-year license agreement covering all current and future patents held by the two companies.

HTC AppleYes, sometimes a man does get to bite a dog... and a couple of pen strokes end 32-month long patent war.

Unsurprisingly settlement details are confidential, even if HTC says the agreement does "not have a material adverse impact" on financials-- meaning HTC is paying at least something to Apple.

HTC was another target under Apple's "thermonuclear war" against Android. The first salvo fired on March 2010, when Apple sued over 10 user interface patents. HTC lost (due to 1996 patent covering a data-detecting function) and as a result products such as the HTC One X were temporarily banned in the US.