The Swedish telecom equipment vendor is planning on showing off some of the developments at the CTIA Super Mobility conference next week in Las Vegas.
5G will likely be one of the hottest topics at CTIA, but LTE still has lots mileage left — after all, the first two letters stand for Long Term. And it’s a lot easier to upgrade an existing network than roll out a new one.
One of the more contentious upgrades is using unlicensed spectrum for LTE. Detractors fear it will affect Wi-Fi performance, which uses the same frequencies.
To prevent that from happening, a number of methods are being developed to make LTE play well alongside Wi-Fi. At CTIA, Ericsson is demonstrating LTE-U (Unlicensed) Fair Sharing, which continually monitors the radio environment to determine the overall average channel availability.
The company is also showing LTE at speeds up to 600Mbps with the help of carrier aggregation and better signal encoding. Carrier aggregation, which is part of LTE-Advanced, allows networks to devote more resources to some users by treating two or more channels in the same or different frequency bands as if they were one.
Because of the amount of spectrum needed, not all operators will be able to offer 600Mbps.
The work that’s been done to increase bandwidths has so far focused on faster download speeds. Using some of the same technologies, attention is now being turned to speedier uploads, as well.
However, future LTE networks are also being developed to work better with the Internet of Things. A new version called LTE Category 0 is much slower than current networks, but that’s fine since most IoT apps don’t need lots of bandwidth. The upside is that the cost of devices drops and battery lives can be extended to 10 years and more.
To show what’s possible, Ericsson has teamed up with chipmaker Sequans to demonstrate a prototype network and device.
All the LTE upgrades are part of Ericsson’s Networks Software 16A and 16B. They will be used on indoor and outdoor base stations and become available next year.
The rumored Helio X30 is real and if you thought that X20 was not enough to see off Snapdragon 820, it looks like the Helio X30 has a much better chance.
All new Helio X20 deca-core has two A72 at 2.5GHz, four A53 at 2.0 and four A53 cores at 1.4 GHz. It has Core pilot 3.0 is a smart scheduler that decides which core gets what task.
This processor has every chance to be faster than Snapdragon 620 from Qualcomm. The Snapdragon 620 comes with four A72 cores at 1.8GHz and four A53 at 1.4 GHz but we are unsure how Helio X20 goes will match up against the Snapdragon 820 with its custom quad Krait cores.
But the the Helio X30 has four A72 cores at 2.5GHz, two A72 clocked at 2GHz, two Cortex A53 clocked at 1.5GHz and two low power A53 at 1GHz. A senior executive from MediaTek told us that not all cores were created equal.
Despite the fact that the word “A53″ on the box looks like “A53″ on the other box, one is optimized for performance and the other for low power. If it is unclear if the A53 based cluster from MediaTek is the same as A53 cluster from Qualcomm.
As you can read at Fudzilla we spent quite some time learning about the potential gains of having three clusters. The X20 can have 30 to 40 percent less power consumption, simply by being smart how it uses all ten cores / three clusters.
With Helio X30 you will gain more performance with six out of ten cores being based on the A72 core. Having ten cores in four clusters raises another question, how efficient will the four cluster approach be versus the three cluster approach?
MediaTek has not officially confirmed or launched the Helio X30, but we expect that this will happen soon. The X30 should be shipping in devices in early 2016. at least this is what we would expect to place it well against the Snapdragon 820.
Facebook Inc’s Instagram unveiled new features that will allow users to exchange messages in private and group conversations as the photo and video-sharing service attempts to keep up with growing messaging service Snapchat.
The upgrade by Instagram, which has more than 300 million users, is the latest move in the escalating battle for a young audience addicted to messaging with younger and hipper rival Snapchat, which has 100 million users and growing.
The new features mean Instagram users can share pictures directly with one friend or a group of people and send back text responses or pictures, which Instagram hopes will make users want to stay on its mobile app or web site longer.
Young mobile users are increasingly interested in messaging friends and having conversations online, rather than merely viewing content. As much as 40 percent of all comments on Instagram posts mention other accounts, Instagram said, suggesting that many users like to flag content to users they know and start conversations about it.
The move comes a week after Instagram upgraded its service to allow new layout options in addition to its signature square for pictures and videos, which was viewed as a move to compete better with Snapchat.
Snapchat, which is popular partly because messages on its platform disappear after a few seconds, already offered a variety of picture and video formats. Earlier this year, Snapchat upgraded its service so users could exchange text messages in response to photos and videos.
Many social sites and apps have added specialized messaging features recently in a bid to keep users.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, launched its Messenger service as a standalone app earlier this year, and added a virtual assistant called ‘M’ last week that can complete tasks for users such as shopping.
Nvidia has announced the release of its Grid 2.0 servers and expects it will have industry support. The idea is to deliver even most graphics-intensive applications to any connected device virtually.
Several major vendors including Cisco, Dell, HP and Lenovo have a GRID solution to run on 125 server models including new blade servers. Nvidia worked closely with Cytrix and Cmware to bring the powerful experience to the users.
Nvidia tells us that IT departments can offer their workers the instant access to powerful applications, improving resource allocation.
Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO of NVIDIA said:
“Industry leaders around the world are embracing NVIDIA GRID to provide their employees access to even the most graphics-intensive workflows on any device, right from the data center,”NVIDIA GRID technology enables employees to do their best work regardless of the device they use or where they are located. This is the future of enterprise computing.”
Nvidia GRID 2.0 doubles user density over the previous version, allowing up to 128 users per server. GRID 2.0 uses the latest Maxwell GPU architecture offering twice the performance over the previous generation of GRID. The new GRID 2.0 offers the blade server support and this is a big deal in enterprise market.
All new GRID 2.0 now supports Linux OS. This is something that was missing from the first version of the GRID server, and the driver is mature enough to be offered to the end users.
Nvidia doesn’t offer prices publicly but in case you are a big company and you want to test GRID 2.0 services you can sign up for 90 days evaluation.
You can test the Nvidia GRID vGPU acceleration on Windows desktop with 2D and 3D applications including Autodesk AutoCAD, Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS, Esri ArcGIS Pro and Siemens NX.
Xiaomi is the latest big phone manufacturer trying to make its own SoCs to differentiate itself from the fearsome competition.
China’s biggest smartphone manufacturer is working on its own SoC that is scheduled to appear in 2016. Details are thin on the ground but it would appear that the company is working on its own ARM based chip. This will help company to compete with Apple, Samsung and Huawei. These three already have an inhouse SoC.
Apple started making its own SoC a while ago with the original iPhone and Samsung has joined in a few years later. This is going to become more common in the phone industry.
Samsung caught everyone by surprise when it announced that its flagship Galaxy S6 and the latest Galaxy 6 Note and edge ended up with a 14nm based 7240 . Before this, they used Qualcomm chips for their high end devices.
HTC ended up using Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 while LG G4 flagship phone chose the Snapdragon 808 which was a slightly slower version of the chip.
Huawei has acquired HiSIlicon SoC manufacturer a few years ago and the company makes its own SoC branded Kirin. The company is doing a decent job with its latest Kirin 930. This “four plus four” A53 chip with one cluster with 2.0 GHz and another with 1.5Ghz seems like a decent chip. It even has Cat 6 modem to compete better.
The future Kirin 950 will have A72 cores and even Cat 10 modems but this is something we will see in course of 2016.
If Xiaomi becomes successful in its SoC plans, it will put Qualcomm and MediaTek in a tough position. The company is using Snapdragon 810 in its MI Note Pro, and Snapdragon 615 in Mi 4i phone.
Redmi Note 2 is using the quite popular MediaTek SoC Helio X10 SoC that ended up in quite a few phones coming from the Far East.
Xiaomi has already developed LC1860 processor for its low end Redmi 2A, which was a sub $100 phone. This was developed by the Xiaomi-owned Pine Cone Electronics working with Chinese chip maker Leadcore Technology. The LC 1860 was significantly less expensive that similar spec Qualcomm chip.
LG has been working on its own SoC codenamed Odin and we still haven’t seen a single device with it. Making SoC chips with an integrated LTE is hard and it costs Qualcomm and MediaTek billions of dollars to refresh the latest offering at least once a year. This was why Nvidia and Texas Instruments have dropped out of this game as it was too hard to compete.
An open saucy general-purpose graphics processor (GPGPU) has been unveiled at the Hot Chips event.
The GPGPU is relatively crude and is part of another piece of an emerging open-source hardware platform called MIAOW.
Karu Sankaralingam, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison said that an open source hardware platform is emerging that has inherent value
He said that big companies will someday be built using open source hardware, just as multi-billion-dollar Web giants owe their existence to open source software.
He said more people needed to contribute to open source hardware to improve the platform layer so there’s enough for entrepreneurs to build from it.
A 12-person team developed the MIAOW core in 36 months. Their goal was simply to create a functional GPGPU without setting any specific area, frequency, power or performance goals.
The resulting GPGPU uses just 95 instructions and 32 compute units in its current design. It only supports single-precision operations. Students are now adding a graphics pipeline to the design, a job expected to take about six months.
MIAOW compares favourably on several benchmarks to AMD’s latest high-end chip, Tahiti. However, it also falls far short on other benchmarks. Apparently AMD had a quick look at it and said that the designers were not doing anything “too crazy”.
However quite how MIAOW will navigate through the shark infested patent sea is anyone’s guess.
The company, which has grown throughoutn Europe and gained a 10 percent share of the Northern European e-commerce market, said it had partnered with around 10 U.S. merchants so far.
Sweden-based Klarna, founded in 2005 and backed by investors such as Sequoia Capital and Atomico, is now planning for rapid expansion in the United States, where it will take on rivals such as PayPal and Stripe.
“I would be disappointed if we didn’t have hundreds of merchants on the platform doing millions of transactions as early as in 2016,” Klarna North America CEO Brian Billingsley, told Reuters.
Klarna’s services allow online consumers to buy goods by entering easy-to-remember details such as an e-mail address and zip code. It also lets consumers pay after delivery with Klarna assuming the risk in the interim and paying the retailer immediately.
Klarna, which had net sales of $319 million last year, said it was currently seeing “significant growth” in its core markets in the Nordics and Germany.
Asked how much the group could grow in 2016, Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski said it was to early to tell as the U.S business was still in its infancy.
“There is definitely a potential to quickly reach half a billion dollars in revenue in a very short period of time,” he said.
Klarna said the company would double in size if it was to capture half a percentage of the U.S market.
“And while of course our ambitions are much higher than half a percentage, it is definitely an interesting reflection of how extremely big the market is,” Siemiatkowski said.
T-Mobile USA is on a mission to stop data thieves, which it says are taking advantage of the company’s unlimited high-speed data plan through excessive tethering — the use of smartphone data service on other devices.
The carrier offers unlimited 4G LTE on smartphones, but limits data usage through tethering to 7GB a month under a Smartphone Mobile HotSpot feature, which reduces speed beyond that limit. If a customer needs more LTE tethering, he or she can add on more.
But CEO John Legere has accused some users of “hacking” the system to swipe high-speed tethered data, by strategies like downloading apps that hide their tether usage, rooting their phones or writing code to mask their activity.
“It’s a small group — 1/100 of a percent of our 59 million customers — but some of them are using as much as 2 terabytes (2,000GB!) of data in a month,” Legere wrote.
“I’m not sure what they are doing with it — stealing wireless access for their entire business, powering a small cloud service, providing broadband to a small city, mining for bitcoin — but I really don’t care!,” he added.
Legere said the company was going first after the 3,000 users who know exactly what they are doing, as they can compromise the network experience for other T-Mobile customers. The company claims to have developed technology that can detect the people who choose to break its terms and conditions.
Erring customers will be warned, and then lose access to the company’s unlimited 4G LTE smartphone data plan, and be moved to an entry-level limited 4G LTE data plan, according to a support page.
The rumor mill might have been a bit broken when it was announced that Microsoft was about to launch an Xbox-mini.
The rumor claimed that Microsoft would be holding a launch event in October where people could expect the company to launch the Surface Pro 4, Lumia flagships and an “Xbox One Mini.”
It was claimed that the X-box mini would be third the size of the current console and lack a Blu-Ray drive.
However Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has now debunked this theory, stating that the rumors are simply “not real”. Although he didn’t say the project didn’t exist just that the rumor that it was coming out in October was “not real.”
Given the nature of reality, and theories that the universe is a holographic game being played two-dimensional gods, we are not ready to dismiss out of hand yet.
While the Xbox One Mini definitely won’t be happening the Lumia flagships; Cityman and Talkman, new Surface tablets including the Surface Pro 4, the eagerly awaited Band 2 and perhaps even a slimmer Xbox One is still a possibility at the event.
The OpenStack Community is turning its attention to support for containers and improving the platform’s enterprise-worthiness, as the OpenStack Foundation celebrated gaining non-profit status from the US government, a move that will free up extra resources for development, the organisation said.
Foundation executive director Jonathan Bryce said at the OpenStack Silicon Valley conference at California’s Computer History Museum that OpenStack has developed over the past five years into a general-purpose “integration engine” for IT departments to build infrastructure that allows them to operate a diverse array of applications and services.
“OpenStack has become a framework for computing that lets you plug in commercial and open source options for virtualisation, storage and networking, which is a key benefit for users. What that points to is that OpenStack operates as an integration engine that can take different types of hardware and software, and integrate them into a unified platform that users can operate applications and services on top of,” he said.
Bryce announced that the OpenStack Foundation, which oversees the activities of the OpenStack developer community, has been officially recognised as a tax-exempt non-profit business by the US government.
“From a practical perspective, this means we will have more resources to invest in the community over the long term,” he said.
Bryce also announced the launch of a new App Dev section on the OpenStack.org website with resources to help developers make better use of the OpenStack APIs, including a whitepaper on containers.
Containers are the hot technology of the moment, as they hold the promise of packaging applications and services for easy deployment in the cloud, with greater density and scalability than using virtual machines. Much of the effort in the OpenStack community is thus now focused on making containers work without being too restrictive or tying users into one container platform or another.
Docker has garnered much publicity for its container technology, but successfully bringing containers to OpenStack involves more than just supporting Docker, as Craig McLuckie, group product manager for Google’s Compute Engine platform, explained.
“There needs to be something to map containers to your OpenStack infrastructure, the compute, storage and network resources, so that applications inside the containers can access these,” he said.
Naturally, McLuckie held up the Kubernetes project that Google founded as a key part of the solution, with other pieces supplied by OpenStack’s Magnum and the Murano project started by OpenStack firm Mirantis.
“Magnum adds Kubenetes to OpenStack, while Mirantis’ Murano provides native Kubernetes package integration,” McLuckie explained, but adding that there is still much work to be done on properly integrating containers into OpenStack.
“We need to work together as a community to ensure that the core service model can span virtual machines and containers, and we need better integration with the Neutron (networking) module and a solution for containers on bare metal,” he said.
“Virtual machines still have a future as they are the only way to achieve the isolation some applications and services need, but for many people containers are the way forward for most workloads.”
The move comes amid an explosion in the amount of video viewed on Facebook, posted by regular users, publishers and advertisers alike.
Alongside the uptick in video content, copyright holders have complained about videos posted without their permission. A recent report by video marketing and social media consulting companies Tubular and Social@Ogilvy estimated that a majority of the most popular videos on Facebook were pirated.
On Thursday, Facebook said it would be deploying new video matching technology that will be available to a small group of partners. The tool, Facebook said, will let select media companies, multichannel networks and individual video creators identify matches of their videos posted across Pages, profiles, groups and geographies on the site.
The tool will evaluate millions of video uploads quickly. When matches surface, publishers will be able to report them to Facebook for removal, the company said in a blog post.
Facebook has already been using a system called Audible Magic that uses audio fingerprinting technology to identify and prevent unauthorized videos from making their way to the site.
But the video matching tool, currently in beta, is a new step in Facebook’s broader efforts to establish a content ID system akin to what YouTube uses to quickly identify copyright violations.
On YouTube, copyright owners have the option of running ads against videos that the video sharing site has identified as matches.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter granted $75 million to assist a consortium of high-tech firms and researchers develop electronic systems packed with sensors flexible enough to be worn by soldiers or molded onto the skin of a plane.
Carter said funding for the Obama administration’s newest manufacturing institute would go to the FlexTech Alliance, a consortium of 162 companies, universities and other groups, from Boeing , Apple and Harvard, to Advantest Akron Polymer Systems and Kalamazoo Valley Community College.
The group will work to advance the development and manufacture of so-called flexible hybrid electronics, which can be embedded with sensors and stretched, twisted and bent to fit aircraft or other platform where they will be used.
“This is an emerging technology that takes advanced flexible materials for circuits, communications, sensors and power and combines them with thinned silicon chips to ultimately produce the next generation of electronic products,” Carter said.
He was speaking at NASA’s Ames Research Center in the heart of Silicon Valley.
The consortium, which will be managed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, will add $90 million to the federal money. Local governments will chip in more, boosting the group’s total five-year funding level to $171 million.
Defense officials say the rapid development of new technologies around the globe is forcing the Pentagon to seek partnerships with the private sector rather than developing most of its technology itself, as it once did.
The Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Hub, which will be based in San Jose, is the seventh of nine such institutes planned by the Obama administration in an effort to revitalize the U.S. manufacturing base.
Qualcomm has launched its new Official Safety Car for season two of the FIA’s Formula E Championship.
For those not in the know, the Formula E Championship is for electric cars, and they are no longer the milk floats that English people get stuck behind in narrow streets.
The new Official Qualcomm Safety Car is the BMW i8 but it will be charged wirelessly with an advanced Qualcomm Halo 7.2kW wireless charging system.
The Qualcomm Halo 7.2kW wireless charging system delivers twice the amount of energy to the BMW i8′s batteries per hour as compared to last year’s 3.6kW system.
This halves the full charge time, enabling the vehicle to fully charge in one hour. Employing Qualcomm Halo DD technology, with magnetic architecture optimization, ensures higher coupling coefficients and drives lower system currents, higher inefficiencies and the ability to support higher power levels.
A Qualcomm spokesman said that an open championship has encouraged teams to develop their own powertrain tech.
This ensures that the racing remains highly competitive, and it supports the goal of Formula E to advance the development of new technologies for electric vehicles and to bring those technologies, vital to sustainable mobility, to the attention of millions of people around the globe, a spokesman said.
Qualcomm’s general manager of wireless charging, Steve Pazol said Qualcomm was excited to continue its support of Formula E in this second season.
According to J.D. Power’s 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience (DrIVE) Report, 20% of new-vehicle owners have never used 16 of 33 of the latest technology features.
The 2015 DrIVE Report measures driver experiences with in-vehicle technology features during the first 90 days of ownership.
The five features owners most commonly report that they “never use” are in-vehicle concierge (43%); mobile routers (38%); automatic parking systems (35%); heads-up display (33%); and built-in apps (32%).
Additionally, there are 14 technology features that 20% or more of owners don’t even want in their next vehicle. Those features include Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, in-vehicle concierge services and in-vehicle voice texting. When narrowed to just Gen Yers, the number of vehicle owners who don’t want entertainment and connectivity systems increases to 23%.
“In many cases, owners simply prefer to use their smartphone or tablet because it meets their needs; they’re familiar with the device and it’s accurate,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and human-machine interface (HMI) research at J.D. Power. “In-vehicle connectivity technology that’s not used results in millions of dollars of lost value for both consumers and the manufacturers.”
About the technology now offered in new cars, vehicle owners said they simply “did not find it useful,” adding that it “came as part of a package on my current vehicle and I did not want it.”
Vehicle owners who said their dealer did not explain a tech feature also had a higher likelihood of never using it, the survey found.
J.D. Power built its report on responses from more than 4,200 vehicle owners and lessees after 90 days of ownership. The report was conducted between April and June 2015.
IBM security research has found that people are using the so-called dark net to launch cyber attacks, force ransomware demands on punters and make distributed denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.
The dark net, accessed via Tor, is often tagged as a threat. The IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Quarterly 3Q 2015 report identifies a spike in bad traffic and leads with a warning.
The report introduces Tor as the network that takes people to the dark net. We might start calling it the ferryman and the passage across the river Styx, but things are complicated enough.
IBM said that Tor is used by “non-malicious government officials, journalists, law enforcement officials” and bad people alike. It is the latter that should concern us.
“This latest report reveals that more than 150,000 malicious events have originated from Tor in the US alone thus far in 2015,” the report said.
“Tor has also played a role in the growing ransomware attack trend. Attackers have evolved the use of encryption to hold data hostage and demand payment/ransom for the decryption code.”
We have been here before, and ransomware has been a feature of many a security alert this year already. We heard, courtesy of Bitdefender, that ransomware charges start at £320, and are a real pain to deal with. We also heard that it is Android mobile users in the UK who get the worst of the hackers’ grabbing-for-money treatment.
Back at the IBM report, and we find IBM X-Force on the issue. X-Force, which is nothing like X-Men, said that hackers push internet users who are easily fooled by flashy online advertisements into installing the new cyber nightmare. Ransomware, it warns, will separate you from your cash.
“A surprising number of users are fooled by fake/rogue antivirus [AV] messages that are nothing more than animated web ads that look like actual products. The fake AV scam tricks users into installing or updating an AV product they may never have had,” it explains, adding that in some cases people pay the money without thinking.
“Afterward, the fake AV keeps popping up fake malware detection notices until the user pays some amount of money, typically something in the range of what an AV product would cost.”
This establishes the subject as a mark, and the hackers will exploit the opportunity. “Do not assume that if you are infected with encryption-based ransomware you can simply pay the ransom and reliably get your data back,” said IBM.
“The best way to avoid loss is to back up your data. Regardless of whether your backup is local or cloud-based, you must ensure that you have at least one copy that is not directly mapped visibly as a drive on your computer.”
Tor nodes in the US spewed out the most bad traffic in the first half of this year, according to the report, adding up to about 180,000 attacks. The Netherlands is second with around 150,000, and Romania is third with about 80,000.
The bulk of this negative attention lands at technology and communications companies. You might have assumed the financial markets, but you were wrong. IBM said that ICT gets over 300,000 Tor thwacks every six months, manufacturing gets about 245,000, and finance gets about 170,000.
IBM said that the old enemy, SQL injection attacks, is the most common Tor-led threat to come at its customers. Vulnerability scanning attacks are also a problem, and IBM said that the use of the network as a means for distributed DoS attacks should “Come as no surprise”. It doesn’t.
“These attacks combine Tor-commanded botnets with a sheaf of Tor exit nodes. In particular, some of the US-based exit nodes provide huge bandwidth,” explained the report.
“Employing a handful of the exit nodes in a distributed DoS orchestrated by the botnet controller and originating at dozens or hundreds of bot hosts can impose a large burden on the targeted system with a small outlay of attacker resources, and generally effective anonymity.”
There is a lot more. The bottom line is that bad things happen on the dark net and that they come to people and businesses through Tor. IBM said that concerned outfits should just block it and move on, which is along the lines of something that Akamai said recently.
“Corporate networks really have little choice but to block communications to these stealthy networks. The networks contain significant amounts of illegal and malicious activity,” said Akamai.
“Allowing access between corporate networks and stealth networks can open the corporation to the risk of theft or compromise, and to legal liability in some cases and jurisdictions.”
That sounds fine to us, but won’t someone give a thought to those non-malicious government officials out there?