• in

    Fold-Up Smartphones Screens Could Finally Make Their Big Debut

    Fold-Up Smartphone Screens

    Fold-Up Smartphones Screens

    Fold-Up Smartphones Screens Could Finally Make Their Big Debut

    The rumors have been swirling for months. Though they couldn’t be confirmed, their persistence suggests that something significant may be coming from ­Samsung smartphones, possibly as early as this year: a foldable mobile.

    Today, the world of mobiles consists of two major realms—tablets and smartphones. Tablets are good for reading magazines and books, typing long messages on a linked keyboard, looking at pictures, and surfing the Web. Smartphones are good for texting and ­talking. Engineers have long dreamed of merging the two.

    Such a device would morph from one to the other by folding: Open, it’s a tablet, but by bending or folding it in half you’d transform it into a phone. “You can expect to open up your phone and double the screen real estate,” says Roel Vertegaal, a computer scientist at Queen’s ­University in Ontario. Besides the versatility, you’d have interesting new ­possibilities—imagine bending your phone to flip ahead in an e-book, just as you would flex a novel’s covers to jump ahead a few pages.

    Samsung as a flexible Smartphones

    Samsung has pursued flexible designs for at least four years, going so far as to develop “artificial muscles” that push and pull a smartphone’s components into new positions to prevent damage as it bends. Now, according to media reports, the company may finally be ready to share those technologies with the world and save users the hassle of carrying both a phone and a tablet.

    “Having that bimodality in a device would, I think, be really game changing,” says mobile analyst Wayne Lam at IHS Markit. “You’re not only creating a new form factor for the phone, but you’re also cannibalizing other product categories.”

    Competitors are thinking along similar elastic lines. At a trade show last summer, Lenovo showed off a concept product for a smartphone that folded around a user’s wrist into a wearable device. Throughout 2016, a Chinese manufacturer named Moxi Group promised a limited release of its own high-end flexible smartphone. But Samsung would be the first of any major company to debut a device with a truly flexible screen.

    If Samsung does release such a phone, it would signal the first major departure from the flat, rectangular form that has defined smartphone designs since Apple released the first iPhone in 2007. Manufacturers have experimented with curved glass and adopted larger screens, but essentially all smartphones today are design descendants of that original iPhone

    Samsung Smartphones’ rigidity

    The simple, rigid smartphone has endured partly because the challenges of building a foldable screen that is rugged and dependable are great. Stiff components such as the battery must be made to either bend along with the screen or be situated away from the fold.

    Vertegaal himself built a flexible smartphone in his lab last year and tested hundreds of screens before settling on one that worked—a high-­definition organic light-emitting-diode screen produced by LG Display. OLED screens contain a thin film of organic compounds that produce light from an electric current right at the surface of the device. They are a favorite of designers working on flexible TV and mobile units because they do not require the bulky backlight and filters found in LCD screens.

    Samsung happens to be the largest global supplier of OLED panels. In 2013, the company showed off a concept product with a bendable OLED screen at the CES electronics show. It set off a frenzy in the tech blogosphere and led to speculation that the company would release a smartphone based on it.

    Samsung needs a hit to regain momentum after last year’s Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, in which it coped with reports of dozens of the smartphones catching fire. Ultimately, the problems prompted a recall that slashed profits by 17 percent, or US $4 billion, in that quarter. A flashy line of foldable phones could help the company rebuild its reputation. However, it would be a high-risk strategy, Stofega notes. “No one wants to risk coming out with a device that looks pretty cool and then, after about 2,000 bends, just cracks right in half,” he says.

    Samsung wouldn’t comment on its plans for 2017. So we’ll all have to wait and see if the company dazzles us this year with a couple of flexible smartphones—or leaves the many design headaches and teething pains for its rivals to endure.

  • in

    The future of our technology and our planet depends on one thing: the battery.

    Electric Car Battery

    Electric Car Battery The future of our technology and our planet depends on one thing: the battery.

    Most of us are running on empty. Since the mobile phone spawned a smartphone-first world, we’ve all been tending to the needs of battery.The daily or nightly charge of the smartphone is the most prevalent, but laptops, tablets, drones, wireless headphones, smartwatches and other wearable devices are becoming more common.

    We are constantly recharging batteries, there are some attempts to create fast-charging batteries and, of course, a new generation of wireless charging devices, but they’re just about convenience.

    With the coming era of the electric car and more advanced robotics, a need to swap to renewable energy, and an ever-increasing (and more mobile gadget-hungry) global population, humanity’s capability of storing energy is going to become critical.

    Either we innovate and create new and more powerful battery technology, or we enter a period of stasis where a lack of mobile power strangles new technology. Luckily, innovations are incoming.

    Electric Phone Battery

    The need for portable power battery

    Electrical power, whether portable or not, is one of the cornerstones of life, and one that we all take for granted. And we are the problem.

    “The human race has been so successful at population growth that we now have to worry about sustainability,” says Upal Sengupta, Applications Manager, Battery Management Solutions at Texas Instruments.

    “The electrical power and technology that helped fuel our growth will need to be used and generated in ways that minimize their impact on our planet. If not, it could literally be a global disaster.”

    Sengupta thinks we need to concentrate first on conservation and efficiency, and secondly on alternative sources for power generation, like solar panels. The latter requires huge batteries to store the Sun’s energy, so we can use it at night, or at a time when it suits us.

     

    Thirdly, he thinks that makers of electronic products should make power-conversion circuitry as efficiently as possible. However, there are other portable devices coming that will bring massive challenges to battery technology; the electric car – and the electric everything.

    Electric car Battery

    The electric car battery

    Creating smartphones that last for two days instead of one won’t change the world, but the spread of the electric car will change the battery industry massively.

    It’s a huge challenge, with an expected 20 million electric vehicles to be selling each year by 2030, each using a massive lithium-ion battery.

    Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) thinks there will be 530 million electric vehicles by 2040, and that their electricity consumption will grow to 1,800 terawatt hours in 2040 – or 5% of global power demand – from just 6 terawatt hours in 2016.

    The batteries needed by an electric car are really big. The 2016 Nissan Leaf has a 30kWh battery capable of going for 172km/107 miles, while the upcoming Tesla Model 3 will have a 50kWh or optional 75kWh battery, which can go for 355km/220 miles and 500km/310 miles respectively. Is that your road-range-anxiety gone?

    “The battery pack is likely to remain the single most expensive component in EVs for some time to come, and the costs are broadly proportional to capacity,” says Robin Shaw, Chief Technology Officer for battery and energy storage supplier Hyperdrive Innovation.

    He thinks the crucial point will come when the cost of a battery pack with enough range makes an electric car cheaper than an equivalent petrol or diesel car. “Having said that, I think the 400 mile range on a single charge is just around the corner, certainly within the next three years,” he adds.

  • in

    The First Mind-Controlled VR Game Will Hit Arcades in 2018

    Mind VR game

    The First Mind-Controlled VR Game Will Hit Arcades in 2018

    “Wake up, this is not a test,” intones a voice as the virtual reality game Awakening begins. Your game character is a child trapped in a nefarious government lab, and as you scan the room you see a variety of objects lying on the floor, each flashing with light. You focus your mental attention on a block, and it rises up and rotates in the air before you. Then you focus on a mirror on the wall, and the block hurtles toward it and smashes the glass, revealing a scrawled sequence of numbers beneath. You notice a keypad by the door with numbers that are also subtly flashing. Using only your Jedi powers, you focus on certain digits in the correct sequence to open the door.

    The technology that makes this game possible is a brain-scanning headband that attaches to a VR headset. That headband, paired with software that interprets the neural signals, enables wearers to play games without using any sort of hand controller. The creators of this brain-computer interface system, at the Boston-based startup Neurable, believe this intuitive controller will be the next big thing in VR. “We’ve essentially created a brain mouse,” says Ramses Alcaide, Neurable’s cofounder and CEO.

    Awakening is the world’s first brain-controlled VR game. And curious gamers will get a chance to play it later in 2018 when Neurable’s game will arrive in VR arcades around the world.

    The headband incorporates seven bulky electrodes that record EEG (electroencephalography) signals, a standard method of monitoring the electrical activity of broad swaths of brain cells. To detect the user’s intention, Neurable’s system makes clever use of a type of brain signal called an event-related potential. As you focus on a toy block that’s pulsing with light, for example, your brain subconsciously registers its particular pattern of flashes, and certain neurons “fire” in response. Neurable’s software processes the noisy EEG data, finds the signal therein, and translates it into a game command: Use the block.

    Neurable chose to use flashing objects and the associated neural signals because its EEG system’s scalp electrodes can reliably pick up those brain patterns. Neuroscientists haven’t yet figured out how to detect signals that would allow for more direct control (such as a signal that means “move the block to the left”) without resorting to surgically implanted electrodes.

    Neurable’s Alcaide says he isn’t worried, because he sees VR games as just the first application of his company’s technology. To make the system more versatile, Alcaide says its hardware will evolve to become less obtrusive: He envisions first a headband with only one or two small EEG electrodes, and eventually an EEG sensor that fits snugly into an earbud.

    Mind controlled VR game

    Mind VR game

    Those discrete sensors could then be used with augmented reality (AR) glasses, which layer virtual reality on a view of the real world. If such glasses catch on for commercial or consumer use, Neurable’s technology would enable interaction without using a smartphone, gesturing, or issuing voice instructions. Instead, users would just focus their attention on a menu command, a “record” button, or whatever else they wanted to click on. “EEG offers a screen-free solution that’s private,” Alcaide says. “You won’t have to wave your arms around or talk out loud on the bus.”

  • in

    San Diego Installs Smart Streetlights to Monitor the Metropolis

    Streetlights setup

    Streetlights setup San Diego Installs Smart Streetlights to Monitor the Metropolis

    None of the people walking around San Diego’s East Village neighborhood one recent afternoon were looking up at the streetlights (except me). And if they had, they likely wouldn’t have noticed that some of these lights were a little thicker around the middle than others, or that some lanterns topping old-style lampposts had a clear glass panel here and there.

    But unbeknownst to the people below, those streetlights were looking—and listening—all around them, while also monitoring temperature, humidity, and other characteristics of the air.

    And this year, what was a test network of just 50 smart, sensor-laden streetlights will explode to cover most of the populated parts of San Diego. By sometime in May, about 3,200 of the sensing lights, designed and operated by Current, a subsidiary of General Electric, will each monitor an oval area of roughly 36 by 54 meters (120 to 180 feet). The network’s first job will be pointing out vacant parking spots to drivers and, potentially, alerting traffic enforcement officers to illegally parked cars. Later in the year, city officials expect, the sensor data will be used in other ways, some by the city and some by software developers creating new services for residents and visitors.

    For starters, the city “expects to learn what intersections are the most dangerous and need to be redesigned, based on information on near misses, not just the accident data. It’s a whole new way to improve pedestrian safety,” said David Graham, San Diego’s deputy chief operating officer.

    Also, he says, the streetlights could easily be hooked into the city’s existing ShotSpotter network, which automatically locates the source of gunfire, increasing ShotSpotter coverage from just 10 square kilometers (about 4 square miles) to a much broader area. The sensing lights could detect other sounds, too, and automatically alert police to dangerous situations, by recognizing the sound of broken glass or a car crash, for instance. And they’ll be able to monitor intersections and note when traffic backs up—information that might one day be used to adjust traffic signals.

    Sensor-packed streetlights track activity and environmental conditions in their vicinity. Some 3,200 of these high-tech lamps will soon light up the city of San Diego.

    Streetlights setup  

    All that will be just the beginning, says Austin Ashe, Current’s general manager for intelligent cities, because much of the data gathered by the streetlights Internet of Things (IoT) network will be publicly available, and the city will allow software developers to build apps that use the data. To spark development of such apps, the city, GE, and other sponsors have held multiple hackathons. Apps emerging to date include one that identifies the quietest walking route (for people who want to have conversations while strolling); a “digital cane” app designed to use traffic and location data to help visually impaired people cross the street; an app that allows food truck drivers to find locations with available parking spaces and a history of high pedestrian traffic; and a way to identify interesting events in real time, finding hot spots by tracking where pedestrians are congregating or heading.

    All this is just a hint of what’s to come, say Ashe, Graham, and many entrepreneurs eager to get their hands on streetlight data. And we’re talking about a lot of data. Each IoT streetlights incorporates a package of hardware that Current calls CityIQ. It includes an Intel Atom processor and half a terabyte of memory; Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios; two 1080p video cameras for video, still images, and computer vision analytics; two acoustical sensors; and environmental sensors that monitor temperature, pressure, humidity, vibration, and magnetic fields. Much of the data gathered will be processed on board, with selected events or streams of data uploaded to GE’s Predix cloud through AT&T’s LTE network.

    Along with the sensing streetlights, San Diego will be replacing an additional 14,000 of the city’s more than 40,000 streetlights with energy-efficient LED lamps that can communicate with one another and operators and allow brightness adjustments to save energy. The price tag comes in at US $30 million, but it won’t break the budget, says Graham, because it will save 60 percent in the cost of powering the city’s lights. Over the next 13 years, these savings will more than cover the hardware and cloud-computing services required for the streetlight IoT. A financing arrangement spreads out the payments, so the savings stay ahead of the costs.

  • in

    Controlling Robots Swarm With Augmented Reality

    Robots operation

    Robots operation

    Controlling Robot Swarms With Augmented Reality

    While robots are getting increasingly more capable and autonomous, they may still require our help to carry out tasks in real-world environments. That’s why robotics researchers continue to look for new ways to allow human operators to control robots without extensive trainings.

    At New York University, Jared Alan Frank has turned to augmented reality (AR) to develop a robot control interface that runs on a conventional smartphone or tablet. The system uses the device’s camera to capture details from a scene and overlay virtual objects, as other AR applications do. But in this case, you can simply tap and swipe on the screen to make the robots move or pick up objects.

    “You no longer need some of the expensive laboratory-grade equipment that roboticists normally use to do their projects, such as motion capture systems,” says Frank, a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering.

    Using Xcode, Apple’s software development platform, Frank built an app that can detect robots and objects in the environment and create a virtual grid—along with a coordinate system—to keep track of those objects on the screen. The user can then manipulate the objects on the device and watch as the robots carry out the desired actions in the real world. Commands from the app are sent via Wi-Fi to the robots, which in the current version use Raspberry Pi as the main controller.

    To help his app make sense of the environment, Frank places visual tags on the robots and on the objects he wants the robots to move. The smartphone or tablet captures the scene using its camera, and the app detects the tags, using that information to keep track of marked objects. These tags, also called fiducial markers, are commonly used in AR apps to integrate physical landmarks and objects into a virtual world.

    Engineers at NYU have built an AR app to operate robots in the real world

    Robots Control

    Ease of operation is one of the key features of this technology, but another advantage that Frank emphasizes is its mobility. He explains that if you’re able to control a swarm of robots using a simple mobile device, it becomes much easier to bring robotic applications outside the confines of the lab environment.

    And that’s part of what Frank wants to do next. His plan is to test the technology in places like construction sites and factories. To do that, he might need to improve some of the software and hardware he’s been using, to make sure they can operate safely and reliably under real-world conditions. But above all, his main goal is to keep the system as simple and accessible as possible.

    “What we really want,” Frank says, “is for people who’ve never had the ability to do this before to be able to take their device out of their pocket and control a robot.”

  • in

    Report: $30 Android Go smartphones coming soon to India

    Android Go smartphones

    Android Go smartphones

    Report: $30 Android Go smartphones coming soon to India

    Google’s mission to bring affordable, entry-level smartphones to emerging markets could soon be kicked up a notch in India.

    According to a new report from Factor Daily citing multiple unnamed sources, the search giant is teaming up with a handful of manufacturers to create sub-$100, 4G-capable smartphones that run Android Oreo.
    The vendors involved in the initiative reportedly include more established Android OEMs like Micromax, as well as several manufacturers typically associated with simple feature phones. Other companies noted in the report include Intex, Lava, and Karbonn.

    The Scorecard : take a look at Google’s efforts in India


    A new smartphone running Google’s leaner, data-efficient OS will apparently hit the market later this month “on Republic Day or around it” – Republic Day falls on January 26th this year.
    The Micromax phone is expected to retail at just ₹2,000 (around $31), which is a significant drop from the usual $100 price-tag of most entry-level smartphones in India.

    Micromax’s offering appears to mark the start of a much broader campaign, however. The report quotes an anonymous “Google official” who allegedly said: “We expect Android Oreo (Go edition) devices to launch in early 2018,” implying that plenty more budget devices are on the way very soon.
    By offering entry-level smartphones at feature phone prices, the imminent launch of Go-powered Android devices could be the next piece of the puzzle in Google’s ambitious Next Billion Users campaign.
    The Go variant of Android Oreo arrived in late December, supplanting Android One as the entry-level Google OS of choice. Android Go (Oreo edition) is essentially a lightweight version of the regular Oreo experience designed for smartphones with 1 GB of RAM or less, complete with leaner, Go-branded apps, and a streamlined Google Play Store.
    In an important development, Qualcomm and MediaTek both recently announced that they will be creating processors that are optimized for Android Oreo (Go edition). Support from the two chipset makers could prove crucial as Google inevitably looks to expand its horizons beyond India to other emergent markets in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and South East Asia.
    For now, though, Google seems set on snatching as much revenue as it can in the second-largest smartphone market in the world where devices with high price-performance ratios from Samsung and Xiaomi have proved incredibly popular.

  • in

    New Analysis of Lithium-Ion Batteries Shows How to Pack in More Energy

    Lithium-Ion Batteries

    New Analysis of Lithium-Ion Batteries Shows How to Pack in More EnergyLithium-Ion Batteries

    If electric vehicles are ever going to outcompete gas-powered ones, batteries must improve. Conventional lithium-ion batteries, the most energy-dense for their weight, can only be charged to about 50 percent of their theoretical capacity. When researchers have tried to pack more lithium into a battery’s electrodes, it hasn’t helped. The electrodes begin to quickly degrade after the first discharge/recharge cycle, and nobody has been able to figure out how to prevent it.

     

    Now there’s a clue. Using a combination of theoretical computer modeling and sophisticated X-ray methods, researchers have for the first time found a relationship between the way atoms rearrange themselves in the electrode when it’s being charged and how electrons are stored in the battery’s atomic and chemical structures. This insight should give battery-makers a blueprint for building lithium-rich electrodes that could dramatically improve battery performance.

    At its full potential, a lithium-rich battery could improve the range of today’s electric vehicles by a third or better. A Tesla Model S with the company’s P100D battery pack, for instance, could go from traveling 315 miles (about 500 kilometers) on a single charge to as far as 473 miles. Or the carmaker could keep the range at 315 miles, but lower the price to compete with gas-powered vehicles without a rebate.Lithium-Ion Batteries for vehicles

    “The dream is to make an affordable mass-market electric vehicle that is the same upfront cost as a gasoline equivalent. Then the consumer starts saving gas money from day one, and everyone would switch to electric,” said William Gent, a Ph.D. student of chemistry at Stanford University and the first author on the study, which appears today in Nature Communications.

    Gent worked with professor William Chueh, an investigator at Stanford University, along with researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Advanced Light Source, on the project.

    Conventional lithium-ion batteries are pretty straightforward, technically speaking. They have two electrodes—a positively charged cathode and a negatively charged anode—with a liquid electrolyte between them. The cathodes are made up of layers of lithium and transition metals, namely nickel, manganese, or cobalt.

    When the batteries are charged, lithium ions move from the positive electrode, through the liquid electrolyte, and then insert themselves into the material that makes up the negative electrode. The transition metal ions stay put. The same happens for electrons, except they travel across the circuit on their way to the negative electrode. Ions and electrons travel in the opposite direction when the batteries are discharged.

    Test on Lithium-Ion batteries

    Next, the scientists used computer models to test their hypotheses. They confirmed that when the lithium-rich cathode was charged, the transition metal ions, which normally stay in place in conventional batteries, moved around. They found that this rearrangement drastically impacts the voltage at which the electrons are stored in the cathode. This wouldn’t be so bad if the ions returned to their original location during discharge. But few did. And each time the battery was charged and discharged, the ions moved a little more, which created disorder in the atomic structure and caused the strange voltage behavior.

    “We’re hoping we can use this understanding to gain better control of these materials and make them more practical,” said Gent.

    He and his colleagues have already begun to test different ways to address the problem. One idea is to prevent the transition metal ions from migrating. Another is to design the structure in a way that makes it easier for the migrating ion to return to its original position.

  • in

    Nintendo Switch hacked, opening door for homebrew games (and pirates)

    Nintendo Game

    Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto. It is one of the world’s largest video game companies by market capitalization, creating some of the best-known and top-selling video game franchises, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon. Founded on 23 September 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it originally produced handmade hanafuda playing cards.
    By 1963, the Nintendo company had tried several small niche businesses, such as cab services and love hotels. Abandoning previous ventures in favor of toys in the 1960s, Nintendo then developed into a video game company in the 1970s, ultimately becoming one of the most influential in the industry and Japan’s third most-valuable company with a market value of over $85 billion. From 1992 until 2016, Nintendo was also the majority shareholder of Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners.

    Nintendo Switch hacked, opening door for homebrew games (and pirates)

    Taking expertise of a GPU make the most, unofficial program would run on the Nintendo switch for the primary time.
    The console change, this Christmas’s most sought-after gift, has been hacked, paving the best way for installations of unofficial “homebrew” application and probably even pirated video games.
    A up to date hacking convention in Germany saw a team of tinkerers take knowledge of a quirk of the console’s off-the-shelf Nvidia Tegra chip, permitting them to make use of a function that Nvidia’s possess engineers and builders use to access deep-stage features of the chipset no longer commonly accessible to the public.
    At the same time the video explaining the specifics of the hack has now been removed, should you be all in favour of exploring the hack sooner or later it appears that you can have got to make certain your console stays at swap firmware variation three. Zero. That suggests preserving your console offline to avoid newer method updates, and identifying up a bodily copy of Pokken tournament DX, which comes with firmware variant 3.0 onboard. Must the hackers then unlock their homebrew launcher, it will have to work.

    Nintendo Hacking dangers

    There are inherent risks in trying such a hack nevertheless. To begin with, and most surely, it voids your warranty, leaving you with out Nintendo’s support must your console fail.
    Additionally, installing program now not sanctioned by means of Nintendo loses the exceptional assurance that the enterprise presents, possibly main to a sub-par expertise, and probably even locking you out of later Nintendo releases that require more recent firmware. That is earlier than since the damage piracy does to the gaming enterprise and the folks that work in it a course that’s often walked from the primary steps of honest homebrew tinkering to more nefarious piratical ends.
    The console has lengthy struggled with the homebrew group and pirates, with its Wii and Nintendo DS consoles primarily susceptible to hacking and piratical events. Don’t be suprised

  • in

    Sony’s Super Slo-Mo Cellphone Camera

    Sony’s Super Slo-Mo Cellphone Camera

    This past summer, Sony debuted a high camera finish phone, the Xperia XZ, that may take slow-motion movies at body rates over an order of magnitude turbo than its competitors’ handsets. The cell’s digicam can capture the flapping of birds’ wings or a skateboard trick at a rate of 960 frames per second. By contrast, the iPhone X presents a highest of 60 frames per second at 4K (ultra-high definition); the Samsung Galaxy S8 presents half of that body price at 4K, and as much as 60 fps when recording in high definition.

    Sony xperia XZ Camera

    This week, on the international Electron contraptions meeting in San Francisco, Sony offered small print about the way it made this fast camera work inside the distance and energy constraints of a phone. The secret’s an wonderful 3D-stacked design that sandwiches a layer of DRAM between a CMOS photograph sensor and a layer of common sense.

    Digital camera speeds are in most cases confined by the time it takes to switch knowledge off of individual pixels, says Hidenobu Tsugawa, an engineer at Sony Semiconductor options in Kanagawa, Japan. The pixel’s bucket has to be emptied before it may be crammed once more, and slow switch off the imaging chip slows that approach down. To make better body price cameras and shrink on distortion in speedy relocating graphics, makers of chips for top finish SLRs can empty every pixel’s bucket faster via constructing memory factors within the pixels themselves. In cellphones, house is at a top rate; giant, reminiscence-enabled pixels would absorb an excessive amount of priceless cellular actual estate.
    The super slo-mo camera snapshot sensor addresses this predicament by means of constructing up instead than out. The 19.3-million-pixel photograph sensing chip, a common sense layer, and a layer comprising 1 gigabit of DRAM are fabricated on separate wafers, then bonded collectively, thinned, and connected by means of inter-layer links referred to as by means of-silicon vias. At about one hundred thirty micrometers thick, this stacked sensor is still small adequate for a phone and in line with Sony, has the same footprint as its traditional photograph sensing chips.
    As a substitute of passing from pixels to logic and then to off-chip storage via a slow interface, snapshot data empties instantly from the pixel array into the DRAM layer earlier than passing by means of a layer of common sense and then off the chip. This arrangement makes the speed of the image sensor the only constraint, and quick-relocating images are much less prone to distortion, says Tsugawa. He provides: The movement pleasant is healthier due to the fact that of the studying pace. The camera’s snapshot is not so good as an SLR, however smartphone sensors are starting to toughen in excellent.

  • in

    Is Qualcomm’s NanoRing the Transistor of the (Near) Future?

    Is Qualcomm’s NanoRing the Transistor of the (Near) Future? 

    In these days’ developed chips use transistors whose most distinguished feature is a vertical fin of silicon through which present flows when the device is switched on. But that design’s days may be numbered. IBM, for one, plans on moving to a design known as nanosheets for the technology node due out in a couple of years. Qualcomm has different suggestions.
    In particular simulations carried out with chip manufacturing device maker utilized substances and design automation huge Synopsys, Qualcomm engineers analyzed five design candidates for this next new release. In special, they have been watching for a difference between how character transistors participate in and the way whole logic gates composed of them would participate in.
    Gadget engineers or method engineers optimize for a very limited determine of merit,says S.C. Song, a predominant engineer at Qualcomm. For example, on the gadget level, a lot of the focal point is on how good the transistor’s gate can manipulate the waft of current by means of its channel. Nevertheless, different features come to be extra fundamental when you look at complete good judgment gates alternatively of single transistors. In unique, song and his staff determined that a device’s parasitic capacitance vigor lost throughout switching due to the presence of unintended capacitor buildings used to be the actual limitation.

    More on Qualcomm Nanoring

    That’s what made the Qualcomm workforce opt for their nanoring design over a variant of nanosheets, which they called nanoslabs. From the aspect, nanoslabs look like a stack of two or three rectangular slabs of silicon. Each slab is surrounded by way of a excessive-k dielectric and a steel gate electrode. Voltage at the gate produces an electrical area within the silicon that enables current to waft through.
    Entirely surrounding every slab of silicon with the gate electrode offers just right control over the drift of current, however it additionally introduces parasitic capacitance, in view that the structure between the slabs’ silicon, insulator, metal, insulator, silicon is sincerely a pair of capacitors.
    Nanorings solve this with the aid of altering the form of the silicon and incompletely filling the gap between the slabs with metallic. Baking the device in hydrogenated explanations the rectangular slabs to form into elongated ovals. This pinches the gap between them so best the high-k dielectric completely surrounds them. The metallic gate can’t quite make it the entire approach around, so there’s much less capacitance. Yet, the gate’s electrical field remains to be effective adequate to throttle the flow of current.
    Capacitance scaling is the most difficult predicament in cutting edge nodes under 7 nm,says Chidi Chidambaram, vice president of the approach science staff at Qualcomm. Capacitance discount from the non-present-contributing component of constitution…As a result is of maximum value going forward.
    despite the clear win on this simulation, the challenge of which transistor Qualcomm will want in future chips is some distance from settled. Music and his collaborators plan to construct and test gadgets and circuits with nanorings. And they also plan to simulate way more tricky circuits and methods with nanorings, all of the means as much as a entire phone.

  • in

    Google retires the Pixel C tablet as it shifts focus to the Pixelbook

    Google retires the Pixel C tablet as it shifts focus to the Pixelbook

    As famous earlier in these days by way of Android Police. Google has stopped selling the Pixel C by way of its online retailer. It’s a quiet and now not surprising end for the company’s well-acquired tablet, designed to make room for Google’s cutting-edge and greatest.
    The manufacturer validated with TechCrunch that the top of sale additionally represents the top of life for the gadget, though Google added that it plans to continue helping the hardware relocating forward.
    As is long-established when a device has been out for a few years. We’re now retiring Pixel C and it’s not to be had for sale, the enterprise stated in a declaration. However, we’re dedicated to updating and aiding it, together with the up to date update to Android 8.Zero, so shoppers can proceed to get the pleasant out of their gadget.
    And, of direction, the declaration wouldn’t be whole with out a plug for its new premium Chromebook. Our newly launched Google Pixelbook combines the satisfactory parts of a computing device and a pill for those watching for a versatile gadget.

    Pixelbook’s Review and Pricing (Pixel)

    Frederic gave the tablet good marks in a evaluation again in 2015. However noted, there’s a marketplace for the C, however I think it’ll be a small one. That appears to be the case with some of the Google-branded gadgets. Mainly because of this the company is nearly competing against itself for a relatively small slice of market share.
    The shift from the C to Pixelbook does symbolize something of a bigger trend for the industry in contemporary years, as many have moved from slates to convertibles. The Pixelbook isn’t as slim as a standalone tablet, and there are specific sacrifices when shifting between any kind reasons, nevertheless it’s a lovely solid tablet substitute for many instances. It’s also a much more good-rounded computing gadget.
    The one colossal caveat here, nonetheless, is price. The Pixel C began at $599 (plus keyboard); the Pixelbook’s lowest SKU is $999. The pills of the longer term are going to be much more versatile. More than their predecessors and it’s most likely going to fee you.

  • in ,

    Zanco Tiny T1 is officially the world’s smallest fully functional mobile phone.i

    Zanco Tiny T1 is officially the world’s smallest fully functional mobile phone.

    Zanco smartphone, a U.Ok-situated company has introduced the arena’s smaller mobilephone, Tiny T1. The device has already surpassed $117,347 in crowd cash on Kickstarter, surpassing its long-established purpose of $33,561. Over 1,732 backers have pledged to aid money for the teeny tiny smartphone, and there are nonetheless 21 days to move.
    The Zanco Tiny T1 smartphone is officially the arena’s smallest cell. It measures most effective 46.7 mm in size and weighs about thirteen grams, making it identical in measurement of a average USB thumb drive. We’re proud to introduce the sector’s smallest smartphone. It’s so tiny, you received feel it’s actual! It’s the excellent gift for any device lover and matches in any bag or rpocket no matter how small the corporation stated on the cell’s Kickstarter page.

    Functionality of Zanco smartphone

    Customers could make ordinary calls and ship SMSes and possible retailer 300 numbers and 50 textual content messages. The telephone operates on a 2G community, with 180 minutes of talk time and three days of standby. There’s a 0.Forty nine-inch OLED show, microUSB charging port, nanoSIM card slot, thoroughly functional keyboard, and a small speaker on prime.

    Zanco smartphone pricing

    Zanco Tiny T1 smartphone will not be a gimmick, it’s a correct mobile mobile. Yes, it can’t be in comparison with be a smartphone however the corporation says the Tiny T1 can be an excellent backup or emergency telephone. And because of its measurement, that you may keep the mobile in your bag, pocket or glove compartment. Which you could get the sector’s smallest cell by means of pledging £35 (or approx Rs 3018) on its Kickstarter web page.
    With a tiny zero.49-inch OLED display and weighing in at 13g, the Tiny T1 lives as much as its name, measuring a minuscule 46.7mm x 21mm x 12mm.
    Yet into its petite mobilephone body, the Tiny T1 squeezes in a nano-SIM card and area for 300 mobilephone book contacts, 50 SMS messages and 50 final calls in or out records, as well as a totally practical keyboard.
    Certain, it isn’t as feature-packed as even the lowest-end Android smartphone, nevertheless it’s a fraction of the size at somewhat larger than a 50p coin.
    It’s an excellent feat of engineering through Bradford-born entrepreneur Shazad Talib, a expert in making telephones of tiny proportions.
    However, in an international where which you can get a decent if no longer excellent Android smartphone for below £100, you’ll be questioning who’d want the sort of tiny device.

    Well it could serve as a first-rate backup cellphone that may be popped into a pockets or purse, used for urgent calls when your predominant mobile may be out of battery or broken.
    It would serve as a competition telephone some thing less expensive and disposable to reveal to the mud and debauchery of detailed music festivals that one wouldn’t feel secure hanging an iPhone X by means of.
    We’d hazard a bet that the Tiny T1 will in finding some fame in prisons, whereby intrepid inmates might squirrel the telephone away a lot more comfortably than even the slimmest of smartphones.
    Whatever its use, the Tiny T1 is obviously an interesting cell in a world of smart phones.

Load More
Congratulations. You've reached the end of the internet.