Industry News

Toshiba Boosts LCD Display Pixel Counts

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Toshiba Mobile Display develops a LCD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels within a 6.1" panel-- 498 pixels-per-inch, higher than the full HD resolution format of 1920 x 1080.

LCD Display ToshibaIt handles up to 16.7M colours, with a 1000:1 contrast ratio and 176° (or more) vertical and horizontal field of view

Such a display should be ideal for future mobile device displays, with the size seemingly developed to fit either the trend for mini tablets or a specific end-product requirement.

Toshiba says the new display can even find future applications in HD mini 3D displays, and will show he technology at FPD International, Yokohama.

Go Toshiba Develops World-class HD LCD Panel

Latest ARM Design is Both Big and Little

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"Big.Little processing" is name ARM gives to the concept behind the Cortex-A7 MPCore-- a chip for use as either a secondary processor or in low-end sub-$100 smartphones. 

Cortex-A7Designed to have as small a footprint as possible, ARM says the Cortex-A7 is one fifth the size of the Cortex-A8 processor (the single-core version measures all of 0.45mm²) and is built using a 28nm process, while being 5x more energy-efficient. 

The Cortex-A7 is designed to work in tandem with the Cortex-A15 MPCore-- with big.Little processing selecting the right processor for the right task according to performance requirement. ARM claims this system will allow for entry level devices in the 2013-2014 timeframe with the equivalent processing performance to current high-level smartphones. 

ARM Partners supporting the technology include Broadcom, Compal, Freescale, HiSilicon, LG Electronics, Linaro, OK Labs, QNX, Redbend, Samsung, Sprint, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments.

Go ARM Unveils big.Little Processing

Fingerprint Sensors for Mobile Wallets?

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NXP Semiconductors, sensor maker AuthenTec and mobile payments firm DeviceFidelity announce their collaboration in development of wireless designs allowing "highly secure mobile payments" on Android phones. 

AuthenTecThe designs combine fingerprint biometrics with NFC technologies-- creating a system where users call up their mobile wallet applications by swiping their finger over a fingerprint sensor, before transactions are carried out via NFC. 

The first successful biometrically-enabled mobile transaction was just recently carried out in the USm via a Motorola ATRIX 4G smartphone carrying AuthenTec's AES1750 fingerprint sensor and deviceFidelity's In2Pay microSD card. 

Current NFC-based transactions via smartphones such as Google's Nexus S require the user to log in via password or PIN. 

AuthenTec says its fingerprint-baed methond should drive NFC and mobile wallet adoption, as the system is both faster and safer-- at least than regular passwords or PINs. Wheter it's also hacker-proof is still to be seen, though.

Go NXP, AuthenTec and DeviceFidelity Complete First Fingerprint-Enabled NFC Payment Transaction in US

Smartphones as a Supercomputer?

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Adapteva plans to push smartphones beyond dual-core processors, with a design for a 64-core accelerator for handheld devices.

Such an accelerator have a similar role to that of specialised multicore chips used in supercomputing, only with a difference-- Adapteva's Epiphany design operates at only 1 W. 

Adapteva

The design can scale to up to 4096 cores (which would run on 64W), but Adapteva's current focus is on mobile applications. The company says an Epiphany 64-core accelerator would also be quite small-- 8mm square.

Adapteva still has to convince device makers to embrace its yet unproven (if not unneeded) design, however-- as well as convince them that it's more worthed to process data on the device, rather than ship it over cellular network. Will it manage? The future will tell, of course. 

Go Adapteva

T-Mobile Sells Out in USA

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ATT TmobileDeutsche Telekom sells its US business to AT&T to the price of $39b, in a move that both will both mark its exit from the US market and make it AT&T's biggest shareholder. 

The German telco was the USA's 4th biggest wireless carrier

T-Mobile says the cash injection will help strengthen its European position-- saying it will help it concentrate on the "transform" and "innovate" parts of its strategies.

What will this mean? Possibly improvement-- if not an entirely new infrastructure-- for Germany and other European territories. 

The sale will still have to be regulated by the relevant US authorities, in a process that could take a year to close. 

Go Deutsche Telekom to Receive $39b for T-Mobile USA