ARM designs microprocessors, then licenses the designs to manufacturing. Most cell phones currently use ARM chips, but ARM isn’t content with owning just that market. They hope the new chip will find its way into other products, possibly in direct competition with Intel. The Cortex-A5 is fast enough to run a laptop or netbook, though Windows does not currently run on ARM chips.
Cortex-A5 chips are expected to run at clock speeds in the gigahertz range, and draw only 80 milliwatts of power. This should provide better performance and power efficiency than upcoming Intel chips. The first products with the new design should begin showing up sometime in 2011.
The problem facing mobile phone carriers is pretty simple: smartphones are giving existing bandwidth a beating, especially by iPhone users; broadband pricing has been dropping as the market becomes more competitive, which encourages more use (especially with flat-rate plans); and 2G users are slowly, but surely, migrating into the 3G system. The outcome, according to a report by Unwired Insight, titled Will 3G Networks Cope?, there’ll be a 20-fold increase in demand over the next five years.
The solution Unwired Insight argues for is an accelerated implementation of the Long Term Evolution (LTE), or 4G network. LTE networks, which take advantage of scalable carrier bandwidths, have peak downlinks of 100 Mbps; uplinks of 50 Mbps, compared to 3G’s 14 Mbps downlink and 5.8 Mbps uplink maximums. (An upgraded version of 3G will boost downlinks to 42 Mbps, but that would only paper over a fairly severe gap.) Greater throughput will help to ease the load of all those smartphone users that have taken to browsing the web and viewing streaming media. Besides high throughput, LTE offers low latency, plug and play, and is compatible with existing GSM and CDMA architectures.
Sidekick users feeling scorned over their recent data loss can take a huge sigh of relief today, as Microsoft announced it has begun the first phase of the content restoration process. Personal contacts will be the first bits of data to be restored.
In order to get your data back, you'll need to log into the My T-Mobile website and download the recovery tool. Microsoft says the tool will enable you to view the contacts you had saved as of October 1. With a few simple mouse clicks and a confirmation, those contacts will be restored to your Sidekick.
Naturally, most Sidekick owners have probably already recreated some of the same contacts since the data disaster. If that's the case, you have the option of keeping both sets of contacts, merging them, or just keep whatever contacts are currently on your device.
So what about the rest of your data?
"We continue to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to restore your data," Microsoft said. "We're making solid progress on the next phase in the restoration process, including your photographs, notes, to-do lists, marketplace data, and high scores."
Phew! Glad to see that "high scores" is included in the fray!
Santa Clara-based chip maker Marvell has launched a new range of CPUs called ARMADA. Based on the ARM instruction set, the new processors will power “smartphones, smartbooks, consumer and embedded devices, and displays.”
Based on their intended device segment, the new application processors fall into four different series: the ARMADA 100, 500, 600 and 1000. "Launch of the ARMADA family represents a watershed event in mobile computing,” said Marvell’s co-founder and VP, Ms. Weili Dai.
This means that we are a few weeks away from the launch of another Android handset. Shih was addressing the media along with Asus president and CEO Jerry Shen, who said he expects demand for netbooks to remain steady in 2010.
Android and netbooks are not the only things keeping Asustek’s top brass occupied. Chairman Shih said that the company is mulling an entry into the green technology market.
Apparently you just aren’t a real computer company these days unless you have your own smartphone, and Dell is finally ready to take the plunge. Details on the new Dell phone for the U.S. market are pretty scarce at the moment, but apparently it may, or many not be based on the Android operating system, and it will be released sometime in 2010.During an appearance at FiReGlobal today, CEO Michael Dell confirmed not just the existence of the device, but its importance to the company’s future.
“Mobility is absolutely the theme” Dell claims, and this will have a big impact on their PC business as well. “The only reason people buy desktops today is if you are concerned about price or power, otherwise, laptops dominate”. He also heavily downplayed the significance of the netbook market, predicting that the market share would level off at around 12 to 15 percent. “I think there is some disenchantment and user dissatisfaction…. After 36 hours, you say the screen is too small”.
As for carriers of the new Dell phone, he wouldn’t comment specifically on the AT&T rumor, but he did confirm that China Mobile will carry the launch device and would be the starting point for their entry into the market. As for their long term plans, Dell claims they have left the door open to pursue other platforms, and that future devices may not be Android based depending on how the mobile space plays out.
Perhaps they are waiting to see if Windows Mobile 7 actually catches up to the pack, as Dell traditionally enjoys a pretty cozy relationship with Microsoft.
The new version has added native Exchange, Youtube, and Facebook support. With Facebook integration, users can import contact data from their friends list. The Browser has reportedly been much improved; rivaling the iPhone 3GS in rendering speed. Google has even added a unified email inbox. Google Maps has been totally updated, adding support for Layers. Finally, there’s a new “Car Home” with big buttons for things you might want to use when driving.
This is still an early build, but it gives us a real sense where the OS is going. If there’s one way to describe what Google has done in this revision, it would be “more polish”. From the browser to the contact list, everything looks more well thought out and functional. The firmware appears to be running on the mysterious Motorola Droid. The phone has been reported as being a Google Experience phone, so everyone seems ready to believe this is stock Android 2.0. So, how do the screens strike you?
Put away the pitchforks for a moment, because that whole data loss thing involving the Sidekick and Microsoft's Danger unit might not be the Redmond company's fault after all. So who is to blame? Oracle, Linux, and Sun, Microsoft said in not so many words.
"Sidekick runs on Danger's proprietary service that Microsoft inherited when it acquired Danger in 2008. The Danger service is built on a mix of Danger created technologies and third party technologies," Microsoft explained to TGDaily. "Microsoft's other cloud computing projects are totally separate from the Danger Service and do not rely on the Danger Service technology."
There's actually a whole lot more to the story for anyone who cares to read through it all, including a possible sabotage scenario. In short, this could be a situation where it was simply easier to point the finger at Microsoft, justified or not. And more than just pointing fingers, the Redmond company finds itself on the receiving end of two class-action lawsuits alleging that it, along with T-Mobile, failed to "adequately ensure the safety, security, and availability of the data belonging" to Sidekick users.
Dell’s first Android phone, the Mini 3i, was originally a China only release. Of course there were rumors that it might find its way to American shores, but they are rumors no more. Michael Dell has come out and said the Mini 3i will be available in the US early in 2010.
Dell mused on the smartphone market in a speech, saying, “The internet in your pocket ... and new platforms that are coming out are pretty interesting. Some of them resemble things that we're pretty familiar with, in terms of open systems and the ability to compete in an open ecosystem. I think you'll begin to see us show up there, gradually.”
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the Mini 3i would be modified to run on AT&T in the US. With Dell’s admission that the phone is indeed headed stateside, it seems likely that AT&T will get their first Android set in Q1 2010
Thus far, every official Android phone has been running a 528MHz Qualcomm chip based on the ARM11 core. While inexpensive and prolific, they really aren’t very fast. In fact, the ARM11 chip may be holding Android phones back. The Acer A1 is breaking the mold, and not a bit too soon.
While previously leaked specs indicated its CPU would be running at 768MHz, Acer has now said it will have a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chip. It’s also rocking Android version 1.6, known as Donut. The upcoming smartphone is equipped with a 3.5 inch 800 x 480 display, and a 5 megapixel camera. It will also have an Acer branded cloud sync application.
Acer hasn’t released any additional specs at this time. No US carrier support has been talked about either. Even if we don’t see it in the US, it could set a new standard for Android handsets everywhere.