The new prototype solar panel has a solar energy conversion efficiency of 22.5% on a commercial-sized module. The prototype was built using solar cells based on mass-production technology, Panasonic said.
Last year, Panasonic announced it had achieved a photovoltaic cell efficiency rating of 25.6%.
“This new record on module-level efficiency adds to the 25.6% efficiency record achieved last year at cell-level. The new panel efficiency record demonstrates once again Panasonic’s…ongoing commitment to move the needle in advanced solar technology,” Daniel Roca, senior business developer at Panasonic Eco Solutions Europe, said in a statement.
The latest advance, in theory, allows Panasonic to squeak past SolarCity as having the most efficient solar panel in the world. SolarCity announced last week that it had achieved an efficiency rating of 22.04% in panels that it will begin manufacturing this month.
However, Panasonic’s solar panels are based on “thin-layer” solar cells, which are more expensive to produce than the standard solar cells being used by SolarCity.
Panasonic was also unable to give a date for when its panels would be used in commercial solar panels. However, it did say it’s planning for a mid- to late-2016 release time.
The new solar panel test results were confirmed by the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Panasonic said.
The 72-cell, 270-watt prototype solar module incorporates “newly developed enhanced technology” that will eventually be scaled to volume production, Panasonic said.
After years of losses, Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai has engineered a successful restructuring drive at Sony, with recent results showing improvement thanks to cost cuts, an exit from weak businesses such as PCs, as well as strong sales of image sensors and videogames. But its smartphone business has been slow to turn around.
“We will continue with the business as long as we are on track with the scenario of breaking even next year onwards,” Hirai told a group of reporters on Wednesday. “Otherwise, we haven’t eliminated the consideration of alternative options.”
Sony and other Japanese electronics makers have struggled to compete with cheaper Asian rivals as well as the likes of Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics.
Sony phones including its Xperia-branded smartphones held only 17.5 percent of the market in Japan and less than 1 percent in the North America, according to company data last year.
The electronics giant in July lowered its forecast for its mobile communications unit to an operating loss of 60 billion yen in the current fiscal year from an earlier estimate of a 39 billion yen loss.
“I do have a feeling that a turnaround in our electronics business has shown progress. The result of three years of restructuring are starting to show,” he said. “But we still need to carry out restructuring in smartphones.”
Big Blue has launched a line of Power processor-based, Linux-tuned machines which are helped out by Nvidia Tegra GPUs.
The three products based around Power 8 processors offering scale-out servers in preconfigured, single-click order, and bespoke options. They are
The S812LC, consisting of a single eight-core 3.32GHz processor or 10-core 2.92GHz processor, up to 1TB of system memory.
The S822LC for commercial computing, offering the same specs but with a second identical processor for up to 20 cores.
The S822LC for high performance offers identical specs to the S822LC but incorporates multiple Nvidia Tegra GPUs for creating visual interpretations of data quickly and easily.
Nvidia and IBM are close in the OpenPower Foundation and the 822 is supposed to be a lot quicker .
IBM said that the S822LC, with its 20 cores of Power 8 performance, is 2.7x per core, with 40 percent better price-performance ratio when running PostegreSQL.”
The difference with the LC range is its ability to run out of the box and off the shelf, meaning that customers can be up and running in under 30 minutes, IBM says.
List prices range from $6,595 to $11,990 off the shelf, with a price on request for the Nvidia-enabled version.
Industrial devices need flash that can work harder and withstand more extreme temperatures than consumer gear, and they’ll be operating out in the field years after a typical phone or camera card has been replaced. So SanDisk is introducing a line of components built for the Internet of Things.
IoT is expected to put thousands of sensors, meters, robots and machines into the field with growing needs to process and store data.
The SanDisk Industrial line includes cards for the familiar SD, microSD and eMMC (embedded MultiMediaCard) standards, but built to tougher specifications.
For example, the SanDisk Industrial XT SD Cards and XT iNAND embedded flash drives announced Monday are rated to work in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius (-40 Fahrenheit), compared with -25 Celsius for a typical consumer SD card.
The industrial cards can also write more data before they have to be replaced: as much as 128TB, far more than is typical for a consumer-grade part, said Martin Booth, director of SanDisk Industrial and SanDisk Automotive. This kind of endurance is what’s needed in IoT devices like remote video cameras that will capture video around the clock for as long as five years, he said. Otherwise they would have to be replaced more frequently, a costly proposition if the owner needs to send out a truck and a technician.
Another feature, Enhanced Power Immunity, will help prevent data loss in case of power failure. It uses special firmware for recovering data if the power is cut off, something ordinary flash cards may not be able to do if, for example, the user pulls a card out of a PC while it’s still transferring data.
The new parts range in size from 4GB or 8GB up to 64GB and will cost more than comparable consumer-grade products, but less than twice as much, Booth said.
While we want AMD to do well to balance the Intel and Nvidia empires, it does seem that the outfit cannot get a break. Today it announced that it is letting 500 staff go and will begin another wave of restructuring.
Of course, we predicted this would happen. The company is betting the farm on its coming Zen chip, but this will not appear until next year. Meanwhile it is facing shrinking sales and nearly impossible competition.
Under the restructuring AMD will outsource some IT and application development services. It will give 500 people, or five percent of its staff, their pink slips and P45s. The company will take a charge of $42 million, with $41 million of that recorded in the just-ended third quarter. AMD said it expected savings of about $58 million in 2016 from the restructuring plan.
This is about the same time AMD hopes to clean up with its Zen chips.
AMD said it will cut white-collar jobs and is not shutting or idling any fabricating operations. The jobs will be lost across AMD’s global operations, including Austin, Texas, and company headquarters in Sunnyvale, California. AMD only has 9,700 employees at the end of last year, so 500 is rather a chunk.
AMD reported its second-quarter revenue fell 35 percent from the year-earlier period, claiming that no one wanted to buy PCs.
The company has been shifting to gaming consoles and low-power servers, but it really has not moved fast enough or come up with the sort of “wow” technology which is needed to see off Intel.
GE, in partnership with The Slate Group’s podcast network Panoply, is running “The Message,” a fictional eight-episode podcast that will follow the decoding of a 70 year-old message from outer space. The cryptologists decoding the message turn to a real ultrasound technology developed by GE to decode the messages.
“It’s science fiction meets real science,” said Andy Goldberg, GE’s global creative director.
The idea for the series stemmed from the company’s historic “GE Theater” television series, which was hosted by Ronald Reagan, then an actor, in the 1950s.
GE is producing its own podcast series, rather than running ads on other podcasts because it specifically does not want the shows to come off as advertising, but rather as a way to raise brand awareness, Goldberg said. The 40-60 minute spots, which begin Oct. 4, will be advertisement-free and will be available for download for free. Goldberg declined to comment on how much GE is spending on the podcasts.
GE is among a number of firms whose interest in podcasts has increased since last year’s airing of “Serial,” the hit podcast chronicling a murder investigation.
“It flipped a switch for us that podcasting was no longer going to be informational pieces but could be entertainment,” Goldberg said.
Podcasts are a small, but growing part of the digital media marketplace. Seventeen percent of teens and adults listen to one podcast per month, up from 15 percent last year, according to Edison Research.
The medium has gotten so much initial interest, that the Interactive Advertising Bureau held its first “podcast upfronts,” for companies to promote their podcasts to advertisers in September.
While GE’s move is novel, it is likely that more advertisers will follow rather than just run ads during podcasts, said eMarketer analyst Paul Verna. It is like the next iteration of “native advertising,” where companies create sponsored content to promote their offerings, he said.
MediaTek is quietly building an ecosystem to drive IoT strategy to push its System on Chip shipments across multiple devices.
The fabless chipmaker is signing partnerships with Amazon, Tinitell, Apple, and People Power.
MediaTek is starting to come out of the shadows in the West with its SoC designs. It sees the IoT as a way to push more of its chips.
It has put in a tender to buy power management outfit Richtek Technology to expand its leadership in Power Management Integrated Circuits (PMIC) to strengthen its overall capabilities for the IoT business model. The deal is expected to close in Q2 2016.
It has provided funding to People Power, a user engagement company providing apps, cloud and mobile services for IoT to further accelerate its penetration in the IoT market in both the U.S. and China, develop new IoT products based on its Fabrux and Influx software architecture
Release of two software development kits (SDKs) for Apple HomeKit, the framework in iOS 8 for communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home.
This is on top of its partnership with Amazon for the latest devices – Amazon Fire TV is powered by MediaTek’s MT8173, a 64-bit quad-core processor and the world’s first multimedia SoC with ARM’s Cortex-A72 cores; Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 tablets powered by MT8135, an up to 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, resulting in a fast and fluid user interface, and smooth running HD videos and high frame-rate games.
Chief Marketing Officer, Johan Lodenius said the company’s cunning plan was to innvovate widely available technology that provides integrated connectivity, while investing in and nurturing developers and the maker community to deliver practical yet innovative solutions.
The launch of the phones, the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X, comes a day after Apple Inc reported record first-weekend sales of its new iPhones.
The Nexus 5X 16 GB model will be priced at $379, while the Nexus 6P 32 GB will cost $499, Google said at an event live-streamed on YouTube.
Apple’s 6s and 6s Plus start at $199 and $299, respectively, with a two-year service-provider contract.
Nexus devices, which typically do not sell as much as iPhones or iPads, are a way for the tech giant to showcase its latest advancements in mobile hardware and software.
Google also unveiled a tablet built entirely by the company based on its Android operating system.
The latest version of Android, dubbed Marshmallow, will be available to existing Nexus customers from next week.
The Android mobile platform is a key element in Google’s strategy to maintain revenue from online advertising as people switch from Web browser searches to smartphone apps.
The Nexus 5X is made by South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc and the Nexus 6P by China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd . Both phones feature Google’s new fingerprint sensor, Nexus Imprint, which is located on the back.
The fingerprint sensors will help quickly authorize purchases made through Android Pay, the one-touch payment app on Android devices that competes with Apple Pay.
The phones are available for pre-order on the Google Store from a number of countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Japan.
The Pixel C tablet will cost $499 for the 32 GB model and can be bought with a detachable keyboard, which will cost $149.
The tablet will be available in time for the holiday season on the Google Store.
Troubled chipmaker AMD’s has launched its Pro APUs quietly with just one major customer so far, the maker of expensive printer ink HP.
Based on the Godaveri and Carrizo chips, AMD adds its AMD Secure Processor for corporate peace of mind. The new Pro chips include the new AMD Pro A12 chip, which runs at 3.4GHz. All of the new Pro chips are APUs, which mean that they combine both graphics as well as the CPU core. The A12 integrates 12 compute cores (4 CPU cores and 8 GPU cores), based on the Radeon R7 graphics technology running at 800MHz.
What differentiates the new PRO chips from the more conventional models are what AMD calls the AMD Secure Processor, an embedded core that enables the ARM TrustZone secure environment to run on top of the chip. Theoretically, at least, the technology should supply an added layer of security to sensitive apps.
AMD PRO A-Series mobile processors (formerly codenamed “Carrizo PRO”) are aimed at the commercial laptop market. They were made in collaboration with HP, ExactTrak, and Qualcomm. HP is set to flog a few of them in its HP EliteBooks range.
David Bennett, corporate vice president and general manager, Commercial Products, AMD said the AMD PRO processors enable performance, reliability and opportunity for today’s businesses by giving customers choice and affordability to meet their specific business needs.
The AMD PRO A-Series processors are purpose-designed for business, offering long-term value commercial enterprises can depend on including a 24-month longevity commitment, 18-month image stability, commercial-grade quality assurance and available extended OEM warranty support for up to 36 months.
Protection against modern security threats with new enterprise-class security features including Device Guard, Enterprise Data Protection, and Windows Hello biometric authentication.
The AMD PRO A-Series processors are claimed to enable greater management flexibility in a multi-vendor client environment at what AMD calls a business-friendly price.
HP EliteBook G3 705 series pair the PROs with Qualcomm’s SnapdragonTM X5 LTE modem to provide 4G connectivity and location capabilities.
Fram Akiki, senior director of product management at Qualcomm Technologies said that the closer co-operation between AMD, HP, and Qualcomm on the HP EliteBook 705 G3 Series will benefit enterprise users.
The AMD PRO A-Series mobile processors are available today through online resellers and are currently offered on HP EliteBook 705 G3 Series PCs, including HP EliteBook 725, 745 and 755
The HP EliteBook 705 G3 series with the new Pro chips inside them. The business notebook weighs 2.78 pounds and includes 12.5-inch, 14.0-inch and 15.6-inch displays.
The new Pro chips also contain features that were launched with the earlier chips, such as Heterogenous Systems Architecture (HSA 1.0) compliance to allow programmers to more easily program the CPU, as well as an integrated HEVC video decoder.
The launch of the Model X represents a milestone for the loss-making Silicon Valley automaker during a period of high spending and modest growth, because it can now boast a second model in production beyond its Model S sedan, launched in 2012.
“I think we got a little carried away with the X,” Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk told reporters ahead of a launch event near the company’s Fremont factory, where luxury Model Xs have been moving down the production line in recent weeks, nearly two years behind the company’s original schedule.
Musk estimated that 25,000 customers had pre-ordered the crossover online or in its stores and that it would take 8-12 months for those ordering from now to receive the SUV.
In retrospect, the company may have done less, Musk said.
“There is far more there than is really necessary to sell a car. And some of the things are so difficult, they make the car better but the difficulty of engineering those parts is so high.”
Between 4,000-6,000 guests filled a cavernous space for the launch. Invited to the event were Model X reservation holders, Tesla employees and Model S and Roadster owners. The Roadster sportscar, which is no longer in production, was the company’s first vehicle.
Musk has said the all-wheel drive Model X – with two electric motors, the ability to travel about 250 miles (about 400 km) on a single charge and seating for seven people – was “the hardest car to build in the world”.
Priced as high as $144,000, it features so-called “falcon-wing” doors that open upward rather than to the side – controlled by sensors that can modulate the height to clear garage ceilings – seats that can be adjusted separately and a panoramic windshield that extends overhead.
Musk said the biggest challenges were making the doors open in a graceful “balletic” manner, the expansive windshield – which he said was the largest piece of glass ever used in a car – plus its sun visor and the moveable seats, which he said were deceptively tricky.
“One of the hardest things to design is a good seat,” he said.
Although global adoption of electric vehicles has been slow, Tesla has been the U.S. pioneer in luxury electric cars charged by batteries. It is betting that high-performance and stylish offerings will boost acceptance amid a sea of alternatives, such as hybrids or electric vehicles powered by hydrogen.
Tesla predicted its SUV would receive 5-star safety ratings in all categories, based on data from its crash tests, due to its low center of gravity, which helps reduce rollovers.
Over the last few years, competitive gaming has made huge strides, building a massive fanbase, supporting the rise of entire genres of games and attracting vast prize pots for the discipline’s very best. Almost across the board, the phenomenon has also seen its revenues gaining, as new sponsors come on board, including some major household names. Sustaining the rapidity of the growth of eSports is going to be key to its long term success, maintaining momentum and pushing it ever further into the public consciousness.
In order to do that, according to Newzoo, eSports need to learn some lessons from their more traditional athletic counterparts. Right now, the research firm puts a pin in eSports revenues of $2.40 per enthusiast per year, a number which is expected to bring the total revenue for the industry to $275 million for 2015 – a 43 per cent increase on last year. By 2018, the firm expects that per user number to almost double, reaching $4.63.
That’s a decent number, representing very rapid growth, but it pales in comparison to Newzoo’s estimates on the average earning per fan for a sport like Basketball, which represents a $14 per fan revenue – rising to $19 where only the major league NBA is a factor. To catch up to numbers like this is going to take some time, but Newzoo’s research has listed five factors it considers vital to achieving that aim.
Right now, MOBAs are undeniably the king of the eSports scene, and one of the biggest genres in gaming. The king of MOBAs, League of Legends, is the highest earning game in the world, whilst others like Valve’s DOTA 2 are also represent huge audiences and revenues, including the prestigious annual International tournament. Shooters are also still big business here, with Activision Blizzard recently announcing the formation of a new Call of Duty League.
Nonetheless, MOBAs are still the mainstay and if you don’t like them, you’re not going to get too deeply into competitive gaming as a fan. Although their popularity with the athletes is going to make them a difficult genre to shift, Newzoo says that broadening the slate is a key factor to growth.
The major tournaments bring players, and audiences, from all over the world, but it’s often only the very top tier of players who can find themselves a foothold in regular competition. Major territories like the US, South Korea and Europe have some local structure, but again League of Legends stands almost alone in its provision of local infrastructure. By expanding a network of regular leagues and competitions to more countries, eSports stands a much better chance of building a grassroots movement and capturing more fans.
Already a problem very much on the radar of official bodies and players around the world, the introduction of regulation is always a tough transition for any industry. However, when you’re putting up millions of dollars in prize money, you can’t have any grey areas around doping, match fixing and player behaviour at events. These young players are frequently thrust into a very rapid acceleration of lifestyle, fame and responsibility – a heady mixture which can prove to be a damaging influence on many. Just like in other sports, stars need protecting and nurturing – and the competitions careful monitoring – in order for growth to occur without scandal and harm to its stars.
Dishing out the rights to broadcast, promote and profit from eSports is a complex issue. Whilst games like football are worldwide concerns, with media rights a hotly contested and constantly shifting field, nobody owns the games themselves. With eSports, every single aspect of the games being played is a trademark in itself, with its owners understandably keen to protect them. However, with fan promotion such a key part of the sport’s growth, and services like Twitch a massive factor in organic promotion, governing the rights of distribution is only going to become a murkier and more complex business as time goes on. With major TV networks, well used to exclusivity, now starting to show an interest, expect this to become a hot topic.
Conflict between new and old media
That clash of worlds, between the fresh and agile formats of digital user-sourced broadcasting and the old network model is also going to be source of many of its own problems. One or the other, or even both, is going to have to adapt fast for there to be a convivial agreement which betters the industry as a whole. There’s currently considerable pushback from established media against the idea of eSports becoming accepted as a mainstream activity, fuelled in no small part by their audiences themselves, so a lo of attitudes need to change. Add to that the links between these media giants and many of the world’s richest advertisers and you can start to see the problem.
MediaTek has revealed that its latest generation 10 core processor will be targeting neural networks and tge deep learning market.
Nvidia was one of the first to go after this area and Qualcomm is wants ”in” too. There will be a big scrap for what could be a huge market for all of these companies.
Kevin JouSr. Vice President & CTO of MediaTek said.
“Cloud-based computing provides big data for training a neural network, but on a device deep learning enables privacy, instantaneous usability of personalized databases. It can speed up the search for the picture you want. This speeds up the search of your personal data including payments, pictures and everything else that we don’t want to have in the cloud. You can just ask Jennifer Lawrence how smart it was to have the nude pictures in the iCloud.”
Kevin has confirmed that MediaTek is developing the deep learning SDK that will support multi-corps. We have seen that company’s Core Pilot 3.0 scheduler can enable the CPU, GPU, DSP and ISP to work together.
MediaTek’s Chairman and CEO Tsai Ming-kai said that the company has serious IoT and automotive aspirations. You need deep learning to teach a car the difference between a human printed on a piece of paper and the actual human on a street. This is a painful process, but when solved will enable self-driving cars that are promised to hit our streets by 2020, just five years from now.
According to the latest report, it appears that Nvidia is on the verge of releasing a new dual-GPU graphics card that will place two GM200 GPUs on the same PCB.
According to a report from Wccftech.com, the upcoming dual-GPU graphics card has not only been already showcased to a couple of select members of the press at a secret briefing in New York City, but some of those have managed to score a sample and are wrapping up their reviews.
According to the same report, the upcoming flagship graphics card could bear the GTX Titan branding. Rather surprising piece of information is that the upcoming dual-GPU graphics card will not be based on the GM204 GPU, which was behind the GTX 980 and GTX 970 graphics card but rather two GM200 GPUs, the same one that is behind both the GTX 980 Ti and the GTX Titan X graphics card.
The precise specifications are still unknown as it is unclear if we are looking at two fully enabled GM200 GPUs with 3072 CUDA cores each, or the cut-down version with 2816 CUDA cores. Since the GTX 980 Ti has a TDP of 250W, it will be quite interesting to see the final TDP on such dual-GPU graphics card and the final clocks for each GPU.
It is also quite surprising that Nvidia managed to keep such graphics card a secret for so long and although it was quite obvious that Nvidia will release a dual-GPU graphics card in order to counter AMD’s upcoming dual Fiji GPU based graphics card, we did not expect it to be ready so soon.
The price of the upcoming dual-GPU graphics card from Nvidia, which is also the most important part of information, is still unknown but if these rumors are true, we should see it quite soon.
The phone, called Priv, will also include BlackBerry security and productivity tools, Chairman and CEO John Chen told investors last week.
The move suggests that Chen still can’t decide whether BlackBerry should focus on the more profitable enterprise mobile device and application management software sector, or remain a loss-making phone maker with one foot still in the cut-throat consumer electronics market.
On Friday, BlackBerry reported revenue of $490 million for the three months to Aug. 29, down from $916 million a year earlier. The company scraped up a net income of $51 million with an accounting manipulation, revaluing debentures to the tune of $228 million. Gross margin was down, however, while fixed selling costs remained largely unchanged from a year earlier.
Software licensing revenue jumped 33 percent, however, suggesting that BlackBerry’s mobile device and application management business, supplemented after the quarter ended with the $425-million acquisition of Good Technology, is on the up.
The company added 2,400 enterprise software licensees during the quarter, but 60 percent of these were cross-platform licenses, meaning that BlackBerry’s software will be used to manage the security of phones from other vendors.
Sales of its own phones dropped precipitously: It recognized revenue from shipment of just 800,000 phones running BlackBerry OS in the quarter, down from 2.1 million a year earlier.
TSMC has warned that its revenues for the fourth quarter will experience a sequential decline, however its bottom line has been saved by the fact that the US dollar is doing well against the Taiwan currency.
The company has announced that its third-quarter revenues will exceed its guidance given in mid-July, thanks to a more favorable US dollar exchange rate to the NT dollar. However, revenues for the third quarter will be about $6.42 billion. Gross margin and operating margin will still be within the previous guidance of 47-49 per cent.
TSMC’s revenues for the fourth quarter, however, will drop to between $6 billion with profit margin rates similar to the prior quarter’s levels, the company said.
For all of 2015, TSMC expects to post a double-digit increase in revenues as the company guided previously.
The company expected that it would gain more A9 processor orders from Apple Inc next quarter to offset customers’ inventory corrections. However one has to wonder if TSMC is now thinking that its Apple sales are set to take a hit. Its other smartphone chip customers like Qualcomm, MediaTek have been taking a hammering. TSMC will meet its full-year target, but only thanks to the currency move.
Global smartphone shipment growth is expected to slow this year and average 7.9 percent during the next five years, compared with 34 percent growth over the past five years. Sales of all types of devices are to decline by 1 percent this year, Gartner Inc said in a report yesterday.