Following an investigation into the business practices of several LCD makers, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has gone and sued a number of companies on allegations of price fixing, a charge he contends has been going on for a decade.
"Our investigation shows that an illegal cartel eliminated competition in the marketplace for LCD screens, made its own secret decisions to boost prices, and then took steps to make those high prices stick," Cuomo said. "As a result, hard-pressed New York cities, towns, schools, and hospitals spent hundreds of millions of dollars on LCD screens affected by the illegal conspiracy. My office is bringing this case to get those illegal overcharges back."
The lawsuit accuses top-level executives, including CEOs, of attending secret meetings on a quarterly, and sometimes monthly basis to set minimum prices, price targets and increases, and prices to be charged to specific manufacturers. Cuomo's lawsuit also accuses LCD makers of exchanging production information to control output, and coordinating messages to cover-up the entire scheme.
Defendants listed in the suit include AU Optronics, Chi Mei Corporation, CMO Japan, Hitachi, LG, Samsung, Sharp, and Toshiba.
Look for Samsung to soon begin shipping the EcoGreen F4EG, a 2TB 3.5-inch hard drive the company claims is the world's highest density HDD, and environmentally friendly to boot.
"Storage-hungry multimedia professionals, gamers, and home PC users continue to increase the amount of video, music, photo, and other personal data they store and back-up," said I.C. Park, vice president, Storage Sales, Semiconductor Business, Samsung Electronics. "The F4EG delivers all the benefits of a low-power drive yet features top performance quality and is environmentally friendly."
In order to claim the density crown, Samsung packed 667GB of storage space onto three platters. Combined with "advanced technology," Samsung says the F4EG is 19 percent better in standby time performance, and boasts a 23 percent lower power consumption in standby compared to the previous four-disk F3EG model.
Other features include SATA 3.0Gbps, NCQ, and a 32MB buffer. The F4EG will ship in September for $120.
Shout it with us: No more wires! That's the idea behind Samsung's PL90, the company's latest point-n-shoot camera with a built-in USB connector. No more fumbling around your bag for that USB cable, just flip open the connector and jam the digicam right into a free USB port.
"We want consumers to enjoy the entire photographic experience through the PL90, with the ability to capture, connect, and share pictures instantly and even charge on the move," said Sangjin Park, President of the Digital Imaging Business, Samsung Electronics. "In this fast paced world, we understand that our customers need to have these capabilities at their fingertips, and the PL90 puts this power in their hands. The PL90 is further evidence of the continued innovation behind Samsung cameras."
More than a one-trick pony, the PL90 comes packed with a respectable spec sheet. There's a 12.2 megapixel sensor, 4x optical zoom, a 2.7-inch LCD screen, 30FPS VGA movie mode, red eye fix, and a handful of proprietary technologies.
With so many tablets purportedly on the horizon, many of which will tap into Google's Android platform, it's going to be increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd without some kind of novel twist. Samsung may have found one, as evidenced by a recent patent filing that places a touch panel on both the front and rear of a tablet. Here's the short and sweet of the lengthy patent app:
"A terminal device having a dual touchscreen capable of controlling a content is disclosed. The terminal device displays at least one content to a display unit. A processor coupled to the terminal is configured to checking content mapped to an area at which a touch event is detected and released from the dual touchscreen including a first touch sensor and a second touch sensor and to control the content according to the touch event."
It's an interesting idea, though it also raises a number of questions. Can you pick up the device and use either side, or is there a true front and back? And what are the optimal uses for a dual-sided tablet? Is this something Joe User even wants?
If you've got the answers, we'd love to hear them. Hit the jump and sound off!
If Intel had its way every single device on the planet would be powered by one of its processors, but one thing is holding them back from world domination, namely their dependence on x86 architectures. ARM Processors have proven to be the faster and more power efficient design for mobile up until now, leaving Intel to spectate jealously from the sidelines. So how will Intel find its way inside some of the most coveted consumer devices on the planet? Well, if recent rumors are true than a few billion out of the war chest to buy Germany-based Infineon might just do the trick.
Infineon chips show up in mobile products from Nokia, Samsung, and even Apple which power everything from the 3G radios to the interface chips for high resolution cameras. These critical pieces of hardware don’t get the same level of press as the A4, but are just as important to the final package. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this story is that Intel is more or less buying back technology that they invented and sold off to Marvell back in 2006.
Intel has a fair bit of work to do before it can become entrenched in mobile platforms, but an acquisition of Infineon would be a positive first step buying them a valuable chunk of PCB real estate inside the iPad and iPhone 4.
On August 20, 2010 at precisly 4:30pm (EST), Samsung will show off the Epic 4G for Sprint on its television support site. Big whoop, right? Depends on if you're a Sprint customer anxiously awaiting your own version of the Galaxy S, because the last two times Samsung webcasted its carrier specific Galaxy S smartphone (T-Mobile Vibrant and AT&T Captivate), the respective phones launched shortly afterward.
That's still four weeks away, but if it comes as any consolation, the Epic 4G is primed to be the best Galaxy S smartphone yet. It will come with a slide-out keyboard, 4-inch Super AMOLED display, 5MP camera with LED flash, 720p video recording, front-facing camera, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, six-axis accelerometer, and that sexy 1GHz Hummingbird processor. And of course it will do 4G.
On the software side, the Epic 4G will come powered by a retooled version of Google's Android 2.1 platform, with a 2.2 upgrade planned for the not-too-distant future.
Samsung on Monday claimed an industry first by announcing it has begun mass producing 2Gb (gigabit, not gigabyte) Green DDR3 using a 30nm manufacturing process.
"We’re seeing a sharp rise in demand for DDR3 chips and are meeting that need with the timely introduction of 30nm-class Green DDR3 solutions," said Soo-In Cho, president, Memory Division, Semiconductor Business, Samsung Electronics. "Thirty nano-class DDR3 DRAM will deliver the most satisfying user experience possible, offering extremely high performance and reduced power consumption for PC and server applications designed to capitalize on new multi-core processors."
According to Samsung, these environmentally sound memory modules are capable of reaching up to 1.866Gbps at 1.35V, while PC modules can ramp up to 2.133Gbps at 1.5V. That's 3.5 times faster than DDR2 and 1.6 times faster than 50nm DDR3, Samsung says.
So how does this translate into the real world? According to Samsung, 30nm-class 4GB DDR3 kits for PCs can operating up to 60 percent faster than two 50nm-class 2GB DDR3 solutions, all while using 65 percent less power.
Samsung this week announced it has started shipping its first terabyte mobile hard drive, the Spinpoint MT2. While the dimensions aren't quite right for notebooks, Samsung says its newest 2.5-inch drive is ideally suited for other portable storage solutions, including the newly released Samsung S2 Portable 1TB USB drive, digital TVs, home media systems, and set-top boxes.
"The new Spinpoint Mt2 drive offers the largest capacity in what has previously been offered as an option for portable digital devices," said I.C. Park vice president, storage marketing, Samsung Electronics. "As the total storage solution provider, Samsung is committed to offering products that features exceptional performance and value across a wide range of computing and consumer electronics markets."
Cramming all that storage into a 2.5-inch form factor required the use of three 333GB platters. Other features include a 5400RPM spindle speed, 8MB of cache, NCQ, and a SATA 3.0Gb/s interface.
The 1TB Spinpoint MT2, as well as the smaller 750GB version, have both started shipping, Samsung said.
Samsung's Vibrant smartphone (part of the Galaxy S series) debuted on T-Mobile yesterday, finally giving T-Mobile subscribers an Android phone to legitimately be excited about. And if you're a frequent traveler, it gets even better -- Gogo is offering up to one month of free inflight Wi-Fi data access.
"As smartphones become more prevalent, we want to make it easier for those traveling to access their email and favorite websites as well as Twitter and Facebook," said Aircell President and CEO, Michael Small. "We want to provide the Vibrant customers with a seamless way to continue their mobile experience at 30,000 feet."
Gogo is available on nearly 1,000 commercial aircraft and over 3,500 daily flights in the Continental U.S., Gogo said. The free month of service is valid for one month from registration or until January 31, 2011, whichever comes first.
Take this one with a bucket of salt and whatever else goes well with unconfirmed reports, but according to the online rumor mill, Samsung's upcoming i9200 Galaxy S2 -- the successor to the Galaxy S -- will sport some serious hardware when it supposedly shows up in early 2011.
According to leaked reports, the Galaxy S2 will come outfitted with a 2GHz processor paired with 1GB of RAM (and 4GB ROM). Like the original Galaxy S, the S2 is expected to strut into the mobile scene with a Super AMOLED 2 display capable of a 1280x720 resolution, only this one will measure 4.3 inches.
Other rumored hardware consists of 32GB of built-in flash memory, a microSD card slot, 8MP camera with Full HD recording, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3.5mm audio jack, accelerometer, gyroscope, and proximity and ambient light sensors. All this will come wrapped around Google's Android 3.0 OS.