In recent times, we’ve become quite used to a steady stream of Windows 8 news, but the same can not be said to be true of Windows RT. Details of this ARM-friendly version of Windows have been few and far between. But then that’s what the rumor mill is for, isn’t it? According to an unconfirmed report by the Taiwan-based China Times, Microsoft is tightly controlling the development of Windows RT devices, so much so that at the moment it’s only allowing a handful of OEMs near this stripped-down, ARM-compatible version of Windows.
Get ready to see Texas Instruments' Nspire handheld like you've never seen it before. The company is rolling out its new color-display CX model, which TI says will enable students to better observe patterns and make connections between math and science concepts and real-world learning. It will also come with new 3D graphing capabilities.
There's nothing sexy about single-core computing anymore, even if developers have yet to really fully embrace multi-core processors. We're already up to six-core processors on the consumer desktop, so why are we still stuck at single-core chips in the mainstream mobile market?
We won't be, not for long. According to news and rumor site Fudzilla, Texas Instruments is prepping its OMAP 4440 processor for a release in the second half of this year. This is a dual-core part clocked at 1.5GHz, which TI says is fast enough to handle 3D video in 1080p and support for 3D photos from 12MP cameras.
All indications point towards this being a powerful chip, at least compared to the current crop of mobile processors, including those 1GHz Snapdragon and Hummingbird parts. And of course TI isn't the only one working on dual-core chips. As the year goes on, look for both tablets and high-end smartphones to sport multi-core processors.
Texas Instruments claims to have raised the bar for mobile design with the launch of its new OMAP4440 applications processor, a dual-core chip ARMed with a pair of Cortex A9 cores and two Cortex M3 cores.
Also included is a POWERVR 3D graphics engine with support for 1080p stereoscopic 3D playback, as well as a dizzying amount of claimed performance improvements over the OMAP4430 architecture. Some of these include:
1.25x increase in graphics performance
30 percent decrease in webpage load times
2x increase in 1080p video playback
Improved video quality in low-light conditions
"The increased performance given by the OMAP4440 applications processor illustrates TI's ability to push mobile computing possibilities with the right processor architecture enveloped in the right platform," said Remi El-Ouazzane, vice president, OMAP platform business unit, TI. "We seized an opportunity to enhance the platform capabilities driving the OMAP4430 processor's success today."
Texas Instruments will begin sampling its new chip in the first quarter of 2011, with production expected in the second half of next year.
Texas Instruments (TI) this week announced a new dual-channel, single-lane SATA redriver and signal conditioner that they claim features the lowest active power and lowest automatic low-power (ALP) mode of any 6Gbps redriver/equalizer on the planet.
Sounds incredibly geeky and all, but the real question here is, why should you care? There are a couple of reasons, the first being longer battery life in portable electronics. According to TI, its new redriver and signal conditioner runs 50 percent more efficient than the nearest competitor. We're talking about a SATA interface here so we're not expecting miracles, but hey, every little bit matters when you're dealing with mobile devices, like notebooks and netbooks.
TI also says its new tech supports longer etch runs, easier board designs, and the use of longer external cables when hooking up a drive via eSATA or using an HDD dock.
How it all works gets pretty technical, and quite frankly, a little boring. But if that's your sort of thing, get the full scoop here (PDF).
Intel isn't just about processors and chipsets, at least not anymore. That's because the chip maker signed an agreement to acquire Texas Instruments' (TI's) cable modem product line.
"Adding the talents of the Texas Instruments’ cable team to Intel’s efforts to bring its advanced technology to consumer electronics makes for a compelling combination," said Bob Ferreira, general manager, Cable Segment, Intel’s Digital Home Group. "Intel is focused on delivering SoCs that provide the foundation for consumer electronics devices such as set top boxes, digital TVs, Blu-ray* disc players, companion boxes and related devices. This acquisition specifically strengthens Intel’s product offerings for the continuum of cable gateway products and reinforces Intel’s continued commitment to the cable industry."
Intel said it will use TI's Puma product lines with the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) standard technology and Intel SoCs to build advanced set top boxes, residential gateways, and modem products for cable companies. The move will also expand the reach of Intel's Atom processor line beyond netbooks, nettops, and tablets.
To help the company hit the ground and running, ARM, Texas Instruments, and Highland Capital Ventures have forked over a combined $48 million in funding.
"Smooth-Stone's approach of bringing low-power technology into the server domain made them a perfect fit for our investment model," said Bruce Beckloff, vice president of corporate business development at ARM, in a statement.
The largest data centers can use anywhere from 5 to 20 megawatts of power, with one megawatt equal to 1 million watts. That's enough to power around 1,000 homes.
Texas Instruments (TI) says it will be the first company to license ARM's next-generation Cortex-A series processor core, currently known as "Eagle." In addition, TI is helping to define the upcoming part, which will be announced sometime later this year.
"Our position as ARM's advanced lead partner for its next-generation Cortex-A series processor core underscores TI's unwavering commitment to helping customers achieve success in the competitive mobile world," TI said. 'Our customers will be the first to leverage the new ARM processor core's far-reaching innovations via our industry-leading OMAP products."
According to earlier reports, Eagle will come comprised of a multi-core chip with "high-end" graphics and relatively low power usage thanks to Global Foundries 28nm manufacturing process. This, along with two other iterations, will provide the foundation for future mobile devices.