DailyTech – Google Teases at Android 4.4 “KitKat”, Device Giveaway

Google says too few people knew how Key Lime Pie tasted to name it thatfp__Android_KitKat_Thumb

After being stuck on “Jelly Bean” (Android 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3) for over a year, people were starting to wonder when the next major name change might land for the world’s most used mobile operating system.

I. Android 4.4 is Android “KitKat”

Well the wait is over, with Google Inc.’s (GOOG) Android chief Sundar Pichai posting a picture on Twitter that confirms that the next version of Android will be dubbed “KitKat” and will have the version number Android 4.4.
KitKats are popular chocolate bars with a crunchy biscuit inside stick shaped pieces. The confection is made by Swiss candy and beverage company Nestle SA (VTX:NESN). The announcement took many by surprise as the rumor was that Google was going to adopt the more brand agnostic dessert “Key Lime Pie“.  Google was also rumored to bump the version number to 5.0.

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II. No Key Lime Pie For You

John Lagerling — Google’s director of Android global partnerships — told BBC News in an interview today that the branding was indeed a corporate tieup, but that Google was not paid to use the name.  He says that the decision was meant to be “fun and unexpected”, remarking, “This is not a money-changing-hands kind of deal.”
Source: DailyTech.

Google reportedly wants to launch its own online pay TV service — paidContent

Google is talking to media companies about licensing live TV programming and streaming it on the internet, the WSJ reported Tuesday afternoon, citing unidentified sources.
The article doesn’t say how far the discussions have gotten or which networks Google is talking with, but “in at least one case, Google has provided a demonstration of the product.”
Google already has Google TV, a product that provides access to apps like Pandora and Redbox Instant and is powering certain smart TVs as well as a separate set-top boxes. But Google TV is largely meant to be complementary to an existing pay TV subscription, whereas this new offering would compete directly with subscriptions offered by cable and satellite TV companies.
Other companies also want to compete with cable providers and transmit TV over the internet. Intel plans to launch its own service, OnCue, this yearSony, Apple andFanhattan are also working on such services, but have had difficulty getting them off the ground. Apple, for instance, has pursued a piecemeal strategy to get networks to stream their content through apps on Apple TV, but is also reportedly working on a live TV product that would allow ad-skipping.
Google reportedly wants to launch its own online pay TV service — paidContent.

Noctua creates world’s first CPU cooler with active noise cancellation | Chips | Geek.com

noctua_anc_03

Unless you opt for one of the very low-power CPUs on the market today, chances are the processor inside your desktop PC has a fan attached to keep it cool. The higher performance the chip and the more you overclock, the more cooling required. And more cooling inevitably means more noise unless you go with a water cooling solution.

Specialist cooling company Noctua has teamed up with RotoSub to come up with a low noise solution that allows you to stick with air cooling, but removes the noise. They’ve done this by adding active noise cancellation to one of their CPU coolers for the very first time. A project that’s been ongoing for over a year.

The cooler is still in prototype form, but was on display at Computex 2013. It could actually be referred to as a cooling cube looking at the design, but is based on Noctua’s NH-D14 cooler using a twin-tower heatsink, which consists of two heatsink blocks and a fan mounted between them.

The noise cancellation is achieved through a combination of mic and speakers. The mic listens to the sound created by the cooler, then the speakers output the same sound with a phase difference. In so doing, destructive interference is created and the level of noise is cut significantly.

noctua_anc_02

According to those able to listen to the prototype CPU cooler, there was actually no noise heard when the system was active. If you watch the demonstration video above you can clearly hear the difference the noise cancellation makes.

Such a system is sure to be popular and no doubt expensive. Based on the design, it should be possible to develop versions that work with all motherboards and CPUs, meaning Noctua could certainly have a hit on its hands here.

Source: Geek.com.

AnandTech | Intel Iris Pro 5200 Graphics Review: Core i7-4950HQ Tested

The Prelude

As Intel got into the chipset business it quickly found itself faced with an interesting problem. As the number of supported IO interfaces increased (back then we were talking about things like AGP, FSB), the size of the North Bridge die had to increase in order to accommodate all of the external facing IO. Eventually Intel ended up in a situation where IO dictated a minimum die area for the chipset, but the actual controllers driving that IO didn’t need all of that die area. Intel effectively had some free space on its North Bridge die to do whatever it wanted with. In the late 90s Micron saw this problem and contemplating throwing some L3 cache onto its North Bridges. Intel’s solution was to give graphics away for free.

The budget for Intel graphics was always whatever free space remained once all other necessary controllers in the North Bridge were accounted for. As a result, Intel’s integrated graphics was never particularly good. Intel didn’t care about graphics, it just had some free space on a necessary piece of silicon and decided to do something with it. High performance GPUs need lots of transistors, something Intel would never give its graphics architects – they only got the bare minimum. It also didn’t make sense to focus on things like driver optimizations and image quality. Investing in people and infrastructure to support something you’re giving away for free never made a lot of sense.

Intel hired some very passionate graphics engineers, who always petitioned Intel management to give them more die area to work with, but the answer always came back no. Intel was a pure blooded CPU company, and the GPU industry wasn’t interesting enough at the time. Intel’s GPU leadership needed another approach.

A few years ago they got that break. Once again, it had to do with IO demands on chipset die area. Intel’s chipsets were always built on a n-1 or n-2 process. If Intel was building a 45nm CPU, the chipset would be built on 65nm or 90nm. This waterfall effect allowed Intel to help get more mileage out of its older fabs, which made the accountants at Intel quite happy as those $2 – $3B buildings are painfully useless once obsolete. As the PC industry grew, so did shipments of Intel chipsets. Each Intel CPU sold needed at least one other Intel chip built on a previous generation node. Interface widths as well as the number of IOs required on chipsets continued to increase, driving chipset die areas up once again. This time however, the problem wasn’t as easy to deal with as giving the graphics guys more die area to work with. Looking at demand for Intel chipsets, and the increasing die area, it became clear that one of two things had to happen: Intel would either have to build more fabs on older process nodes to keep up with demand, or Intel would have to integrate parts of the chipset into the CPU.

Not wanting to invest in older fab technology, Intel management green-lit the second option: to move the Graphics and Memory Controller Hub onto the CPU die. All that would remain off-die would be a lightweight IO controller for things like SATA and USB. PCIe, the memory controller, and graphics would all move onto the CPU package, and then eventually share the same die with the CPU cores.

Pure economics and an unwillingness to invest in older fabs made the GPU a first class citizen in Intel silicon terms, but Intel management still didn’t have the motivation to dedicate more die area to the GPU. That encouragement would come externally, from Apple.

Looking at the past few years of Apple products, you’ll recognize one common thread: Apple as a company values GPU performance. As a small customer of Intel’s, Apple’s GPU desires didn’t really matter, but as Apple grew, so did its influence within Intel. With every microprocessor generation, Intel talks to its major customers and uses their input to help shape the designs. There’s no sense in building silicon that no one wants to buy, so Intel engages its customers and rolls their feedback into silicon. Apple eventually got to the point where it was buying enough high-margin Intel silicon to influence Intel’s roadmap. That’s how we got Intel’s HD 3000. And that’s how we got here.

Read the full review @ AnandTech.

Intel Readies Bay Trail for  Holiday 2013 Tablets and 2-in-1 Devices

Highlights Next-Generation 22nm Intel® Atom™ Processor Products Aimed at Tablets and Smartphones, and Demonstrates Global 4G LTE Solution

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Next-generation 22nm Intel® Atom™ processor-based SoC for tablets based on Silvermont microarchitecture to include quad core processing, Gen 7 graphics, support for DX11, full HD, Intel® Burst Technology 2.0, hardware-based security features, 2x CPU improvement and 3x graphics improvement1 and support for Windows* and Android*.
  • Highlights recent momentum around the Intel® Atom™ processor Z2580 with the Lenovo* K900 and ASUS* Fonepad Note FHD6 and ASUS* MeMO Pad FHD 10 announcements.
  • New Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 10.1-inch, equipped with Intel’s 3G and 4G LTE solutions, and powered by the Intel® Atom™ processor-based SoC (“Clover Trail+”) platform for Android* tablets.
  • Demonstrates Intel® XMM 7160 multimode 4G LTE solution, now in final interoperability testing (IOT) with Tier 1 service providers across North America, Europe and Asia.

COMPUTEX, Taipei, Taiwan, June 5, 2013 – At an industry event in Taipei today, Hermann Eul, general manager of Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group, unveiled new details about the company’s forthcoming Intel®  Atom™ processor-based  SoC for tablets (“Bay Trail-T”) due in market for holiday this year.

Based on the new Silvermont microarchitecture, the next generation 22nm Intel technology for tablets and ultra-mobile devices will enable sleek designs with 8 or more hours of battery life2 and weeks of standby, as well as support Android* and Windows 8.1*.

Eul also spoke to recent momentum and announcements around the smartphone business and demonstrated the Intel® XMM 7160 multimode 4G LTE solution, now in final interoperability testing (IOT) with Tier 1 service providers across North America, Europe and Asia.

“The mobile category is undergoing a tremendous amount of innovation and constant change,” said Eul. “As we look at growing it, we continue to invest in and accelerate our efforts across all aspects of mobility with a focus on smartphones, tablets and wireless communications. Intel’s unique assets will enable more compelling and differentiated products and experiences, while at the same time helping to shape and lead markets in the future.”

Next-Generation 22nm Intel® Atom™ Processor-based SoC for Tablets and 2-in-1s
Building on the progress of the Intel® Atom™ processor Z2760, the new products will deliver efficient, quad core processing that doubles the performance over the previous generation, according to Eul.

The next-generation Intel Atom processor-based SoC for tablets (“Bay Trail”) provides the best balance of performance, features and battery life, he added. Taking full advantage of the broad spectrum of capabilities enabled by Intel’s design, microarchitecture, 22nm tri-gate transistor technology, and leading-edge manufacturing, Intel can quickly scale up and down in performance and power efficiency to address various market and product needs. With the new 22nm Silvermont architecture, Intel delivers industry-leading performance with fewer cores, allowing Intel platforms to bring to life incremental features and capabilities.

Eul discussed Intel’s focus on enabling a richer media and content experience by improving graphics performance. He then highlighted the tablet platform’s new Gen 7 graphics that will offer more than three times the graphics capabilities1, with support for DX11 for expanded PC application and game support.

The new Intel Atom processor-based platform comes equipped with hardware-based security with McAfee Live Safe. This digital life protection suite keeps online identity private, protects from phishing attacks and keeps data secure while protecting the devices.

Intel’s next-generation Atom processor for tablets will provide the benefits of both performance and productivity. Any task performed on a tablet or 2-in-1 device, from light photo editing to office productivity, becomes much faster and more interactive. People will see increased capability and richer content and will be able to play popular 3-D games on these sleek, battery-efficient devices than previously possible.

Bay Trail also represents the first time Intel is offering its customers a mobile platform solution that is flexible with regard to operating system and the company will provide the same great Intel tablet performance and high-resolution graphics at cost savings to consumers.

Enabling Mobile Devices with Intel Inside®
Intel platform and enabling programs have been the foundation of OEM and ODM innovation for decades. Eul said the company is currently focused on work with leading ODMs and OEMs to speed time-to-market of leading-edge mobile devices based on Intel technology.

Intel’s platform and ecosystem enabling efforts will be focused initially on Intel Atom processor-based tablets running Android* and Windows*. The company is providing pre-qualified solutions with simplified building blocks to scale designs quickly for mature and emerging markets.

Read more on Intel Newsroom.

Intel formalizes Thunderbolt 2, promises products this year

While Intel gave us the technical rundown on its next iteration of Thunderbolt two months earlier, it’s now announced that it will officially be known as the not-particularly-original Thunderbolt 2. Promising 20 Gbps throughput and support for 4K video, Intel is now vowing to bring the port to market sometime this year. For a reminder, we’ve added the company’s NAB demo after the break.

 

 

Intel formalizes Thunderbolt 2, promises products this year.

AnandTech | The Haswell Review: Intel Core i7-4770K & i5-4560K Tested

The Launch Lineup: Quad Cores For All

As was the case with the launch of Ivy Bridge last year, Intel is initially launching with their high-end quad core parts, and as the year passes on will progressively rollout dual cores, low voltage parts, and other lower-end parts. That means the bigger notebooks and naturally the performance desktops will arrive first, followed by the ultraportables, Ultrabooks and more affordable desktops. One change however is that Intel will be launching their first BGA (non-socketed) Haswell part right away, the Iris Pro equipped i7-4770R.

Intel 4th Gen Core i7 Desktop Processors
Model Core i7-4770K Core i7-4770 Core i7-4770S Core i7-4770T Core i7-4770R Core i7-4765T
Cores/Threads 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/8
CPU Base Freq 3.5 3.4 3.1 2.5 3.2 2.0
Max Turbo 3.9 (Unlocked) 3.9 3.9 3.7 3.9 3.0
Test TDP 84W 84W 65W 45W 65W 35W
HD Graphics 4600 4600 4600 4600 Iris Pro 5200 4600
GPU Max Clock 1250 1200 1200 1200 1300 1200
L3 Cache 8MB 8MB 8MB 8MB 6MB 8MB
DDR3 Support 1333/1600 1333/1600 1333/1600 1333/1600 1333/1600 1333/1600
vPro/TXT/VT-d/SIPP No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Package LGA-1150 LGA-1150 LGA-1150 LGA-1150 BGA LGA-1150
Price $339 $303 $303 $303 OEM $303

Starting at the top of the product and performance stack, we have the desktop Core i7 parts. All of these CPUs feature Hyper-Threading Technology, so they’re the same quad-core with four virtual cores that we’ve seen since Bloomfield hit the scene. The fastest chip for most purposes remains the K-series 4770K, with its unlocked multiplier and slightly higher base clock speed. Base core clocks as well as maximum Turbo Boost clocks are basically dictated by the TDP, with the 4770S being less likely to maintain maximum turbo most likely, and the 4770T and 4765T giving up quite a bit more in clock speed in order to hit substantially lower power targets.

It’s worth pointing out that the highest “Test TDP” values are up slightly relative to the last generation Ivy Bridge equivalents—84W instead of 77W. Mobile TDPs are a different matter, and as we’ll discuss elsewhere they’re all 2W higher, but that is further offset by the improved idle power consumption Haswell brings.

Nearly all of these are GT2 graphics configurations (20 EUs), so they should be slightly faster than the last generation HD 4000 in graphics workloads. The one exception is the i7-4770R, which is also the only chip that comes in a BGA package. The reasoning here is simple: if you want the fastest iGPU configuration (GT3e with 40 EUs and embedded DRAM), you’re probably not going to have a discrete GPU and will most likely be purchasing an OEM desktop. Interestingly, the 4770R also drops the L3 cache down to 6MB, and it’s not clear whether this is due to it having no real benefit (i.e. the eDRAM may function as an even larger L4 cache), or if it’s to reduce power use slightly, or Intel may have a separate die for this particular configuration. Then again, maybe Intel is just busily creating a bit of extra market segmentation.

Not included in the above table are all the common features to the entire Core i7 line: AVX2 instructions, Quick Sync, AES-NI, PCIe 3.0, and Intel Virtualization Technology. As we’ve seen in the past, the K-series parts (and now the R-series as well) omit support for vPro, TXT, VT-d, and SIPP from the list. The 4770K is an enthusiast part with overclocking support, so that makes some sense, but the 4770R doesn’t really have the same qualification. Presumably it’s intended for the consumer market, as businesses are less likely to need the Iris Pro graphics.

Intel 4th Gen Core i5 Desktop Processors
Model Core i5-4670K Core i5-4670 Core i5-4670S Core i5-4670T Core i5-4570 Core i5-4570S
Cores/Threads 4/4 4/4 4/4 4/4 4/4 4/4
CPU Base Freq 3.4 3.4 3.1 2.3 3.2 2.9
Max Turbo 3.8 (Unlocked) 3.8 3.8 3.3 3.6 3.6
Test TDP 84W 84W 65W 45W 84W 65W
HD Graphics 4600 4600 4600 4600 4600 4600
GPU Max Clock 1200 1200 1200 1200 1150 1150
L3 Cache 6MB 6MB 6MB 6MB 6MB 6MB
DDR3 Support 1333/1600 1333/1600 1333/1600 1333/1600 1333/1600 1333/1600
vPro/TXT/VT-d/SIPP No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Package LGA-1150 LGA-1150 LGA-1150 LGA-1150 LGA-1150 LGA-1150
Price $242 $213 $213 $213 $192 $192

The Core i5 lineup basically rehashes the above story, only now without Hyper-Threading. For many users, Core i5 is the sweet spot of price and performance, delivering nearly all the performance of the i7 models at 2/3 the price. There aren’t any Iris or Iris Pro Core i5 desktop parts, at least not yet, and all of the above CPUs are using the GT2 graphics configuration. As above, the K-series part also lacks vPro/TXT/VT-d support but comes with an unlocked multiplier.

Obviously we’re still missing all of the Core i3 parts, which are likely to be dual-core once more, along with some dual-core i5 parts as well. These are probably going to come in another quarter, or at least a month or two out, as there’s no real need for Intel to launch their lower cost parts right now. Similarly, we don’t have any Celeron or Pentium Haswell derivatives launching yet, and judging by the Ivy Bridge rollout I suspect it may be a couple quarters before Intel pushes out ultra-budget Haswell chips. For now, the Ivy Bridge Celeron/Pentium parts are likely as low as Intel wants to go down the food chain for their “big core” architectures.

Read the full review @ AnandTech.

Samsung reportedly turning to Intel to power next-gen Galaxy Tab | The Verge

Reuters reports that an upcoming Android tablet from Samsung will be powered by none other than Intel. According to its sources, the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 will use Intel’s Clover Trail+ chip — alternatively known as the Atom Z2580 — in at least one of its configurations. It’s not specified when the new tablet will be announced, but Samsungdoes have a media event scheduled for June 20th where it will debut new products in both its Galaxy and Ativ lines. The product would join the low-end 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 thatSamsung introduced last month.

It would also mark a shift for Samsung, which has previously used ARM chips in the 10.1-inch Tab line (it does use Intel processors in its Ativ Windows products). While Reutersdoesn’t delve into just what’s behind the change, it would no doubt be a welcome development for Intel, which has struggled in mobile with its x86 silicon thus far.

Source: The Verge.

Google H840 Media Player Spotted In FCC Testing

Google H480 FCC EUT

Earlier this year, Google decided to discontinue the social streaming media player known as the Nexus Q.  However, a new Google media player gadget has been spotted in FCC testing documents with the product name H840.  The product code is the H2G2-42, which is a play on the The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The wireless report confirms that the device “functions as a media player.”  Some of the specs of the device includes a 2.4GHz WiFi b/g/n connectivity.  The FCC report does not contain test photos so we do not know what the device looks like.  It is likely that the H840 will support Google Play Music All Access and will have similar functionality as a Sonos media player that can be connected to external speakers.

The Google H840 will likely have a much more friendly user interface than the Nexus Q with more features.  The Nexus Q was essentially a way to play YouTube videos, music, and other content to a TV using Android-powered phones and tablets.  Essentially, the Nexus Q was Google’s own Apple TV.  Earlier this month, Google Play stopped supporting the Nexus Q after the All Access subscription music services was integrated into the marketplace.  Another disadvantage of the Google Nexus Q is that it was manufactured in the U.S., causing it to have a high price.  The Apple TV retails for around $99 currently and the Nexus Q was priced at $299 when it was launched.

Another reason why the Nexus Q had low demand is because it was linked exclusively to Google Play content.  There were no options to connect to Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Instant Video.  This is why I suspect that the upcoming H840 will have options to connect to these other video services.

FCC Sample Label:

Google H480 FCC Sample Label

Read more @ Pulse 2.0.

BBC News – Ray Harryhausen, visual effects master, dies aged 92

Visual effects master Ray Harryhausen, whose stop-motion wizardry graced such films as Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans, has died aged 92.

The American made his models by hand and painstakingly shot them frame by frame to create some of the best-known animated sequences in cinema.

His death in London was confirmed to the BBC by a family representative.

“Harryhausen’s genius was in being able to bring his models alive,” said an official statement from his foundation.

“Whether they were prehistoric dinosaurs or mythological creatures, in Ray’s hands they were no longer puppets but became instead characters in their own right.”

Born in Los Angeles in June 1920, Raymond Frederick Harryhausen had a passion for dinosaurs as a child that led him to make his own versions of prehistoric creatures.

Films like 1925’s The Lost World and the 1933 version of King Kong stoked that passion and prompted him to seek out a meeting with Willis O’Brien, a pioneer in the field of model animation.

During World War II Harryhausen joined director Frank Capra’s film unit, which made the Why We Fight series to back the US war effort.

After the war, he made stop-motion versions of fairy tales that prompted his idol, O’Brien, to hire him to help create the ape in Mighty Joe Young – an achievement that won an Academy Award.

Harryhausen went on to make some of the fantasy genre’s best-known movies, among them One Million Years B.C. and a series of films based on the adventures of Sinbad the sailor.

He is perhaps best remembered for animating the seven skeletons who come to life in Jason and the Argonauts, a sequence which took him three months to film, and for the Medusa who turned men to stone in Titans.

Harryhausen inspired a generation of film directors, from Steven Spielberg and James Cameron to Peter Jackson of the Lord of the Rings fame.

Spielberg said Harryhausen’s “inspiration goes with us forever” while Cameron said Hollywood science fiction film-makers had been “standing on the shoulders of a giant”.

Meanwhile, Star Wars creator George Lucas, paid tribute by saying: “The art of his earlier films, which most of us grew up on, inspired us so much.”

Director John Landis described Harryhausen as a “true giant of the cinema” and said his creations were “not only the stars of those movies, but the main reason for those movies to exist at all”.

Peter Lord of Aardman Animations was quick to pay tribute, describing Harryhausen as “a one-man industry and a one-man genre” on Twitter.

Harryhausen inspired a generation of film directors

And Nick Park, Aardman’s Oscar-winning creator of Wallace and Gromit, told the BBC: “I’ve followed the work of Ray Harryhausen all my life.

Source: BBC News.