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.
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.
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.
Andy Hargreaves of Pacific Crest has warned his clients that demand for the iPhone 6S may be meaningfully lower than last year’s model.
Hargreaves of Pacific Crest based his figures on Google search volume, device shipments availability, and third-party surveys.
He added that a lack of quantitative statements from Apple and the wireless carriers all point to weak iPhone demand.
Hargreaves is one of the top analysts on Wall Street. His picks average a 33 percent one-year return with a 70 percent success rate and he is ranked in the top 1 percent of all analysts, according to TipRanks.com.
“Apple’s statement appears to be a statement on supply. Relative to demand, the preponderance of data points suggests that demand for the iPhone 6s is lower than it was for the iPhone 6, possibly meaningfully so. This includes Google search data, device shipment times, third-party surveys, a lack of comments from carriers, and a lack of quantitative comment on pre-orders in Apple’s statement.”
iPhone 6S search volume is 75 percent below last year’s iPhone 6 and 25 percent lower than even the iPhone 5S according to Google Trends, said Hargreaves.
Needless to say the Tame Apple Press is furious. Fortune Magazine said it was amazing that the analyst referred to Google Search data as a way of calling BS on Tim Cook statement. After all Apple always tells the truth and never lies to its users.
However saner investment hacks who normally believe in Apple agree that Hargreaves is onto something.
It highlights fears in Wall Street that Apple relies too much in the Iphone. Weaker sales send a signal to the market that the company has lost its innovative bent and is beginning to lose its “cool factor,” it could also signal the end of Job’s Mob’s marvellous run as a growth stock.
Apple announced changes to iCloud extra storage pricing earlier this month at the event where it unveiled new iPhones, the larger iPad Pro and a revamped Apple TV.
Although the Cupertino, Calif., company did not boost the amount of free storage space — as Computerworld speculated it might — and instead continued to provide just 5GB of iCloud space gratis, it bumped up the $0.99 per month plan from 20GB to 50GB, lowered the price of the 200GB plan by 25% to $2.99 monthly, and halved the 1TB plan’s price to $9.99.
Apple also ditched last year’s 500GB plan, which had cost $9.99 monthly.
The new prices are in line with the competition; in one case, Apple’s was lower.
Google, for example, hands out 15GB of cloud-based Google Drive storage for free — triple Apple’s allowance — and charges $1.99 monthly for 100GB and $9.99 each month for 1TB. The smaller-sized plan is 33% more per gigabyte than Apple’s 200GB deal, and Google’s 1TB plan is priced the same as Apple’s.
Microsoft also gives away 15GB. Additional storage costs $1.99 monthly for 100GB — the same price as Google Drive — while 200GB runs $3.99 per month, 33% higher than Apple’s same-sized plan.
Microsoft does not sell a separate 1TB OneDrive plan but instead directs customers to Office 365 Personal, the one-user subscription to the Office application suite. As part of the subscription, customers are given 1TB of OneDrive space. Office 365 Personal costs $6.99 monthly or $69.99 annually.
“Software Update Failed,” the message read on iPhones and iPads. “An error occurred downloading iOS 9.”Computerworld confirmed the problem, initially seeing it on multiple iOS 8 devices. But after several subsequent attempts, the download successfully started about an hour after Apple issued the upgrade.
Similar reports of early problems were posted on Apple’s own support forums and elsewhere on the Internet. “Not a very helpful error,” wrote someone identified as “yanic” on the former.
Others countered with snark. “Strangely, this is not a ‘limited time offer,’ said “stedman 1″ on the same thread, likely referring to Microsoft’s Windows 10 free upgrade offer, which is valid for one year. “The software will be available tomorrow, and the next day, and next week.”
Some advice ended up being more helpful. “You are facing an overloaded server which is pretty typical of the first day a software revision comes out,” contended “Ralph Landry1″ on a different discussion thread.
Several iPhone owners who had said that they were unable to download iOS 9 returned to the same forum threads to report they had gotten the upgrade later.
Digitimes Research has been consulting the oracles and, after inspecting the liver of a particularly fat RAM, come to the conclusion that Apple’s Surface Pro, sorry the iPad Pro, is doomed.
That is not to say that the iPad Pro is going to do too badly, given that it is just an super-sized version of last year’s Surface Pro, which did not do well for Microsoft either.
Digitimes thinks Apple will flog 2.5 million of them in the fourth quarter.
But Digitimes thinks it is too expensive and going to get its clock cleaned by the Surface Pro 4 which is coming out at a similar price level and is actually value for money.
Apple is also facing supply shortages for the iPad Pro’s panels so three million is the most they can physically make in the fourth quarter.
iPad Pro’s IGZO panel is currently supplied by Sharp only and LG Display will only be able to supply a small volume starting November, while supply from Samsung will begin in 2016.
As a result, Apple is only able to start shipping the iPad Pro in November and its shipments will be between 2.5-3 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Digitimes Research.
By the time Apple gets its act together it will be old news and the Surface 4 will be out and much better.
We think that figure is wildly optimistic as tablet sales are already dropping and are expected to go further.
As has so often been the case with announcements from Apple, a company once famed for its strict secrecy, the rumor mills had the right of it; Wednesday morning’s event in California saw the unveiling of a new Apple TV device with a motion-sensitive controller and the ability to run third-party applications. If not exactly centre-stage, games were certainly a major part of the presentation and appear to be a significant part of the offering on the new device; yet even with the new system now unveiled, significant questions about Apple’s TV strategy remain, and the firm’s relationship with videogames and their creators remains uneasy and awkward.
There are two questions that matter to a game developer when it comes to a new platform; can it play games, and will there be a decent market. The first of those questions was answered at yesterday’s event, more or less. The new Apple TV is based on the A8 chip which powers the current generation of iPhones, and it’s actually something of an upgrade over those devices, as it sports 2GB of RAM (as is also the case in the new iPhone 6S models). That means it’s more than capable of running some pretty graphically impressive games, perhaps even some titles that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the PS3 or Xbox 360.
There are two very severe limits on the potential for that kind of “console-AAA” style game on the Apple TV, though. The first is that apps on the system are limited to 200mb in size; they can access assets much larger than that, but must be prepared to stream them over the Internet, as they are not allocated any asset storage space on the system (which has only 32GB of storage in total, or 64GB on the larger version; this is very much a streaming box). That’s a sufficiently strict limit to have some developers rolling their eyes and declaring the device uninteresting as a game system, but others are no doubt thinking hard about what kind of experiences are possible within that limit. It’s worth noting just how rich and complex some browser-based games, which operate within much stricter limitations, can be. 200MB size plus streamed assets is a tough challenge, but not insurmountable; it needs to be considered alongside the arguably tougher challenge of figuring out what people are actually going to want to play on this device.
Which leads us to the second limitation – how, physically, people are going to play games on Apple TV. The system is controlled, as expected, with a new remote that has few physical buttons but sports a very sensitive trackpad, a motion sensing chip and a microphone. There are certainly some interesting things you could do to control a game with that – although I don’t doubt the skeptical mind which says that the first thing that’s going to happen is a clone of every piece of Wii shovelware ever released – but it does almost entirely preclude simple porting of retro classics, and even of many indie titles. Creators are going to have think hard about how their game will work with that control setup, which may be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the results of their cogitation.
There are other control options; almost every report on the device has pointed out that it works with any MFi compliant Bluetooth game pad, but this feels like little more than an exercise in specification box-ticking. No developer can release a game that relies upon these gamepads, because realistically, the kind of consumer who is willing to buy a gamepad and keep it in his living room in order to play games on his TV is exactly the kind of consumer who buys an actual games console. The old adage that standalone peripherals for game consoles are not worth developing games for holds equally true in this brave new world; games on Apple TV will live or die by how well people can make them work with the bundled remote, regardless of what third-party controllers may or may not be on the market. Of more interest, I think, is the potential for controlling games on the Apple TV using iPhones as controllers; I’m not sold on the idea of an iPhone as a gamepad, but given the ubiquity of iPhones (and perhaps even the potential for companion apps on Android, which may or may not be technically possible), multiplayer games in which each player has a “personal screen” as well as a view of the “main shared screen” have some serious potential.
Despite these limitations, what Apple announced was interesting, as expected; it’s arguably the best of the streaming boxes on the market (though it is a little pricey) and certainly the one with the most potential for success as a games platform. Before it succeeds as a games platform, though, Apple needs to ensure its success as a TV platform – and on this front, the company disappointed somewhat. The company is already well out in front of the competition in terms of streaming boxes; the previous Apple TV was the market leader by a huge margin, and this device will no doubt extend that success. The problem for developers is that the market which Apple TV leads is not an entirely impressive one. Certainly, more of our media than ever before is being consumer through streaming devices, but almost any device can stream music and movies; Apple TV may do it more slickly than some others, but for the vast majority of consumers, the solution they have right now probably works fine. Although tvOS (a tasteful and well-designed reskin of iOS) looks nice and the ability to run apps will intrigue some people, the burning question of why a critical mass of consumers would choose to buy something like an Apple TV remains unanswered.
Answers may be forthcoming later. The self-same rumour mills which so deftly predicted the general shape of the Apple TV announcement also suggest that Apple is set to make further announcements about its TV strategy over the coming months; that the company had hoped to announce the Apple TV box alongside a comprehensive and deeply disruptive streaming TV service which would give the firm top billing among the options for US consumers opting to “cut the cable” and subsist entirely on streamed media. There’s also talk of Apple copying Netflix and Amazon by getting into the funding of original content creation – a move which makes even more sense when you consider that the company has for years been buying up an impressive library of independent movies for iTunes. Should those ventures come to pass, and Apple TV sales soar as a consequence, the device will become very, very hard for game developers to ignore.
One can only hope, should that be the case, that Apple will also find game developers hard to ignore. The company has often been accused of being “snobby” about games, as though their presence on its devices is to be tolerated but not celebrated; this is absolutely an attitude which has changed hugely in recent years, but one can’t help but look at the game-unfriendly aspects of the Apple TV outlined above and wonder if the upper echelons of the company have really come that far. The firm’s management are no doubt aware of just how important games are to the iOS ecosystem, and to their credit they have built very impressive GPU power into their chipsets over the years; but compared to the love-in the company has with the music, movie and TV industries, their engagement with games feels brusque and disconnected. This won’t matter terribly in the long run; if Apple TV is an enormous success, games will go there as a matter of course, but there’s a lot to be said from Apple’s point of view for the device getting some big, eye-catching games that fit its audience profile early in its lifetime, and one would hope that the slightly afterthought-like nature of its public engagement with games does not imply that encouragement of the development of those titles is not going on behind the scenes.
Before any of that becomes truly relevant, though, Apple TV needs to be a major success. The device is interesting and has clearly created some buzz with users who are, not unreasonably, sick of the poor interfaces most TV devices presently sport; but with Apple’s own service (and perhaps content) offerings seemingly delayed, this feels right now like a device without a killer app. Developers will undoubtedly be keen to get their teeth into it, but it may be next year before we find out if Apple TV is a straight-up success – or if Apple, and its prodigious wallet, is going to have to get out and push.
Beancounters at Digitimes research claim that Mediatek’s moves to buy Richtek Technology will help the analog IC vendor to push its power management (PWM) gear to the smartphone and TV panel sectors.
Lately Richtek has been moving away from its notebook and motherboard segments and into PWM ICs for telecommunication and consumer applications. The idea was to avoid being damaged too much by the slump in the PC market.
Richtek has scored orders from Samsung Electronics for production of entry-level and mid-range smartphones and has also been ramping its PWM solutions to China’s LCD TV panel sector.
MediaTek has also announced its plans to acquire LCD driver IC maker Ilitech it means that the outfit will build up a comprehensive supply chain for the TV industry in China, Digitimes noted.
MediaTek could also use the planned 12-inch joint venture fab to be built by Powerchip Technology, which is the parent company of Ilitek, in Hefei, China.
The JV fab will provide foundry services for LCD driver ICs in 2018-2019.
Investors fear that Apple has run out of ideas after it released a version of Microsoft’s surface pro and an iPhone, which was the same as last year’s.
Apple’s Tim Cook might have thought yesterday, as he walked away from the cheering crowds of Apple employees and rabid New York Times writers, that he had won the day.
However, Apple shares fell 1.9 percent as shareholders realised that there were no transformative products that could jumpstart the company’s sales ahead of the crucial holiday season.
Apple shares usually drop an average of 0.4 percent on the day of iPhone announcements because the hype never matches the reality but this is a much bigger fall.
The big iPad received a raspberry because it was too big and similar to Microsoft’s Surface tablet and the new iPhones were too similar to those released a year ago. The Apple Surface Pro even came with a stylus, which is something that Apple fanboys mocked for years. In fact the only innovative thing about it was that it required recharging every ten hours making it the chocolate teapot of pencils.
All they had which was new was the 3D Touch which is a “so what?” technology which no one really needed or cares about. It was certainly not worth upgrading to get.
Jobs’ Mob has clearly given up on any pretence of “thinking different” and short of ideas has copied itself and others.
We expected the Apple TV announcement to be hugely disappointing. Apple has mostly dialled back its ambitions this year as it plans a bigger telly service announcement next year. But you would think that after all these years not upgrading the Apple TV, Jobs Mob could have come up with some more interesting hardware.
What we got were demonstrations showed tricks to make viewing easier voice control which can rewind a video for 15 seconds and turn on subtitles, when a viewer asks something like “What did she say?”
Oddly Cook said that Apple had worked really hard, and really long on that project. The new set-top box will include an app store and let developers create new software for Apple TV, including video games.
Again nothing that you can’t get elsewhere and probably a lot cheaper. We expect the Tame Apple Press will go into damage control limitation exercise and try to convince the world that everything is brilliant. Watch the comments below for statements from “Apple investors” claiming that their shares have gone up and that there was tons in yesterday’s rally to get excited about.
AMD will expand its socket FM2+ chip lineup with three new parts – the A10-7890K and A8-7690K APUs, and the Athlon X4 880K CPU.
The new parts showed up on the compatibility list of socket FM2+ motherboards by BIOSTAR and it is not clear when they will be in the shops.
The architecture mentioned is “Kaveri,” but the silicon could be “Godavari” which is a Kaveri refresh.
The top of the range will be the A10-7890K, which has CPU clock speeds of 4.10 GHz out of the box. We do not know what the TurboCore frequency will be, but the current A10-7870K offers 3.90 GHz with 4.10 GHz TurboCore. The A8-7690K has a CPU clocks of 3.70 GHz. We are not sure what the iGPU clock speeds of the two chips.
The Athlon X4 880K is the most interesting. It has 4.00 GHz CPU clocks. The Athlon X4 FM2+ series lack integrated graphics that means that they are good for those who will buy discrete GPUs, on the FM2+ platform.
All three chips offer unlocked base-clock multipliers, enabling CPU overclocking.
MediaTek is planning to write a cheque for a 51 per cent stake in analogue ICs Richtek Technology and might even buy the whole company.
The company will offer US$5.94 for each Richtek common share. After completing the tender offer and going through relevant legal procedures, the company will move forward taking over the remaining shares of Richtek. The follow-up acquisition of Richtek shares is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2016.
Ming-Kai Tsai, MediaTek chairman and CEO said that Richtek was is a leader in analogue ICs and provides comprehensive power management solutions to satisfy various customer demand, backed by an experienced management and R&D team.
“We believe, through the deal, the competitive edges of both companies will be leveraged to maximize the platform synergy, strengthen MediaTek in Internet of Things segment and further enhance MediaTek’s competitiveness in the fast-changing and ever-competitive global semiconductor market,” he said.
Richtek chairman Kenneth Tai claimed the two outfits were complementary in power management IP and products which creates a leadership position in this field.
He said that by using MediaTek’s platform leadership, Richtek could optimize power management performance on the system level to enable competitive products for customers and further expand analogue IC offerings to propel the company into its next stage of growth.
The spec for the AMD Athlon X4 880K has leaked onto the internet. This AMD processor is based on Kaveri, but without a GPU.
The Athlon X4 880K Specs appeared in a compatibility listing from motherboard manufacturer Biostar.
The chip, which hasn’t been formally announced yet, will run at 4 GHz and will follow-up the 870K which is yet to be released.
There is no word on how much it will all cost yet, but the 860K has been seen for $100.00, which should give you some idea.
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.
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.