No more than a couple months ago Toshiba showed off the first 32 nanometer NAND flash chips, and soon they’ll be the first company to ship them as well.
According to a press release from Toshiba, they’ll begin mass production of 32Gb (gigabit) NAND flash chips in July 2009, and 16Gb products will begin to ship Q3 of this very year.
So, what does all this mean for you, as a consumer? Sooner rather than later, manufacturers will be able to start packing more memory into smaller places. This translates to bigger SSDs, and even more internal memory for your smartphone and other mobile devices. Ahh, progress!
File this away as a rumor until more details emerge, but for the time being, word on the web is that Microsoft is shopping for an ad agency to help launch and promote Zune for mobile phones. Codenamed 'Pink,' the project has made the rounds on the web before and refers to Zune software on mobile phones, which is somewhat less exciting than a Zunephone rumor coming true.
But is this all Microsoft has planned for Zune? As news site Engadget points out, "you don't audition three huge ad agencies just to launch a Zune app on busted ol' WinMo, so there could be something big cooking." Engadget surmises that we could end up seeing a consumer-oriented edition of Windows Mobile that integrates Zune services not just on the Zune HD, but on several third-party phones as well.
Any guesses as to what Microsoft is planning? Hit the jump and share post your predictions.
If you've been eyeing the iPhone ever since it came out but have been reluctant to switch from your cellular service provider to AT&T, then you may want to rethink that approach. That's because AT&T, who struck gold when it inked a deal with Apple to be the exclusive iPhone carrier, is in discussions to extend its contract until 2011, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
When asked to comment on the talks, an Apple spokeswoman offered little other information, saying only "We have a great relationship with AT&T."
And vice versa. According to AT&T, it has added 4.3 million iPhone subscribers in the second half of 2008, many of which -- about 40 percent -- were new to AT&T. But if AT&T is going to secure exclusivity rights to the iPhone for at least a year after its initial deal comes to an end, it's going to have to make sense for Apple as well, who will face increased pressure from Google's Android platform as the open-source OS starts to spread beyond T-Mobile's G1. And with Android 1.5 adding a bevy of new features, things could get awfully interesting in round 2.
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, Foxconn appears to be the frontrunner to produce smartphones for BlackBerry developer Research in Motion (RIM), or so say the site's un-named sources within the Taiwan handset industry.
RIM, who currently works with EMS firms Elcoteq and Celestica, wants to ramp up its output to meet its expanding global market share, DigiTimes reports. Should Foxconn snag a partnership deal, it will become the most comprehensive OEM smartphone maker on the planet, capable of producing smartphones that run on every major handset OS, including Windows Mobile, Android, Web OS, iPhone OS, and BlackBerry OS.
The deal would give second-ranking smartphone vendor RIM, who holds an 18 percent market share, a boost in its bid to compete with Nokia, the No.1 smartphone vendor.
As Engadget puts it, the Windows Mobile news coming out of this week's CTIA Wireless 2009 trade show can be summed up in two words: "pretty" and "support" (for the upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system).
Want a phone where "pretty" is more than case-deep? Designer Isaac Mizrahi, Design Museum London, and the Council of Fashion Designers are teaming up with Redmond to create fashionable wallpapers for the 6.5 version of Windows Mobile. On the support side, Microsoft announced support from over 25 companies for its Windows Mobile Marketplace (Word 2003 DOC link).
For more about what Redmond put on display, join us after the jump.
Though the browsing experience on cellphones has come up by leaps and bounds, a lot of work still needs to be done. Another considerable step forward would be full-fledged Flash functionality on cellphones. It is something that figures high on Adobe’s list of priorities. In fact, it is busy developing Flash ports for major mobile platforms.
Now it appears as though a Flash port for the Android platform may become available sooner than expected as another company is also developing one.
Most of the talk involving 32nm usually includes an Intel or AMD processor roadmap, but in the mobile world, it's ARM who is garnering the attention. The company this week demonstrated its first 32nm mobile chip. The Cortex processor is built on IBM's high-k metal-gate technology and boasts reduced power consumption to the tune of 10 percent, ARM says.
Developers will have access to the 32nm Cortex design starting this year, but ARM doesn't expect production to ramp up until sometime in 2010. And while no potential customers for the new chip have yet been named, ARM regularly licenses its chip designs to several processor makers, including Samsung, Freescale, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba. Because Samsung supplies the current iPhone CPU, there has already been speculation that ARM's new 32nm chip could be used in the next generation of iPhones.
"This silicon proof is a key step in our roadmap to demonstrate the technical synergy between leading ARM processors, ARM Physical IP, and the Common Platform process technology that delivers best-in-class performance, lowest power consumption and rapid time-to-market,"said Ian Drew, EVP Marketing, ARM. "It also shows that we are fully committed to affording our Partners the earliest possible opportunity to deploy ARM technology, in particular the Cortex-A9 processor and future processors, on the 32/28nm process."
ARM's new chip comes as part of a previously signed three-way deal with IBM, Samsung, and Singapore-based Chartered Semiconductor to not only develop low-power 32nm chips, but 28nm as well.
As in previous surveys, respondents recognize that people are both an organization’s greatest asset as well as its weakest link. But security vigilance is even more important in hard economic times, when the increased stress levels can lead people to behave in atypical ways.
Garmin and Asus today announced a "strategic alliance" to build and sell co-branded Nuvifones. The partnership won't result in a new company, but any smarthphone released by either company will be co-branded and carry the Nuvifone name, seemingly ending any speculation of an impending Eee Phone.
"Garmin and ASUS have already begun joint development on a diverse mobile phone product line, which will be known as the Garmin-Asus nüvifone™ series," the two companies stated in a press release. "The companies expect to bring to market several Garmin-Asus nüvifone models in 2009, and a new Garmin-Asus nüvifone model will be announced at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, February 16-19, 2009."
The first smartphone the two new BFFs will release is the Garmin-Asus Nuvifone G60 scheduled for release sometime before June. No word yet on price or carrier, but it appears most likely the G60 will find a home with AT&T and T-Mobile. After that, the two will follow it up with an unannounced model not expected to utilize Google's Android platform. Instead, the followup smartphone will be based on another "major platform," which the smart money puts on Windows Mobile.
Been admiring those sleek new netbooks, but you already sank your ready cash into a smartphone? If Microsoft's patent application is approved, you might already have half a netbook. As reported by The Register, Redmond has applied for a patent on a so-called "Smart Interface System for Mobile Communication Devices," which would transform your humble smartphone into the practical equivalent of a netbook. According to El Reg:
Although similar features have already been seen in existing cradles, Microsoft’s model would be equipped with a dedicated processor and memory. This would be used for storing and executing the on-board OS and an application for handling communication between the phone, peripherals and other connections, such as Wi-Fi.
Microsoft's patent application says that the device will use USB and "other suitable connector interfaces," and is designed to connect to TVs, monitors, mice, keyboards, printers, drives, and networks. There's a long way between a patent application and real hardware, but what would make you more (or less) likely to give a real-world version of this a careful look? Join us after the jump and sound off.