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Wednesday05 October 2022

Displaying items by tag: ARM

win8logoredesignedIf there is one constant in the world or IT (in indeed the world) it is change. I remember learning that back in physics class many, many years ago. Change is not stoppable it is not something that you can run from and it is a law that seems to be the driving force behind so much. Where am I going with all of this? Well I talking about the way the consumer electronic markets and the PC markets are moving. When I first started tinkering around with hardware resolutions were laughable compared to what your average smartphone can pull off. I am talking about 192 x 160 with 8-bit color and this was considered cutting edge!

Published in Editorials

snapMicrosoft is doing the hard sell on Windows 8 features and in particular they have made a valiant effort to push past some of the bad press (and consumer grumbling) about Metro UI and the way many of the apps are locked down. We have talked a little about this and even touched on it during some of our gaming coverage. Although you can launch “desktop” applications from the Start Screen (The Metro UI interface) you are not actually running them there. The only apps that will run in Metro UI Mode are ones that are downloaded from the Microsoft Store. This limits the functionality of the OS in many ways. Sure you can get some applications to interact with each other, but even then there are limitations.

Published in Consumer Software

untitledYesterday a round of happy articles from members of the press that are getting tired of Apple’s dominance in the tablet market hit the internet. Their primary focus was something that we have talked about since the original iPad hit the market; productivity. Although many companies try to use the iPad and Android based tablets they are often web-only options or rely on virtualization applications like Citrix’s Xen or VMWare’s View. These products are expensive to own and operate (in addition to the money for the tablets) and are usually not justifiable by the bean counters.

Published in Editorials
Thursday, 09 February 2012 21:16

Windows 8 on ARM will work with Office... 15

untitledMicrosoft has actually come clean on plans for Windows 8 on ARM. It seems that despite some earlier concerns that Microsoft would cripple the OS for non-X86/64 systems it will indeed release Windows 8 with support for Office. However, before you starting thinking about Office 2007 or 2010 on that Windows 8 ARM tablet you might want to know that the Office support will only be in Office 15 (Office 2007 is Version 12 and 2010 is Office 14 Microsoft skipped over Office version 13).

Published in News
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 21:36

Will Windows 8 for ARM have any impact?

untitledSo Microsoft is talking up their ARM based version of Windows 8 again. This is the operating system that some think will supplant both Android and iOS. Until a few weeks ago I actually felt the same way, unfortunately unless Microsoft makes some rather drastic changes to their policy I think they are going to miss the boat once again.

Published in Editorials
Thursday, 15 December 2011 07:33

Mobile, it’s the new Black

motorola_droid_x1It looks like mobile is the way to go these days; well really it has been for some time. Back in 2009 or so nVidia saw that and turned their attention toward the mobile world by developing the Tegra SoC (System on Chip) at the time many people slammed them for dropping out of the chipset business and fans of their GPUs became annoyed that this new product was taking priority over development of faster and better products for their games. Now, after a rocky start and three generations into it (plus a design win that could put Tegra on the moon), no one is laughing at the tiny little chip any longer.

Published in Editorials
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 00:11

Intel talking to Google about Android

untitledWell, well, well. Remember how we told you that AMD is providing direct hardware and engineering support for the Android-x86 project? Well now we are hearing that Intel is working on Android for x86 too. However, instead of working with the open source community and projects like Android-x86 they are in direct contact with Google.

Published in News
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 07:20

Microsoft could be making Office for the iPad

ms-office-logoThere is a rumor (according to CNET) that says Microsoft might release a version of their popular Office Suite for the iPad. Before you start slamming Microsoft or make the comment that Apple’s iWork suite is better/ just as good, let’s take a quick look at why Microsoft would even entertain this idea.

Published in Leaks and Rumors

trnas08Asus is known for taking a concept and running with it. At least in the last few years they have been that way. When the idea of the “netbook” entered the market the thought was a cheap, light device for content consumption that could compete with some of the smaller products from Apple like the iBook. Many companies jumped in on this market bandwagon, but only one really went the whole distance (meaning that most companies stayed in APAC or the EU). Asus decided to develop the EEE line up and then pushed it to the global market.


After this daring move (and in less than three years) Asus went from an unknown on the mobile market to one of the highest rated companies for customer satisfaction (based on return rates and consumer complaints). Now we are seeing something very similar in the tablet market. There is no doubt that Apple owns the lion’s share right now but Asus has put out not just one, but three compelling competitors for the market to feast on. At the very top and for the Windows fan is the EEE Slate EP121 with a dual Core i5 ultra mobile CPU, 4GB of RAM and up to a 64GB SSD for storage. Beneath this we find the Transformer which is a 10.1 tablet with a keyboard/dock and battery. The last in the group is the slider, another tablet and keyboard combination but this one has the keyboard under the display and it… you guessed it slides out for use.

Now you might be wondering why I am giving you a rundown of Asus’ tablet offerings. Well the reason is simple; you cannot understand where a company is going until you know where they have been. Let’s take a look at what we have and what Asus has said publicly to gauge where they are headed in the tablet market for 2012.

For the Windows fans we have the current EEE Slate EP121. This is a great product, but there are many that look at its size and weight as an obstacle. In my experience with it there are times when it is just too big. Added to this is the complete lack of any usable accessories for the product. There are no cases for it, no stands, nothing. It makes using it troublesome for the average user.

Fortunately Asus is working on this issue. We have heard that they are planning at least two Windows 8 tablets and if the information we have is correct one of them will be x86-64 while the other is some form of ARM CPU (most likely Tegra).  This will put the Windows user’s minds at ease.  

For the Android market we know that the Transformer Prime will already hit the market in just 8 days. This device will be thinner, lighter and much more powerful with a quad-core Tegra under the hood. For the rest of the lineup we find that Asus has plans for two “Hero” products in Q1 2012 that will run Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich. One of these (so the rumor goes) could be a 3D display model (or maybe both will be).  nVidia is big on 3D and there have been some outstanding work done to bring the glassless 3D Panels up in quality and down in price. I would not be surprised to see a 3D enabled Quad Core Tegra under the hood of one of these two “Hero” products next year.

What we are seeing is the same thought process that Asus has used again and again with their products. They actually do some good market research and then they use the tried and tested shotgun approach. They launch multiple products and see which ones take off. In the case of the tablet; all three have but for different reasons (because different markets want different things). This is actually a great win for Asus as they can now work to perfect these products like they have done with the EEE PC line up which is now moving into another generation.

This is what Asus does though, we have heard about it since we started our relationship with Asus back in the late 90’s. They were not quite where they are now, but the one thing they talked about consistently and asked about all the time was “what can we do to improve this”. Now they have a much larger market to ask that question of and they also can watch what their competitors do to gain an insight into how to build on their product portfolio. It has been interesting to watch them at work and to also see how their products impact the market (we will talk more about that later).

We will be keeping an eye on the tablet market as well as watching the development of Windows 8 to see how the chips fall and if Asus will become the leader in the “non-Apple” world of the tablet both x86 and ARM.

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Published in Editorials

qualcommWith all the news about the major ARM players like Samsung, nVidia, Texas Instruments etc. It is nice to finally hear the news about one of the largest, yet least talked about. At one time if you bought a cell phone (this was before the Smart Phone age) you had Qualcomm under the hood (and in many cases AMD as well). However, lately all we hear about is Hummingbird and Tegra (with an occasional mention of Snapdragon). That is until yesterday.

Qualcomm has announced that they are prepping to launch a new series of 28nm processors which they claim are 50% faster than “other ARM based offerings in the mobile CPU market”. This is very healthy boast to say the least. Right now all of this is in the pre-production stages so we do not have any phones or designs to tell you about, but we do have a little bit of information about the processor itself.

The new proc will be dubbed the S4 MSM 8960 and will hit the market as a dual core offering with a quad core to follow. Instead of an on/off switch for power the CPU is going to be built with something like a dial. This will allow for dynamic power steps to be sent to the processor. I have not heard of this being done quite this way so it should be interesting to see how it works out.

Inside the 8960 you will have a new GPU, this is the Adreno 225 which is a unified shader design (think AMD/ATi) and will support DX9.x and possibly shader model 3. Now we wonder what kind of radio they are going to build into this as that has been one of Qualcomm’s strengths (the Cellular and Wireless Radio built into the SoC) and something that Samsung and nVidia have been trying to get done as well.  We know that nVidia has been buying up wireless technology patents with the hopes integrating their own radios into their Tegra SoC, but have not announced anything on that just yet.

For now it would seem that Qualcomm has taken a step out front in the performance arena. We do think that their GPU offering is probably not up to the same standard as nVidia’s Tegra, but then again many people looking to buy a phone do not need it to play graphics heavy games… I mean really, how much GPU does Angry Birds or words with friends use?

Discuss in our Forums

Published in News
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