System on Chip

Texas Instruments not backing away from mobile entirely

A couple days back, we heard that Texas Instruments was going to move away from the smartphone and tablet markets. Many thought that the company would halt production on its OMAP 5 chipsets as it looked to break into other markets like the automotive, industrial, and robotics industries. Today Texas Instruments clarified Wednesday's reports, saying that it plans to remain a competitor in the mobile space.

NVIDIA “Kai” hopes to bring quad-core for $200

The Tegra 3 is sitting on top of the Android performance world at the moment, but that doesn't mean that NVIDIA's going to rest on their laurels. Their new Kai strategy hopes to bring quad-core SoC's to the $199 price point or lower, a range typically reserved for "reader tablets" with low specs and even lower expectations. Kai isn't a chip or hardware (that we know of, anyway), it's Nvidia's name for their process of reducing the price of high-performance tablet components.

HTC looking to make its own low-end processors

Most phone manufacturers, or manufacturers of any consumer electronics, tend to farm out some of the more critical components of their devices. An excellent example is processors: currently HTC gets system-on-a-chip boards from Samsung and NVIDIA. But that may change soon, for some phones at least: ChinaTimes reports that HTC has partnered with fabless semiconductor company ST-Ericsson to create new chips for their low-end phones.

Snapdragon manufacturing setbacks could delay major Android releases

The grudge match between Nvidia and Qualcomm was escalated at Mobile World Congress, where almost every single new Android device was running either a Tegra 3 or Snapdragon S4 processor. Now news out of the supply chain indicates that Qualcomm's manufacturing partner for its 28nm chips has run into unexpected delays. If true, that could mean that large numbers of the Snapdragon S4 - the processor heart of phone like the HTC One S, The Panasonic ELUGA, and the LTE versions of the HTC One X, Asus Transformer Pad Infitinty 700 and Transformer Pad 300.

Qualcomm: no quad-core Snapdragon CPUs until Q4

All the news in the processor and system-on-a-chip space seems to be going to Nvidia these days, thanks to their four (and now five) core Tegra 3 architecture. In all the hustle and bustle, Qualcomm's Snapdragon gets forgotten - not that it's going anywhere. While almost ever major phone and tablet manufacturer has a Tegra 3 product slated for Mobile World Congress, they've usually got Snapdragons filling out the mid and lower ranks as well. It looks like that's going to be the status quo for a while: A Qualcomm product manager announced that the company would be focusing on its dual-core products until at least late 2012.

Snapdragon S4 system on a chip shows huge performance increase

When it comes to ARM-based processors and the speed demons who use them, Nvidia has captured nearly all the buzz at the moments with its quad-core Tegra 3 platform. But Qualcomm isn't resting on its laurels: the chipmaker is showing off the latest and greatest in its Snapdragon line, the S4. When Anandtech tested out the new chip inside a Quualcomm developer device, they concluded that it was "the absolute smoothest we’ve ever seen Ice Cream Sandwich run" - high praise indeed, considering how some users of ICS have complained about its performance on current-generation hardware. A device equipped with a 1.5Ghz dual-core S4 in a 28nm configuration blew past the competition in controlled tests.

Run Android on any laptop with SATA-based PunkThis board

We've seen a few Android-based netbooks run through the production mills of confused OEMs, and we're fairly sure that a certain major manufacturer is including Android in a SoC bundled into their latest ultraportable laptop. But if you want a little do-it-yourself Android/laptop action, look further than the CUPP Computing PunkThis board. It's a tiny system-on-a-chip built into a PCB board with SATA and Mini PCIe connections on one side. What does that mean? It means pop this sucker into your laptop's hard drive bay, and you're running Android in seconds.

Intel claims better Android performance on Medfield chips

Intel made a splash at CES when its partner Lenovo showed off the Racer-A/K800, the first Android-powered smartphone to use Intel's chip design. Though the chip giant is late and in many ways behind in the smartphone game at the moment, they don't intend to be an also-ran. Mike Bell, formerly of Palm and currently Intel's vice president of Ultra Mobility, claimed in an interview with EE Times that the Medfield system-on-a-chip would make huge advancements in both power and efficiency on Android.

Google TV switches from Intel to ARM amid low sales

The saga of Google TV has been something like a ballad of lament over the last few months, with Logitech abandoning the platform completely and interest drying up after the Honeycomb update. There are probably some considerable changes for Google TV coming in 2012, but one of the biggest has just been announced: future hardware will be built on ARM-based chips, like most Android smartphones and tablets. Previously Logitech and Sony's designs were based on an Intel x86 reference.
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