AMD Lays Out Future of Mantle: Changing Direction In Face of DX12 and glNext
Much has been made over the advent of low-level graphics APIs over the last year, with APIs based on this concept having sprouted up on a number of platforms in a very short period of time. For game developers this has changed the API landscape dramatically in the last couple of years, and it’s no surprise that as a result API news has been centered on the annual Game Developers Conference. With the 2015 conference taking place this week, we’re going to hear a lot more about it in the run-up to the release of DirectX 12 and other APIs.
Kicking things off this week is AMD, who is going first with an update on Mantle, their in-house low-level API. The first announced of the low-level APIs and so far limited to AMD’s GCN’s architecture, there has been quite a bit of pondering over the future of the API in light of the more recent developments of DirectX 12 and glNext. AMD in turn is seeking to answer these questions first, before Microsoft and Khronos take the stage later this week for their own announcements.
In a news post on AMD’s gaming website, AMD has announced that due to the progress on DX12 and glNext, the company is changing direction on the API. The API will be sticking around, but AMD’s earlier plans have partially changed. As originally planned, AMD is transitioning Mantle application development from a closed beta to a (quasi) released product – via the release of a programming guide and API reference this month – however AMD’s broader plans to also release a Mantle SDK to allow full access, particularly allowing iit to be implemented on other hardware, has been shelved. In place of that AMD is refocusing Mantle on being a “graphics innovation platform” to develop new technologies.
As far as “Mantle 1.0” is concerned, AMD is acknowledging at this point that Mantle’s greatest benefits – reduced CPU usage due to low-level command buffer submission – is something that DX12 and glNext can do just as well, negating the need for Mantle in this context. For AMD this is still something of a win because it has led to Microsoft and Khronos implementing the core ideas of Mantle in the first place, but it also means that Mantle would be relegated to a third wheel. As a result AMD is shifting focus, and advising developers looking to tap Mantle for its draw call benefits (and other features also found in DX12/glNext) to just use those forthcoming APIs instead.
Mantle’s new focus in turn is going to be a testbed for future graphics API development. Along with releasing the specifications for “Mantle 1.0”, AMD will essentially keep the closed beta program open for the continued development of Mantle, building it in conjunction with a limited number of partners in a fashion similar to how Mantle has been developed so far.
Thie biggest change here is that any plans to make Mantle open have been put on hold for the moment with the cancelation of the Mantle SDK. With Mantle going back into development and made redundant by DX12/glNext, AMD has canned what was from the start the hardest to develop/least likely to occur API feature, keeping it proprietary (at least for now) for future development. Which is not to say that AMD has given up on their “open” ideals entirely though, as the company is promising to deliver more information on their long-term plans for the API on the 5th, including their future plans for openness.
As for what happens from here, we will have to see what AMD announces later this week. AMD’s announcement is essentially in two parts: today’s disclosure on the status of Mantle, and a further announcement on the 5th. It’s quite likely that AMD already has their future Mantle features in mind, and will want to discuss those after the DX12 and glNext disclosures.
Finally, from a consumer perspective Mantle won’t be going anywhere. Mantle remains in AMD’s drivers and Mantle applications continue to work, and for that matter there are still more Mantle enabled games to come (pretty much anything Frostbite, for a start). How many more games beyond 2015 though – basically anything post-DX12 – remains to be seen, as developers capable of targeting Mantle will almost certainly want to target DX12 as well as soon as it’s ready.
Smartphone: il y aura une guerre des portefeuilles virtuels
Apple avec son système de paiement via l'iPhone, Apple Pay, a rencontré un énorme succès sur un marché des paiements sans contacts qui était auparavant atone.
Ses concurrents ne pouvaient laisser passer une telle aubaine potentielle et Samsung a annoncé son... Samsung Pay qui peu ou prou est son équivalent pour les Galaxy.
On en a pas fini. Google vient d'annoncer son intention de proposer aussi sous Android son système maison et devinez, il s'appellera Google Pay.
Heureusement, a priori toutes ces solutions pourront utiliser le même matériel sans fil. Il y aura seulement des ajustements logiciels et au niveau des banques et fournisseurs de cartes de crédit qui vont être plus courtisés que jamais par ces trois géants.
Qualcomm présente un nouveau système de reconnaissance d'empreinte digitale
De l'aveu de tout le monde, ou presque, le TouchID d'Apple est le système grand public de reconnaissance d'empreintes digitales le plus efficace. Il le doit surtout à sa précision et au fait qu'il ne soit pas nécessaire de faire défiler son doigt sur un capteur pour enregistrer son empreinte.
Qualcomm vient d'annoncer un nouveau système qui se veut concurrent de celui d'apple.
Appelé Sense ID il utilise un système d'utrasons qui non seulement permettent une reconnaissance par contact, mais aussi à travers de nombreux matériaux comme le verre, le métal, le plastique....
Pour rappel, le TouchID est recouvert de saphir pour éviter qu'une rayure ne vienne perturber la reconnaissance d'empreintes.
On verra ce que donnera le système de Qualcomm. Bien entendu, il faudra utiliser une des puces ARM de la société pour pouvoir l'intégrer à un smartphone.
Des benchs du Galaxy S6
Tom's Hardware.fr a publié des benchs du Galaxy S6 Edge.
Comme vous pouvez le voir si les coeurs d'Apple sont meilleurs, le portable de Samsung profite de leur quantité supérieure, 8, pour faire parler la poudre. En revanche au niveau graphique tout dépend des tests. Dans certains le S6 est très supérieur, dans d'autres l'iPhone domine.
Passé ces tests, nous vous rappelons qu'avoir une puissance considérable dans un mobile n'a de réel intérêt que s'il y a des logiciels capables de l'exploiter. Et l'on retombe ici dans le débat sans fin de l'intérêt de continuer à faire jouer la poudre dans un domaine où les évolutions logicielles sont lentes et où les éditeurs de jeux ne cherchent jamais à tirer le maximum de puissance du dernier produit mais à vendre des logiciels à un maximum de clients, donc en mettant la barre nettement moins haute.
IKEA va intégrer des chargeurs sans fil à certains de ses produits
C'est Samsung qui dans un communiqué de presse a annoncé qu'à partir du mois d'avril IKEA proposera dans certains de ses produits commercialisés des chargeurs sans fil avec lesquels sont compatibles les Galaxy S6.
Ce seront pour l'essentiel des lampes mais il y aura aussi des tables et des chargeurs seuls que l'on qualifiera de design.
Nous avons hâte qu'Apple propose aussi ce genre de chose sur son iPhone. L'alimentation est la seule connection encore indispensable à l'iPhone et il serait bien de pouvoir s'en passer, au moins dans certaines circonstances. Le tout sera de savoir si Apple proposera un jour un système compatible avec les normes déjà en vigueur ou un système propriétaire qui nécessitera des composants spécifiques et un contrat de licence des équipementiers pour être utilisé.
Broadcom at MWC 2015: BCM4359 and BCM43455 Wifi Combo Chips Announced
Today Broadcom took the lead by announcing two new Wifi combo chip solutions meant for the smartphone and tablet market. The BCM4359 is a high-end 2x2 MIMO solution for high-performance smartphones, while the BCM43455 is an updated 1x1 MIMO 802.11ac for mass market phones.
Taking a closer look at the BCM4359, we see several innovative new features, the most characterizing one being the inclusion for the first time of Real Simultaneous Dual Band (RSDB). RSDB enables the chip to connect to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands simultaneously. This is achieved by doubling up on the baseband processors on the combo chip. Broadcom uses ARM Cortex R4 as the processing units of the IC, and the 4359 uses two of them. What this enables is a sort of "full duplex" on the two frequency bands instead of having the baseband having to switch between each in an interleaving manner. The PHY bandwidth has been upped to 867 Mbps in the two-stream MIMO mode.
In the demo that Broadcom showed us, we had two test devices and a TV as the showcase setup. One device running the BCM4356 was streaming a video to the secondary device which employed the BCM4359 via the 2.4GHz band, who in turn would then stream via Wifi Display on 5GHz to the TV. As a comparison demo, we had the same setup next to it, but with both streaming devices equiped with only a BCM4356 solution. While the BCM4359 setup managed to achieve enough bandwidth to receive and forward the stream to the TV in full 1080p, the other side with the BCM4356 would only be fluid if the quality was reduced to 480p.
Another advantage of RSDB is that it enables the chip to scan for networks on both bands simultaneously, accelerating the time needed to show available Wifi networks, effectively giving a 2x speed improvement.
The BCM43455 is also a new member of the Broadcom family and serves as a solution for the mass market, meaning a cheaper price-point. It is a 1x1 HT80 802.11ac 2.4 and 5GHz solution, enabling up to a 433Mbps PHY rate at 80MHz channel bandwidth. The chip is able to reduce the BoM by 50%, although Broadcom didn't specify to what this was compared with.
One key aspect of these new Wifi generation chips is that SDIO has been retired (but still available as a seconary option) as the connection interface to the SoC and instead replaced by PCIe. The BCM4358 was the first such chip to take advantage of this switch, which was employed on for example the Galaxy Note 4. The PCIe interface not only provides higher bandwidths which are beyond what SDIO is capable of, but also enables crucial power advantages such as low power states on the bus and bonuses such as Direct Memory Access (DMA) for the Wifi chipset.
Both the BCM4359 and BCM43455 are sampling now and will be available in devices later in the year.
Apple propose la première bêta publique de la 10.10.3
Apple propose à ceux qui se sont enregistré au programme de bêta publique d'OS X de récupérer une version 10.10.3 d'OS X.
Ce sera pour ces personnes l'occasion de commencer à tester Photos. Ils ne seront pas trop dépaysés par rapport à iPhoto mais sachez quand même que la version la plus récente plante encore assez souvent. Heureusement, c'est sans conséquences sur le travail en cours ou tout du moins le peu de choses assimilables à un travail que l'on peut faire avec ce logiciel.
Windows XP fait de la résistance
(Génération NT: logiciels)
Windows 8.x ne parvient décidément pas à rattraper Windows XP dont la part d'utilisateurs est toujours supérieure selon Net Applications.
Intel at MWC 2015: SoFIA, Rockchip, Low Cost Integrated LTE, Atom Renaming and 14nm Cherry Trail
After day zero at Mobile World Congress already boasting some impressive releases, Intel tackles their platform on day one on several different fronts. As part of a pre-briefing, we were invited into the presentation where Intel discussed the current state of their mobile portfolio along with looking to the future. The pre-briefing was run by Aicha Evans, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Wireless Platform Research and Development Group, who you may remember was interviewed by Anand in a series of videos back in 2013. Ms. Evans' focus stems on the connectivity side of the equation, making sure that Intel’s portfolio develops into a strong base for future platforms.
One of the big elements for Intel is the rebranding of their mobile Atom line of SoCs. Up until this point, all the SoCs were difficult to follow and very similar names such as Z3580 or Z3760. This is adjusted into three different segments as follows:
Similar to their personal computing processor line, the Intel Atom structure will take on x3/x5/x7 naming, similar to the i3/i5/i7 of the desktop and notebook space. This is not to be confused with Qualcomm’s modem naming scheme, or anything by BMW.
The x3 sits at the bottom, and is comprised of Bay Trail based SoCs at the 28nm node all previously part of the SoFIA program aimed at emerging markets. There will be three x3 parts – a dual core x3, a quad core x3 from the Rockchip agreement, and a final quad core x3 with an integrated LTE modem.
This set raises some interesting points to discuss. Firstly is the use of 28nm is the same node as previous Intel Atoms, and thus should be derived from a TSMC source. It is also poignant to note that for these SoCs Intel is using a Mali GPU rather than the Gen 8 graphics and their own IP. This is due to the SoFIA program being aimed at bringing costs down and functionality into the low price points in a competitive time-to-market.
The Rockchip model, indicated by the ‘RK’ at the end of the name of the SoC, comes from the partnership with Rockchip we reported on back in May 2014. At the time Intel discussed the roadmap for producing a quad core SoC with 3G for the China market in the middle of 2015, which this provides.
The final part of the x3 arrangement revolves combining a 5-mode LTE modem on the same die. Intel is going to support 14 LTE bands on a single SoC with PMIC, WiFi and geolocation technologies (GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou).
The Atom x5 and x7 SoCs represent the next step up, implementing Intel’s 14nm process and bringing Cherry Trail to market. The x5 and x7 SoCs are aimed primarily at tablets, but can find their way into sub 10.1 inch tablets as well, providing an interesting counterbalance to the high price premium of Intel Core-M 4.5W products based on Broadwell-Y. While the x3 line will focus first on Android moving into Windows, x5 and x7 is designed to be targeting both, particularly with the bundled Gen 8 graphics and LTE with XMM276x supporting Cat-6 and carrier aggregation.
Not a lot of detail was provided about x5 and x7, suggesting that they are aimed more at late 1H/2H 2015 down the line. This coincides with the next generation of Intel’s XMM 7360 modem, featuring up to 450 Mbps downlink and support for up to 29 LTE bands.
One interesting element in the x5/x7 scenario was the bundled platform block diagram provided by Intel, showing clearly the two dual-core Airmont CPUs each with 1MB of L2 cache, Gen 8 graphics, separate security processors and ISP, as well as USB 3.0 support.
Finally, Intel addressed the obvious lack of a high-end mobile SoC that fits into the performance smartphone category. Intel is still working on development of such a SoC in the form of Braxton and we'll have more news on this piece in the future.
We are lining up a chance to interview Ms. Evans about Intel’s Atom lineup later this week at MWC, so stay tuned for that.
Lenovo at MWC 2015: VIBE Shot SmartPhone/Camera Crossover Announced
As part of our booth tour at Lenovo during Mobile World Congress, on display was the recently announced Lenovo VIBE Shot and we managed to get some hands-on time. The VIBE Shot is described by Lenovo as a ‘2-in-1 camera smartphone’ attempting to bridge a gap between smartphones and point-and-click cameras. The device attempts this by placing buttons on the sides of the smartphone similar to how a point-and-click would do so, as well as having a full-frame 16:9 16MP low light sensor and a tri-color flash.
The 5-inch full HD device includes optical image stabilization as well as providing simple and pro modes with a button adjustment on the top. Simple mode is equivalent to the auto mode on most cameras, whereas the pro-mode offers manual adjustments such as exposure, white balance, focus mode, saturation and more. Hardware under the hood includes an eight-core Snapdragon 615 (A57/A57) at a 1.7 GHz peak on the fast cluster with 3GB DRAM and 32GB of internal storage.
Battery capacity comes in at 2900 mAh, with LTE Cat-4 and Android 5.0. The device will be offered in a dual Nano-SIM arrangement, weighs 145g and comes in at 7.3mm thin. Storage is expandable, with guaranteed support of up to 128GB via a microSD.
The phone felt pretty solid in hand, and the thinness is remarkable. What wasn't remarkable was the aluminium band on the back along the camera side, as it attracted fingerprints. The display unit had seen a lot of use, and it was quite hard to clean it.
The VIBE Shot will be available in red, white and grey, and come to Lenovo’s regular markets in June starting at $349.
Firefox en version 64 bits pour Windows
(Génération NT: logiciels)
La version 64 bits de Firefox pour Windows fait ses débuts via Firefox Developer Edition. Une sortie en version finale dès lors attendue pour Firefox 38.
Lenovo : une image Windows 10 plus pure
(Génération NT: logiciels)
Le fabricant Lenovo s'engage pour des ordinateurs équipés de Windows 10 et sans bloatware (ou presque). Une conséquence du scandale Superfish pour lequel les utilisateurs lésés auront droit à un abonnement gratuit de 6 mois au service McAfee LifeSafe.
Microsoft at MWC 2015: Lumia 640 and 640 XL Announced, 4K 120Hz Surface Hub Demoed
Mobile World Congress is in full swing today and Microsoft woke the press up early to discuss new features coming to their smartphone and tablet space. Top of the bill, presented by Stephen Elop, are the new Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL devices. The regular 640, with it 5-inch HD display comes as the upgrade from the 630, whereas the 5.7-inch XL version sits as the move up from the large Lumia 1320.
Both devices will be available in 3G and LTE versions, with single and dual SIM in both of those depending on the market. The 640 uses a Snapdragon 400-series quad core processor at 1.2 GHz featuring Gorilla Glass 3, 1 GB of DRAM and 8 GB of storage. One might expect SD card support to come as standard, although a short hands on with the device failed to find one. The rear 8MP camera was described as a wide angle lens (although no numbers were given), with auto-HDR and dynamic LED flash. The battery weighs in at 2500 mAh also. Pricing for the 3G model starts at 139€ with the LTE version at 159€.
The 640 XL was described as ‘a slim 9mm’ with similar specifications to the smaller model but at 5.7 inches, namely a 1280x720 screen but the battery is pushed up to 3000 mAh. Internal specifications were not discussed, but the rear 13MP camera features Zeiss optics. Pricing starts at 189€ for the 3G model with LTE at 219€.
Both devices will ship with Windows 8.1 but will be upgraded to Windows 10, with Microsoft going all out to encourage Windows 10 across all of its future devices when available. The 640 and 640XL will also come with one year of Office 365, allowing installation on one PC and one other device as part of the deal. It also comes with 1TB of One Drive storage and 60 Skype World minutes.
An interesting element to the launch, especially with the ‘seemless feel’ push of Office across all different sizes of devices, was the Microsoft Universal Portable Keyboard. Barely bigger than a wallet, it is designed to fit into an office bag and be able to connect seamlessly via Bluetooth. No pricing or date was announced, but the focus was more on the office environment.
One demonstration that took me (Ian) by surprise was that of the Microsoft Surface Hub. This was an 84-inch display, normally the size used by large scale demonstrations, but this featured 4K resolution at 120 Hz as well as touch screen functionality. Naturally my thoughts drifted towards a TN type panel using MST, although taking the typical wide-angle test for TN panels was confusing as color consistency remained the same – it seems like they are using some kind of IPS display, which seems odd at 120 Hz.
The combination of 4K and 120 Hz and possibly IPS is mind boggling, which pointed me more towards an MST arrangement – either two panels or four. We managed to ask one of the product managers for the Surface Hub about this, but he was unable to give that information until launch. One of the demonstrations of the device featured a white-board scenario, as well as writing on office presentations. Anything written on the screen was recreated back to the controlling Surface tablet, and the tablet user could write as well, or what Microsoft calls ‘ink-back’. In a similar vein, ‘swipe-back’ to allow both users to change slides was demonstrated. The Surface Hub is linked to Windows 10, and we were told to expect more details at Windows 10 launch, along with another version at 55-inches but with 1080p resolution.Gallery: Microsoft at MWC 2015
The final announcement of the presentation was for the Microsoft Build Conference, which will be on April 29th.
Qualcomm @ MWC 2015: Cat 11 LTE, Cat 6 Dual-Sim LTE, & LTE/Wi-Fi Link Aggregation
Not to be outdone by Qualcomm’s SoC group, Qualcomm’s communication groups are busy at MWC 2015 as well. Though Qualcomm Technologies and Qualcomm Atheros are not announcing any major new products at this moment, the two of them are on the show floor to demonstrate the status of their various LTE initiatives that we should see in upcoming and future products, in conjunction with infrastructure partner Ericsson.
First and foremost, Qualcomm and Ericsson will be offering the first public demonstration of LTE category 11 hardware in action. LTE category 11 increases the download rate of LTE to 600Mbps through a combination of tri-band (3x20MHz) carrier aggregation and the use of QAM256 encoding, with the latter being the major addition of category 11. Due to the use of QAM256 and the higher SNR required to use it – not to mention 60MHz of spectrum – category 11 is being targeted at small scale deployments where cleaner signals and more spectrum is readily available, such as indoor deployments and carefully constructed outdoor environments.
LTE Categories Category Max Download Max Upload Category 6 300Mbps 50Mbps Category 7 300Mbps 100Mbps Category 9 450Mbps 50Mbps Category 10 450Mbps 100Mbps Category 11 600Mbps 100Mbps
Qualcomm is not currently announcing the modem being used in this demonstration. However we are likely looking at the successor to Qualcomm’s current X12 LTE modem (9x45), which tops out at category 10.
Meanwhile Qualcomm will also be demonstrating the ability to use category LTE with dual SIMs. Qualcomm’s forthcoming hardware will support dual standby with dual receive.
Finally, Qualcomm will also be demonstrating their current progress on implementing LTE/Wi-Fi call handoff and LTE/Wi-Fi link aggregation. With call handoff – or as Qualcomm likes to call it, Call Continuity – VoLTE calls can be seamlessly transferred between LTE and Wi-Fi, allowing phones to tap into Wi-Fi for call handling when possible, avoiding the greater network expense of using LTE. Meanwhile the first public demonstration of LTE/Wi-Fi link aggregation builds off of handoff to utilize both networks at once to take advantage of Wi-Fi speeds while allowing operators to better control a call via the normal LTE channel. Link aggregation essentially brings Wi-Fi access points under control of the LTE network itself – essentially limiting it to operator owned/controlled access points – and is being created as a solution to reliability concerns over using disparate, independent Wi-Fi networks.
Spartan : Microsoft dit non à une monoculture sur le Web
(Génération NT: logiciels)
Microsoft a rejeté le moteur de rendu WebKit pour son projet Spartan de nouveau navigateur afin d'éviter selon ses dires une monoculture sur le Web. La porte à l'Open Source est cependant entrouverte.
Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 820 and Zeroth Platform
Today, Qualcomm is announcing the new Zeroth Platform, which is enabled by the Snapdragon 820 SoC.
While Qualcomm is avoiding any real disclosure of the SoC at this point, we do know that the Snapdragon 820 will be built on a FinFET process, which could be either TSMC’s 16nm or Samsung’s 14nm process. In addition to all of the improvements that the move to a new process brings, Qualcomm is finally introducing their custom ARMv8 CPU core, named Kryo. Unfortunately, there are no real details here either, but given that there’s only one architecture named it’s likely that Qualcomm is moving away from big.LITTLE with the Snapdragon 820.
The final detail regarding Snapdragon 820 is that it will begin sampling in the second half of 2015, which should mean that we can expect it to be in devices some time either at the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016. Ultimately, the fact that Qualcomm has come up with a custom ARMv8 CPU architecture in such a short time continues to show just how quickly Qualcomm can respond to changing market conditions, something that we first saw with the Snapdragon 810.
Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon Sense ID Fingerprint Scanning
In addition to a new SoC, Qualcomm is announcing a new fingerprint sensing technology for Snapdragon-based devices.
While most fingerprint sensors currently use high-resolution capacitive sensors, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sense ID uses ultrasonic sound waves in order to map the surface of the finger. This allows for greater resolution to recognize features such as pores and fingerprint ridges to improve security, along with reduced sensitivity to moisture and other contaminants. In addition, this technology can work through glass and sapphire cover lenses, along with metal and plastic casings.
Snapdragon Sense ID will launch first on Snapdragon 810 and 425 devices, but will be compatible with all 400, 600, and 800 series Snapdragon SoCs, and will support the FIDO authentication standard.
Imagination Announces PowerVR G6020 GPU & PowerVR Series 5 Video Encoder
With Mobile World Congress 2015 now in full swing, Imagination Technologies is taking to the show today to announce a couple of new additions to the PowerVR family of video products.
First off is a new low-end GPU in the PowerVR Series6XE family, the G6020. The G6020 is aimed at entry-level mobile devices, embedded computers, and high-end wearables, and is intended to be Imagination’s new entry-level Series6XE part.
From a design perspective, the G6020 is aimed at very simple desktop workloads – the Android UI, wearable interfaces, etc. Imagination has essentially built the bare minimum GPU needed to drive a 720p60 display, taking out any hardware not necessary to that goal such as compute and quite a bit of geometry throughput. What remains is enough of a ROP backend (pixel co-processor) to drive 720p, and the FP16 shading resources to go with it.
Meanwhile from a hardware perspective this is basically a significantly cut down 6XE part. G6020 drops to just a single 4 pipeline USC, versus the 8 pipeline USC found in the G6050, and 16 pipelines as found in a “complete” USC. The number of FP32 ALUs in each pipeline has also been reduced, going from the 6XE standard of 2 per pipeline to 1 for G6020, while the number of FP16 ALUs remains unchanged at 4. Along with scaling down the USCs, Imagination has also stripped down the G6020 in other ways, such as by taking out the compute data master.
PowerVR Series6/6XE "Rogue" GPU # of Clusters # of FP32 Ops # of FP16 Ops Optimization G6020 0.25 8 32 Area + Bandwidth G6050 0.5 32 64 Area G6060 0.5 32 64 Area + Bandwidth G6100 1 64 96 Area G6100 (XE) 1 64 128 Area G6110 1 64 128 Area + Bandwidth
The end result of their efforts is designed to be an incredibly small and incredibly low power OpenGL ES 3.0 GPU for devices that fall in the cheap/small range. G6020 is only 2.2mm2 in size on 28nm, making it similar in size to ARM’s Cortex-A7 CPU cores (a likely pairing target). And power consumption is low enough that it should be able to just fit into high-end wearables.
PowerVR Series 5 Video Encoder
Meanwhile Imagination’s second PowerVR announcement of the day is the announcement of their new PowerVR Series 5 family of video encoders. This is Imagination’s entry into the HEVC (H.265) hardware encoder market, offering scalable designs for encoding H.264 and HEVC video.
In terms of designs Imagination will be offering 3 designs, the E5800, E5505, and E5300, targeted at progressively lower-end markets. The E5800 is the largest configuration and is aimed at the prosumer market, offering 4Kp60 encoding with 10-bit color and 4:2:2 chroma sampling (twice the sampling of standard 4:2:0 video). Below that is the E5505, the mainstream/premium mobile part with support for encoding up to 4Kp30, along with VP8 encoding and even MJPEG for certain legacy applications. Finally at the bottom of the list is the E5300, which is a small, low power encoder for 1080p30 applications (cameras/sensors/IoT and the like).
PowerVR Series 5 HEVC Encoders Encoder Max Resolution Chroma Subsampling Market E5800 4Kp60 4:2:2 Prosumer/Pro-Cameras E5505 4Kp30 4:2:0 Mobile E5300 1080p30 4:2:0 Sensor/IoT/Security Cameras
From a competitive standpoint, along with the expected synergy between the PowerVR encoders and PowerVR GPUs –support for directly handing off compressed memory, in particular – Imagination is also banking on being able to win a quality war with other mobile HEVC encoders. By Imagination’s estimates they can offer equivalent quality at just 70% of the bitrate, which would give them a significant advantage. The company says that this is a result of having a newer encoder that is better tuned than competing encoders, and one that implements more HEVC features (e.g. 10-bit color), allowing them to achieve better compression and the resulting reduction in bitrates.
While Imagination’s testing methodology and resulting numbers to get here are open to interpretation – PSNR is important, though not the end-all of encoder measurements – HEVC encoders are still a fledgling field. There is still ample opportunity to improve on HEVC encoders and reach the same kind of highly tuned status that H.264 encoders have evolved to.
Wrapping things up, both new PowerVR products are now available for licensing.
Microsoft : Windows 10 sera taillé pour l'USB 3.1
(Génération NT: logiciels)
Microsoft vient d'annoncer que selon toute logique, Windows 10 serait préparé afin de prendre en charge les débits impressionnants de la connectique USB 3.1.
Samsung lance ses Galaxy S6 et S6 Edge
Samsung a annoncé (source The Verge) ses nouveaux Smartphone Galaxy.
Fini le plastique bon marché pour le dos qui se rapproche un peu plus de l'iPhone avec du verre pour deux des modèles (à droite on a le S5).
Le modèle Edge inaugure un écran courbé sur les bords preuve du savoir faire de la société en matière d'écrans OLED.
La société se rapproche d'autant plus d'Apple que sur les nouveaux modèles elle fait l'impasse sur la batterie facile à extraire et retire le connecteur Micro SD. Tout comme Apple l'essentiel passe par le design et la société n'a pratiquement mis que lui en avant.
Certes, il ressemble maintenant à un produit premium et vu son prix, à partir de 700 euros il en est un au moins au niveau tarifaire, mais il faudra encore convaincre alors que la société a retiré deux des arguments préférés de ses fans.
Sony Announces the Xperia M4 Aqua
Today Sony has announced a new mid-range device for their line of Xperia smartphones. In the past weeks we've seen the launch of the Xperia E4, and Xperia E4g, each with a focus on a particular group of users. Today's launch is similar, with the phone focusing on its protection from dust and water damage. The Xperia M4 Aqua is Sony's newest smartphone, but at the moment it's somewhat mysterious. At the time of writing, many of the specifications for it are unknown, although when this publishes you'll be able to view the specifications in the source below.
What is known about the Xperia M4 Aqua is that it sports Qualcomm's Snapdragon 615, which has two clusters of four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.7GHz and 1.0GHz respectively. While one can argue the merits or lack thereof with having the same cores in each cluster, both Qualcomm and their customers are clearly aiming at specific markets like China with products that use Snapdragon 615. Beyond the SoC, the phone has a 13MP rear-facing camera with an F/2.0 aperture, and a 5MP front-facing camera.
In terms of aesthetics, the Xperia M4 Aqua actually looks fairly nice for a mid-range device. The edges appear to have a nice ergonomic curve, and the buttons appear to be obviously placed and easy to find and press. At 136g, the device is also quite light. Of course, the main appeal is its dust and water protection, with IP65/IP68 ratings to protect against submersion at up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes, as well as against water projected at the device from somewhere like a shower head or a hose.
While there are currently no plans to bring it to the United States, the Xperia M4 Aqua will be launching this spring in eighty countries worldwide. It comes in the red, white, and black colors shown above, and it will carry a price of 299 euros.
Sony Announces the Xperia Z4 Tablet
Although much of the focus on Sony's work in the mobile space is on their smartphones, they have been a player in the tablet segment of the market for quite some time. In fact, Sony has been responsible for some of the more unique tablet designs, such as the Sony Tablet P which had two displays and folded much like a Nintendo DS.
When focusing on what we traditionally think of as a tablet, one will see that the flagship device in Sony's lineup has always been their 10.1" tablet offering. These devices are usually named in the same "Xperia Z" format as Sony's flagship smartphones, and although the tablet released last year was the Xperia Z2 Tablet, the release of the Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet late last year means that this year's release moves ahead to Z4. The Xperia Z4 tablet is Sony's flagship tablet, and the first of 2015's high end Android tablets. To give an overview of the Z4 Tablet on paper, I've laid out its core specifications below.
Sony Xperia Tablet Z2 Sony Xperia Tablet Z4 SoC 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 (APQ8074AB) with 4 x Krait 400 + Adreno 330 Snapdragon 810 with 4 x Cortex-A57 at 2.0GHz and 4 x Cortex-A53 at 1.6GHz + Adreno 430 RAM/NAND 3GB LPDDR3 + 16/32GB NAND + MicroSD 3 GB LPDDR4 + 32GB NAND + MicroSD (SDXC) Display 10.1" 1920x1200 LCD 10.1" 2560x1600 LCD Network WiFi only or 2G / 3G / 4G LTE SKU WiFi only or 2G / 3G / 4G LTE SKU Dimensions 266 x 172 x 6.4 mm, 426g 254 x 167 x 6.1mm thick, 389g WiFi, 393g LTE Camera 13MP Rear Facing with F/2.0 aperture and OIS, 2MP FFC
4K video recording
8MP Rear Facing, 5MP Front Facing Battery 6000 mAh (22.8 Whr) 6000 mAh (22.8 Whr) OS Android 4.4.2 KitKat Android 5.0 Lollipop Connectivity 2x2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, MHL, NFC WiFi + BT 4.1, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, ?, NFC
Inside the Xperia Z4 Tablet we have Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 SoC, which has four Cortex-A57 cores and four Cortex-A53 cores running at 2.0GHz and 1.6GHz respectively, along with Qualcomm's new Adreno 430 GPU. The internal battery remains the same capacity as the Z2 Tablet at 6000mAh (22.8Wh), but the tablet has been slimmed down to 6.1mm which puts it on par with Apple's iPad Air 2.
Moving to the outside of the tablet, we see that Sony has placed an 8MP camera on the rear, and a 5.1MP camera on the front. The front of the device is also home to the 10.1" 2560x1600 LCD display. Like many of Sony's recent devices, the Z4 Tablet is both dust and water resistant. It has an IP68 rating for which Sony specifies an immersion depth of up to 1.5 meters for up to thirty minutes, which goes a bit beyond the typical 1 meter for 30 minutes IP67 rating on many other mobile devices
According to Sony, the Xperia Z4 Tablet will be launching globally in June. It will come in both WiFi and LTE variants, with pricing yet to be revealed.
SanDisk Announces iNAND 7132: SLC/TLC Hybrid eMMC
In general, storage performance has been an area that is only discussed when it becomes a bottleneck. There was very little focus on storage performance in general before devices like the original Nexus 7 started experiencing severe performance issues due to IO pauses. However, delivering high performance storage performance has generally limited storage SKUs to 32GB or less, as the cost of such storage is generally difficult to justify otherwise.
This is a problem that SanDisk hopes to solve with their new iNAND 7132, which uses a hybrid SLC/TLC architecture to deliver both high burst performance and cheaper storage for a given design. SanDisk claims that typical storage usage is extremely peaky in nature, even with seemingly contiguous data streams. In addition, relatively few cases can truly saturate modern eMMC on a smartphone even when using a TLC-based solution.
By integrating an SLC cache into the eMMC package, it’s possible to achieve peak sequential reads of up to 280 MB/s, sequential writes of up to 125 MB/s, and up to 2800 and 3300 IOPS for random writes and reads, respectively. Based upon our discussions with SanDisk, it seems that the SLC cache is generally less than a gigabyte, but is usually enough to avoid situations where the SLC cache is filled and writes must go to the TLC storage.
SanDisk has also implemented a great deal of error correction and extensively tested this storage solution, and claims that eMMC solution can last 10 years of 24/7 intense use without data loss. The iNAND 7132 eMMC 5.0 solution is currently available in 16, 32, and 64 GB variants, with a 128GB variant arriving mid-year.
Ericsson veut faire interdire les produits Apple aux Etats-Unis
Ericsson, l'historique fabricant de smartphones, a déposé plainte contre Apple pour la violation de 41 brevets et demande dans la foulée à ce que tous les appareils Apple qui les violent soient interdits de vente aux Etats-Unis.
Cette dernière procédure est classique, même si elle n'est pratiquement jamais appliquée, surtout contre une société américaine.
La dispute a démarré en début d'année. Apple avait un contrat de licence chez Ericsson mais il est arrivé à son terme et lors des négociations pour en trouver un nouveau les sociétés n'ont pas réussi à tomber d'accord. Pour Apple, Ericsson veut trop d'argent et cherche à tirer profit de ses propres avancées technologiques. Pour Ericsson, Apple propose une somme trop faible et a refusé un arbitrage externe.
On est parti pour une procédure plus ou moins longue mais probablement pas aussi longue que d'autres. En effet, la procédure ne va pas viser à déterminer la légitimité de ces brevets, mais seulement le montant des redevances que la justice aura à charge de fixer.
Le soufre, nouvelle piste pour obtenir des batteries plus performantes et moins chères
Depuis des années on cherche le moyen d'augmenter de manière significative la capacité des batteries et régulièrement des annonces de percées majeures sont faites dans ce domaine. Hélas, jusqu'à maintenant toutes les promesses, preuves à l'appui, réalisées en laboratoire, n'ont rien donné au niveau industriel. Soit la production en masse s'est avérée impossible ou trop coûteuse, soit les batteries produites n'ont pas tenu leurs promesses, que ce soit en densité de charge ou en durée de vie.
Lors d'une récente réunion de l'Association américaine pour l'avancement des sciences, deux chercheurs ont fait le point sur ce domaine pointu de la recherche.
Le premier, Yi Cui de Stanford, a fait un point sur l'état des choses et expliqué qu'il faudra à l'avenir diviser le prix des batteries par 3 et augmenter leur densité par 3 pour qu'elles s'imposent durablement dans certains domaines, à commencer par l'automobile. Hélas, toutes les recherches sur des électrodes moins chères et plus performantes se heurtent à des problèmes de durabilité des batteries, ces électrodes se dégradant trop vite.
L'une des pistes actuellement privilégiées et d'utiliser le soufre. Linda Nazar, un autre chercheur, a fait un point dessus. Il n'est pas cher et permet avec un peu de titane de produire des batteries peu coûteuses et performantes. Ils songent aussi à remplacer le titane par du Bernecite (un hydroxyde de manganèse) pour en améliorer les performances.
En fait, aucune des recherches publiées aujourd'hui n'a conduit à des avancées significatives au niveau industriel. En revanche, il sera probablement possible dans un avenir pas trop lointain et en utilisant l'accumulation de toutes les trouvailles faites de produire une batterie qui soit optimale, c'est-à-dire ayant une grande densité de stockage d'énergie, une capacité à se charger et se décharger très rapidement, un coût acceptable et un faible risque de combustion.
Londres: L'Apple Watch sera aussi vendue chez Selfridges
Décidément, Apple est prête à tout pour réussir la commercialisation de son Apple Watch, en particulier les modèles les plus coûteux. Après le stand aux Galeries Lafayette, la société voudrait aussi investir Selfridges, un autre temple de luxe situé à Oxford Street à Londres. La plupart des grandes marques horlogères y sont déjà présentes et l'on y trouve des garde-temps dont le prix dépasse les 40000 euros.
Pour être fans de longue date des montres "de luxe", il ne suffira pas à Apple de proposer un service de vente premium pour écouler en masse les modèles les plus onéreux. Certes, avoir des vendeurs et vendeuses habillés d'autre chose qu'un jean et un T-Shirt bleu trop grand est déjà important mais il faut que tout le service suive, que ce soit l'accompagnement pour la configuration (il ne suffit pas de quelques secondes pour régler date et heure) que le SAV. A ce niveau, Apple a tout à se réinventer. Il faut un service premium, des échanges standards et certainement la garantie de la durabilité d'un produit de cette catégorie.
Nous ne serions d'ailleurs pas surpris qu'Apple annonce en même temps que ses montres un service de mise à jour de leur électronique, au moins sur les modèles les plus coûteux qui garantira à leurs propriétaires de pouvoir les utiliser plus de quelques années avant qu'elles ne deviennent obsolètes. Il sera bien entendu payant, mais permettra d'envisager un peu plus sereinement de ne pas se retrouver avec un joli objet uniquement décoratif et ne valant que le prix du poids de son or (en tant que déchet) dans 4 ou 5 ans. Il faudra alors aussi la filière pour mettre à jour ces montres et envisager des tas de détails auxquels la société n'est pas aujourd'hui habituée.
Si Apple réussit, elle pourra alors vendre pratiquement n'importe quel produit très coûteux, y compris un jour des voitures de luxe. Sinon, ce sera le premier échec de l'ère Tim Cook ou tout du moins dans la sémantique d'Apple, son hobby.
Samsung se veut rassurant sur la gravure des puces sous les 7nm
Aujourd'hui, toute l'industrie de la fabrication de transistors se focalise sur son avenir de plus en plus incertain au fur et à mesure que l'on se rapproche de la barrière quantique qui était fixée il n'y a pas si longtemps au-dessous des 7nm. Ces industriels se doivent de rassurer leurs investisseurs et cherchent par tous les moyens techniques à la repousser toujours plus loin afin de s'assurer un avenir jusqu'au jour où toutes les usines de fabrication de ces transistors seront incapables d'évoluer pour produire des puces plus petites ou plus denses.
A ce jeu, Samsung, qui est le plus gros fabricant au monde de mémoire et l'un des plus importants de puces ARM, a longuement communiqué sur le sujet. Kinam Kim, président de Samsung Electronics, a fait part des avancées de la société. Aujourd'hui elle sait graver en 14nm et le 10nm est à portée de main. En laboratoire elle a déjà réussi à aller beaucoup plus loin dans la finesse et a même produit des transistors de 3,8nm tout en considérant que le 3,25nm est à sa portée.
Pour réussir cet exploit la société a utilisé à fond les ultra-violets profonds mais a surtout considérablement travaillé sur l'amélioration de la technologie FinFET. Pour rappel, cette dernière consiste à graver des transistors non plus plats, mais dans la hauteur du silicium. En résumé, on les rend plus hauts en même temps que l'on les rend plus fins. Intel utilise cette technologie depuis le 22nm.
Les autres fondeurs commencent à l'utiliser depuis le 14nm.
Samsung a mis au point une technologie finFET qui nécessite 4 étapes d'exposition différentes aux UV pour atteidre les 7nm et utilisera une teconologie appelée tunnel FET en dessous.
Il y a certainement encore un travail considérable à fournir pour produire des puces en masse mais cela semble possible et devrait nous donner au moins 10 ans de répit. Avec ces améliorations Samsung imagine déjà des puces de flash NAND d'une sensité considérable en cumulant des transistors de plus en plus petits et un empilement de couches de plus en plus important. Aujourd'hui la société en empile jusqu'à 32 couches. Demain il y en aura 40 et dans l'avenir plus de 100, de quoi proposer d'ici là des puces de Flash de 1 To.
HP Releases The Spectre x360 Convertible Laptop
2015 has been a good year for laptops. We have seen some amazing new designs already, and had the chance to review several of them so far, with more upcoming. HP, even though they are one of the largest PC makers on the planet, is slowly reinventing itself. We have seen their Stream laptops and tablets already, which are a great take on the low end of the market, and now HP has a new offering to go after the premium laptop market. The Spectre x360 is a 13.3 inch laptop, with a CNC aluminum chassis, and a Yoga style hinge to make it as versatile as we already know the Yoga laptop can be.
HP worked closely with Microsoft on the implementation of the x360, and they have included a lot of tweaks and technologies to improve battery life. First, the battery size is good. The x360 has a 56 Wh battery inside, edging out the Dell XPS 13’s 52 Wh battery and the Yoga 3 Pro’s 44 Wh power pack. The QHD (2560x1440) display also features Panel Self-Refresh technology, to let the laptop power down when the display is not changing. And the drivers were tweaked to allow the x360 to deliver up to 12.5 hours of battery life on the FHD model, according to HP.
HP will offer two versions of the display. Both are optically bonded, to increase brightness and bring the pixels closer to the touch digitizer, much like we see on quality tablets. The first display is a Full HD 1920x1080 touch panel, and the upgrade is a 2560x1440 Quad HD model, which works out to 166 Pixels per Inch, and 221 Pixels per Inch respectively. Those who like to use a pen as an input method will be happy to see that HP is offering an active pen as an accessory as well, but at this time we do not know what kind of digitizer it will use.
Powering the new convertible will be the Intel Core i5-5200U and i7-5500U processors, and memory will be 4 to 8 GB. Storage options are all solid state, and options range from 128 GB to 512 GB.
HP Spectre x360 Specifications Processor Intel Core i5-5200U
(Dual-core + HT 2.2-2.7GHz 3MB L3 14nm 15W TDP)
Intel Core i7-5500U
(Dual-core + HT 2.4-3.0GHz, 4MB L3, 14nm, 15W TDP)
Chipset Broadwell-ULT Memory 4 GB DDR3
8 GB DDR3
Graphics Intel HD 5500
(24 EUs at 300-900MHz on Core i5)
(24 EUs at 300-950MHz on Core i7)
Display 13.3" IPS 16:9 FHD (1920x1080) Touchscreen
13.3" IPS 16:9 QHD (2560x1440) Touchscreen
Storage 128GB/256GB/512GB SSD Networking Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 plus Bluetooth 4.0
(2x2:2 802.11ac 867Mbps capable)
Battery/Power 56Wh non-removable
45W Max AC Adapter
Operating System Windows 8.1 64-bit
Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
Dimensions 12.79" x 8.6" x 0.63" (WxDxH)
(325mm x 218mm x 15.9mm)
Weight 3.26 lbs (1.48kg) Extras FHD Webcam
3 x USB 3.0
Colors Silver Pricing $900 (i5, 4GB, 128 GB, FHD)
$1150 (i7, 8GB, 256GB, FHD)
$1400 (i7, 8GB, 512GB, QHD)
The prices are quite competitive as well, with a starting price of just $900 for the Core i5 model with 4 GB of memory, a 128 GB SSD, and the Full HD touchscreen. To bump up in performance, HP will also be offering a model with a Core i7, 8 GB of memory, and a 256 GB SSD with the Full HD display for $1150, and the top end model will have the Core i7, 8 GB of memory, 512 GB SSD, and the Quad HD touchscreen for $1400.
The Spectre x360 goes on sale today at HP.com, and will be available at Best Buy starting on March 15th.
- Nokia: MWC 2015 Live blog (AnandTech)
Samsung Announces the Galaxy S 6 and S 6 Edge
In recent times, Samsung has seen the erosion of their dominance in the Android ecosystem. The reasons for why this is are many, but at least some of the criticism has been focused on the products themselves. At the high end, many criticisms have been leveled at the industrial and material design of Galaxy S and Note devices, and outside of the hardware itself, TouchWiz has received a great deal of criticism for performance issues and poor design. This brings us to the Galaxy S 6 and S 6 edge, which represents a fundamental shift in the way Samsung approaches the way their phones are made and designed. While we’ve seen these changes in the form of the Galaxy A line and the Galaxy Note 4, the Galaxy S6 represents the first phone that has been made from the ground up with a focus on industrial and material design.
This focus on design is immediately apparent as the Galaxy S 6 is the first Galaxy S phone with a unibody design. There are no visible seams or screws, and there is no apparent gap between the glass back and the metal frame of the phone. In person, the design of the Galaxy S 6 is really quite shocking when compared to the Galaxy S 5 or any previous Galaxy S device. It seems that there has been a great deal of thought and care put into each aspect of the device. The metal frame is far from a simple curve, and is somewhat rounded along the top and bottom, but flattens out along the sides for better grip. The edges of the frame are slightly chamfered as well, in order to make edge swipes off of the display smooth and natural. The display is centered on the device, with symmetrical top and bottom bezels, and thin side bezels. The back cover is clean, with a glass back that has little in the way of distractions outside of the camera, LED flash module, and a Samsung logo. Overall, the Galaxy S6 has been a massive departure from everything else that has come before it.
While the design is one aspect of the Galaxy S 6, the specs are another. While it’s often popular to repeat that specs don’t matter, they represent the foundation for the entire user experience. To start, we’ve placed the usual spec sheet below to get the basics down.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S6 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge SoC MSM8974ACv3 2.45 GHz Snapdragon 801 Exynos 7420 2.1/1.5GHz A57/A53 Exynos 7420 2.1/1.5GHz A57/A53 RAM/NAND 2GB LPDDR3
16/32GB NAND + microSD
Display 5.1” 1080p SAMOLED HD 5.1” 1440p SAMOLED 5.1” 1440p SAMOLED, Dual Edge Network 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Qualcomm MDM9x25 UE Category 4 LTE) 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 6 LTE) 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 6 LTE) Dimensions 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm, 145 grams 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm max, 138 grams 142.1 x 70.1 x 7.0mm max, 132 grams Camera 16MP (5132 x 2988) Rear Facing with 1.12 µm pixels, 1/2.6" CMOS size, 31 mm (35mm effective), f/2.2
2MP Front Facing
16MP (5132 x 2988) Rear Facing w/ OIS, f/1.9, object tracking AF
5MP Front Facing, f/1.9
16MP (5132 x 2988) Rear Facing w/ OIS, f/1.9, object tracking AF
5MP Front Facing, f/1.9
Battery 2800 mAh (10.78 Whr) 2550 mAh (9.81 Whr) 2600 mAh (10.01 Whr) OS Android 4.4 w/TouchWiz Android 5 (64-bit) w/TouchWiz Android 5 (64-bit) w/TouchWiz Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2x2 + BT 4.0, USB3.0, GPS/GNSS, MHL, DLNA, NFC 2x2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.1, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, NFC 2x2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.1, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, NFC Wireless Charging N/A WPC 1.1 (4.6W) & PMA 1.0 (4.2W) WPC 1.1 (4.6W) & PMA 1.0 (4.2W) Fingerprint Sensor Swipe Touch Touch SIM Size MicroSIM NanoSIM NanoSIM
As one can see, there are a few key highlights of note in the Galaxy S 6. The Exynos 7420 SoC is the first SoC to be built on Samsung’s 14nm FinFET process. While this isn’t comparable to Intel’s 14nm process due to the use of a 20nm metal interconnect, there are some density improvements in areas that aren’t gated by interconnect pitch. While transistors are an area where we can see significant improvements to clock speed and power consumption, the metal interconnects can influence performance as well due to power dissipated by resistance in the interconnects, in addition to limitations on clock speed due to RC delay. This means that Intel continues to hold a significant process lead, as reducing interconnect pitch is exponentially more difficult past the 20nm node as resistance and capacitance issues increase dramatically. On the GPU side of things for example, the voltage drop is huge, showing an average of -200mV up to -300mV decrease at the 700MHz state. Overall, this move to 14nm should dramatically reduce power consumption as the effect of leakage is nearly eliminated.
Outside of process node, the Exynos 7420 is a rather standard big.LITTLE SoC, with four Cortex A57s at 2.1 GHz and four Cortex A53s at 1.5 GHz. However, the Exynos 7420 represents the first Exynos SoC to have full AArch64 support in software, unlike the Exynos 5433. The GPU is upgraded to a Mali T760MP8 solution running at up to 772MHz as the top frequency and 700MHz as the secondary maximum state, a huge improvement as the voltages top out at 825mV. We should be seeing very impressive battery efficiency improvements due to the 14nm process. The SoC supports LPDRR4 running at 1552MHz, and Samsung has equipped the Galaxy S6 with a UFS 2.0 storage solution. It remains to be seen whether this is a major point of differentiation this year, but in practice it seems that the Galaxy S 6 was smooth. Areas like the multitasking interface were noticeably faster to open and close, but there were still some scenarios where I saw some slight frame drops which is likely due to the pre-release software.
Another major area of focus for Samsung for the S6 was refining the camera. While the sensor remains the same Sony sensor that we saw in the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung has improved the optics to have a maximum aperture size of f/1.9 compared to the f/2.2 that we saw with the Galaxy S5 in addition to an IR sensor in order to improve white balance detection. OIS is also introduced to the Galaxy S lineup for this generation, and in practice the stabilization is as effective as the Galaxy Note 4. Samsung strongly prioritized shooting speed and general camera speed with this generation, as they introduced object tracking AF, a double tap camera gesture, and further refinement of the PDAF system in order to make the camera experience much better than before. The object tracking AF is similar to what we've seen on phones like the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 before, but double-tapping the home button to wake up the camera was almost instant compared to pretty much any other method I've seen before. The long start-up time that I saw with the Galaxy S5's camera application has also disappeared for the most part, and in general places like the gallery and camera application are much faster than before. The front-facing camera is also a 5MP camera, which represents an upgrade over the Galaxy Note 4 but shares a f/1.9 aperture. Unfortunately, I was unable to really test the camera at all but it should be at reasonable improvement over the Galaxy Note 4's camera.
For the S6 Samsung has also improved on the AMOLED display, both in quality and pixel density/resolution. Although we have relatively little detail on this, Samsung claims 600 nit luminance, up from their claimed 500 nits from the Galaxy S5 which means that this isn't the same panel as what we saw in the GS5 LTE-A. In addition, Samsung has included wireless charging support for both WPC1.1 and PMA 1.0 standards built into every Galaxy S6. The new fingerprint sensor is also amazing in comparison the experience with the Galaxy S5, and works about as well as Apple's TouchID system. Samsung is bundling this with Samsung Pay, which allows for payments with the fingerprint sensor for authentication and while not available at launch, Samsung will also support legacy magstripe terminals for mobile payments on the Galaxy S6. Samsung has also improved the speaker dramatically from the Galaxy S5, and it should have significantly improved sound quality and volume, in addition to the improved placement on the bottom of the phone. TouchWiz seems to remain relatively similar in design, but there's a big reduction in the number of pre-installed applications. There are some applications preinstalled by Microsoft such as OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype, but in general there's almost no bloat to speak of.
Overall, the Galaxy S6 seems to be quite promising. Although the design seems to be somewhat inspired by other devices on the market, the industrial and material design is a massive step forward from everything else we've seen from Samsung before. In general, it seems that Samsung has managed to put together a device that can truly compete with devices like the One M9 and iPhone 6 in every aspect, although it'll take a full review to really get a good idea for how it shapes up against the competition. The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge will be available globally starting April 10th with 32, 64, and 128 GB storage SKUs. The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge will both have white, black, and gold colors available, but the blue color will be limited to the Galaxy S6 and the emerald green will be limited to the Galaxy S6 Edge.Gallery: Samsung Galaxy 6
Et puis de toute facon, je pourrais très bien faire un
secteur de BOOT dynamique, vous laissant la possibilité
de créer votre propre type de partition et compagnie.
-- Jayce - Qui a dit «le GNU/Hurd» ?