Kingston Technologies is the latest to throw its hat into the ring with a range of mobile oriented flash drives.
The Datatraveler Microduo has both standard USB 2.0 and microUSB slots allowing for easier data transfer between mobile and desktop devices.
Built with Android devices in mind, the device uses the On The Go (OTG) function in most modern Android microUSB ports to provide extra storage.
The device comes in capacities ranging from 8GB to 64GB with a five year guarantee and full technical support for anyone struggling to use the device.
“[The Datatraveler] Microduo is a great companion device to mobile phones or tablets as it lets users back up files on the go thus freeing up space, or share files between devices with ease,” said Nadine Frost, Kingston Technologies EMEA Business Manager,
“Its steel design has a built in key loop and rotating cap, so it is small on size and big on storage. Travellers can take entire libraries of music or videos with them on trips without worrying about filling up the memory on their own device.”
Kingston is not the first company to bring out a twin input USB port. In December we reported on a similar product from Sony.
The OTG port is already compatible with flash drives through the use of an adapter, however as storage companies look for ways to stay one step ahead of the cloud, these products play on their added convenience and are already proving popular.
Qualcomm Executive Vice President Murthy Renduchintala has announced the first 20nm chip from Qualcomm. It is not a processor though – it’s the Gobi 9×35 4th generation LTE modem. It is sampling right now and there should be customers who will announce the designs on it shortly.
The SVP has also confirmed that SoC parts will soon to move to 20nm and when asked whether TSMC has capacity and is ready for mature production of 20nm his answer was positive. He actually said to expect a 20nm SoC real soon, but he didn’t get into any details.
The Cat 6 300 Mbps modem in 20nm obviously needs much less power and it will improve battery life on LTE devices. We can see this product as very interesting option for many high-end phones. Modems are easier and less complex to make compared to SoCs and this is why Qualcomm traditionally moves the LTE modem to a new processor node first. The company then follows up with a SoC that is much more complex to manufacture.
With every shrink of the processor node, power goes down significantly and this is what high-end application processors are all about. At 28nm chipmakers are already pushing the envelope with big A15-class parts and the move to 20nm can’t come soon enough.
BlackBerry has requested that a California court block U.S. sales of the Typo keyboard, an add-on keyboard for the iPhone that BlackBerry says is an “obvious knock-off” of the keyboards on its phones.
The move,intensifies a battle between the two companies that began in January this year when BlackBerry accused Typo of patent infringement. The lawsuit garnered considerable attention, in part because Typo was co-founded by popular U.S. radio and television personality Ryan Seacrest.
The keyboard is designed to slip onto an iPhone 5 or 5S to provide a physical keyboard. The $99 device is currently available for pre-order through the company’s website, which advertises it has already sold out of an unspecified number of keyboards for January and February delivery.
Such keyboards have been a main selling point of BlackBerry devices since the company was making radio pagers and despite the recent popularity of on-screen virtual keyboards, there remains many users who value a physical keyboard.
BlackBerry alleges infringement of two patents: U.S. Design Patent 685,775and U.S. Patent 7,629,964. The former covers the design elements of a “handheld electronic device” and the latter “an electronic device with keyboard optimized for use with the thumbs.”
BlackBerry is asking the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to prohibit Typo from “making, using, offering to sell, or selling within the United States, or importing into the United States, the Typo Keyboard.”
“Typo’s blatant copying of BlackBerry’s keyboard presents an imminent threat of irreparable harm to BlackBerry, and that threat is magnified in combination with the significant market power of the iPhone,” BlackBerry said in a proposed motion to the court.
Seacrest comes up in the BlackBerry motion. The company notes he was a well-known, long-time user of BlackBerry devices and cites interviews where he said that the inspiration for the keyboard was trying to bring together the best of the BlackBerry typing experience with everything else an iPhone had to offer.
The motion also cites several reviews that note the visual similarity between the Typo and BlackBerry keyboards.
In response to BlackBerry’s proposed motion, Typo said it believes BlackBerry’s claims “lack merit and we intend to defend the case vigorously.”
The comment repeats, almost word for word, a portion of a statement the company issued earlier in January when the lawsuit was first filed.
For BlackBerry, the issue is perhaps about more than just the visual similarities.
The company has been struggling to keep up with the fast pace of change being driven by Apple and Android phones and recently regrouped to focus more tightly on the government, military and enterprise customer.
That’s the company’s core business audience and the users that value a physical keyboard the most. If comparable keyboards become add-on accessories to Apple and Android phones, it would be more difficult for BlackBerry to compete.
Microsoft detailed the improvements at an event it held in San Francisco for Yammer customers that kicks off its Working Social Tour, scheduled to land in up to 200 cities worldwide, including New York City, Amsterdam, Sao Paulo and Tokyo.
“It’s part of our push to connect with Yammer customers,” said Jared Spataro, general manager, Microsoft Office, in an interview. Attendees are expected to be both Yammer customers as well as those who are using Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud email and collaboration suite, which includes online versions of Exchange, Lync, SharePoint and Office.
Microsoft bought Yammer in mid-2012 for $1.2 billion in order to extend the enterprise social networking (ESN) capabilities of its SharePoint collaboration server and of other products in the Office family and beyond. Microsoft is in the process of integrating Yammer’s cloud suite with those products now.
The mobile improvements include a revamped iPad application and tweaks to the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 applications. The overhaul of the iPad app is supposed to simplify the user experience, while the Windows apps got improvements to live tiles and a better inbox.
Microsoft also deepened the interoperability between Yammer and email systems, making it possible for people to participate in Yammer group discussions through email messaging and without necessarily having a Yammer account.
Establishing bridges between Yammer and email is important because many customers are still trying to figure out the best way to use the ESN suite with email, according to Spataro.
“They’re looking for a mental model for how to use email and Yammer and how to think about those two worlds coming together because not everyone jumps on Yammer or enterprise social networking at the same time,” he said.
Unlike other vendors, Microsoft doesn’t see ESN suites as a replacement for email communications. “We believe they’re very complementary tools, that they can and should coexist, and that when used together they provide a very good, rounded experience,” Spataro said.
Microsoft has also started to add features to Yammer so that it can be used as a more structured tool for getting things done and managing tasks, not just as a social conversation meeting place, he said.
In addition, it’s now also possible to launch a Yammer conversation from an Office 365 document stored in SharePoint Online by hitting a “Post to Yammer” button. That way people can have discussions about the document on Yammer.
The outlook for PC’s has been lowered by 10% by IDC for all of 2013, highlighting the tablet dominance in the fourth quarter, IDC said in a statement.
For all of 2013, PCs will still out-sell tablets, but IDC said tablets will surpass PC shipments for a full year by the end of 2015.
In the past few years, tablets have cannibalized PC sales. But IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell said smartphones 5-inches and bigger (sometimes called phablets) will start to eat into the smaller-sized tablet market — those in the 7-in. to 8-in. range — over the next 12 to 18 months.
In August, IDC lowered its 2013 tablet shipment forecast by 1% to 227.4 million partly because of the impact of phablets and wearable computing devices.
IDC also forecast that the value of all kinds of smart connected devices, which includes PCs, tablets and smartphones, will grow by 10.6% in 2013,. That growth rate will slow to just 3.1% in 2017 due to the increase in low-cost smartphones and the white-box tablet market.
Overall for 2013, the smart connected device market is expected to be valued at $622 billion, with $423 billion of that total coming from sub-$350 smartphones and sub-$350 tablets.
“Lower priced devices will be a game-changer,” said Megha Saini, an IDC analyst.
For 2013, IDC predicted shipments of 134.4 million desktop PCs, 180.9 million laptops, 227.3 million tablets and 1.01 billion smartphones.
Kingston Technology has launched an enterprise focused solid state disk (SSD) drive called the SSDnow E50, for big data and visualization.
The 2.5in drive will be available in 100GB and 240GB capacities supporting sequential read and write speeds of up to 550Mbps and 530MBps, respectively, according to Kingston. A 480GB model will support slightly lower read and write speeds of 530Mbps and 500MBps.
“[The] SSDnow E50 allows companies to take advantage of enterprise-level SSD performance for tasks such as data caching, frequently accessed data within applications, online transactional processing and virtualisation performance,” Kingston explained. “SSDnow E50 helps alleviate I/O latencies and server bottlenecks by providing greater IOPS and higher bandwidth.”
Kingston said the SSDnow E50 is aimed at businesses that want SSD performance similar to that of the firm’s higher specification SSDnow E100 drive, but do not have same the high endurance needs.
The SSDnow E50 drives support AES 128-bit automatic encryption, have one million hours’ life expectancy and weigh 92.3g, according to the firm.
The SSDnow E50 also features “data integrity protection” under the firm’s Durawrite branding, which it claims is able to extend the life of the SSD by reducing the number of flash writes via an “intelligent compression engine”. It claims this technique does not affect data integrity.
A Raise feature is also said to reduce the number of uncorrectable errors in the drive, “over and above standard error code correction”.
Kingston hasn’t got back to us to confirm when the drives will hit the market or how much they will cost.
Qualcomm reported bumper fiscal third quarter financial results with profits rising by 31 percent to $1.58bn.
Qualcomm is riding high on the smartphone and tablet boom with its Snapdragon chips powering a number of high-profile devices including some Samsung Galaxy S4 handsets and the recently announced second generation Nexus 7 tablet. The firm’s device wins have translated to impressive fiscal growth, with revenues up by 35 percent to $6.24bn and profits increasing by 31 percent to $1.58bn.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip is still the prescribed standard processor for Microsoft’s Windows Phone devices and is powering many showcase Android smartphones including the HTC One. The firm has benefited from Texas Instruments desire to get out of the consumer system on chip (SoC) market and Nvidia’s Tegra 4 taking a long time to appear in the market.
Qualcomm chairman and CEO Paul Jacobs said, “We delivered another strong quarter as our Qualcomm Snapdragon solutions were prominent in a broad set of flagship smartphones, and 3G/4G device average selling prices were stronger than expected. We also focused on return of capital to stockholders and increased our stock repurchases and dividends paid during the quarter.
“This quarter, we continued our technology leadership, with our Snapdragon 800 processor powering the world’s first LTE-Advanced smartphone.”
Qualcomm is forecasting fourth quarter revenue of $5.9bn to $6.6bn, which will represent a 21 percent to 35 percent increase from the same period last year. Given that Google picked Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip to power its high volume Nexus 7 tablet, it is highly likely that one of the highest volume, high-end tablets will help pad Qualcomm’s bottom line handsomely during the lucrative back to school and holiday buying seasons.
What Qualcomm’s revenue forecast shows is how much potential revenue Intel is losing out on by not having a competitive low power chip.
Qualcomm says it will extend its lead over Intel and distance itself from Intel by cracking the tablet market. Qualcomm already dominates the smartphone market and its latest generation Snapdragon chips have more than 200 design wins.
However, on the tablet front it is facing increasingly strong competition from Intel, Nvidia and other players. This might be about to change.
“You’ll see a whole bunch of tablets based on Snapdragon 800 in the market this year,” Qualcomm Senior VP Raj Talluri told Bloomberg. “There’s a lot of talk about Intel and tablets. Clearly we see them still being far behind in mobile.”
In recent months Intel has stepped up its game in mobile and new Intel CEO Brian Krzanich seems to be taking the market seriously. However, Intel is still short on actual products, although some of its new mobile designs look promising.
Qualcomm has completed a $120m stock purchase in Japanese display maker Sharp.
Sharp has been looking for outside investment as it tries to balance the books after years of overinvestment in LCD television manufacturing. A number of chip vendors including Intel have looked into investing in the firm but Qualcomm has put pen to paper with a $120m deal that makes it one of the company’s largest shareholders.
Like rival television maker Panasonic, Sharp has been hit hard as the demand for television sets has dried up. The firm invested heavily in LCD manufacturing technology and its executives have said that they were unsure of the firm’s future.
Sharp’s debt is already rated at junk status and the firm has laid off thousands of workers. Perhaps the firm’s best hope is its IZGO display technology, which is being promoted by several mobile device makers as a low-power, high performance display technology.
Qualcomm’s $120m investment is likely a ploy to get closer to Sharp’s IZGO technology and incorporate it into reference designs using its Snapdragon chips.
For Sharp, its deal with Qualcomm might in turn push other firms to consider investing as Sharp seems to have the right stuff to make a key player in the smartphone and tablet market interested in putting significant cash down, if nothing else as a cash investment but more likely as a way to improve the working relationship between the two firms.
It identified the SoC on board, along with the architecture and clock speed for each core. It also figures out the exact device brand, amount of RAM, storage, battery level, status and temperature. It can tap into the device’s sensor array, which is more of a gimmick than anything useful.
It’s worth noting that it is still in beta, so there might be some kinks to work out. If you’re eager to give it a go, you can find it here. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cpuid.cpu_z.
Barnes & Noble Inc said it would give away a free Nook Simple Touch e-reader to any customer who purchases its high-definition Nook HD+ tablet, a sign it may still be suffering with excess inventory of the unpopular e-reader.
The top U.S. bookstore chain last month reported poor holiday quarter results for its Nook business. Overall revenue fell 26 percent as it sold fewer devices, losing ground to products like Apple Inc’s iPad and Amazon.com Inc’s Kindle, and the Nook business’ loss doubled.
The offer is available from March 24 to March 30.
The Simple Touch e-reader, while well reviewed, failed to catch on with customers since its launch in 2011, as digital book buyers have migrated toward tablets, which now offer better reading functions. Returns of unsold Simple Touch devices have repeatedly pinched Barnes & Noble’s results.
Just days after a scandal where a South American hospital was staffed by phantom doctors who used silicon fingers of their colleagues to convince administrators’ finger print readers that they were working, Apple has decided that they are the perfect form of security.
Word on the street is that Apple is said to be planning to introduce an iPhone that can be unlocked by the owner’s fingerprint. Speculation about Apple’s plans for fingerprint recognition began last summer when the iPhone maker bought bio-metric security firm AuthenTec for $335 million.
It is believed that the iPhone 5S will have a fingerprint chip under the Home button, to “improve security and usability.” Meanwhile in an engineering journal, two Google security experts outlined plans for an ID ring or smartphone chip that could replace online passwords, which is a lot sexier than fingerprint scanning.
In 2012, the EPO received a record number of patent applications, with growth fueled mainly by Asia. Patents for digital communication saw the biggest jump from the previous year, up by 20.4% to 9,592 applications. Only medical technology and electrical machinery received more applications than digital communication.
Computer technology patents were only up by 3% but still accounted for 8,288 applications. Meanwhile the audio-visual tech sector dropped about 4% from its 2011 figure.
In computers and IT, U.S. and Asian firms held sway. Chinese and Korean firms were the driving force behind digital communication applications — accounting for 42% of all patent applications originating from China.
This trend saw smartphone manufacturer ZTE leap from 43rd place to 10th place for patent applications overall — the first Chinese company ever to enter into the top 10. In addition to Samsung and ZTE, mobile phone companies LG and Ericsson were also in the top spots, in fifth and ninth place respectively.
The EPO was founded to strengthen cooperation between the European states in the field of patents. Through the EPO’s centralized patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain patent protection in the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation.
Microsoft has inadvertently revealed that it will launch its Surface Pro tablet within weeks.
This confirmation comes via Twitter, with Panos Panay, general manager of Microsoft’s Surface products revealing the news.
He said, “On my way to the factory to check out #Surface Pro coming off the line…arriving in the coming weeks.”
Of course, it’s unclear whether this refers to both a US and UK release, but Microsoft had previously promised that it would launch the Surface Pro approximately 90 days after the release of the original Surface RT tablet, which it launched on 26 October.
We’ve been in touch with Microsoft for further information on the tablet’s UUS elease, but it has not yet responded to our request for comment. Pricing for the 64GB and 128GB models will be priced at $899 and $999, respectively, in the US.
So, what exactly will you get for your money? The Microsoft Surface Pro features a 10.6in 1920×1080 resolution display, an Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM – higher specifications than the Surface RT tablet. It also features Microsoft’s Windows 8 Professional operating system, pen input support, two HD cameras and a detachable keyboard.