Updates: Samsung cuts LTE chip cost by half, ABI Research teardown reveals [Feb 7, 2012]
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus made a big impact on the market in December 2011, thanks to its sleek design, new Android OS (Ice Cream Sandwich) and NFC capability. The smartphone has another notable hidden feature that makes it more cost-competitive.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus modem is constructed with the combination of a VIA Telecom CDMA/EVDO Rev.A integrated circuit and a Samsung LTE baseband integrated circuit, ABI Research said in its teardown note. This combination is now common for Samsung’s Verizon phones, but the Galaxy Nexus sports a new version of the LTE baseband chip. The new chip is estimated at nearly half the cost of the prior chip’s US$23 price tag.
This cost reduction is an important milestone in securing the rapid migration to LTE throughout the world, ABI Research indicated.
The application processor found inside the Galaxy Nexus is a TI OMAP4460, which runs at 1.2GHz, according to ABI Research. Other notables include an NFC antenna embedded in the device battery, and a CSR GPS single chip, a Broadcom Wi-Fi/BT/FM single chip and an Avago LTE PA and GPS frontend.
– Samsung Electronics Announces Fourth Quarter & FY 2011 Results [Samsung press release, Jan 27, 2012]
“Despite intensified competition amid the global economic slowdown, our Telecommunications businesses continued to post solid earnings with an enhanced line-up of high-end smartphones, resulting in higher average selling price (ASP). Moreover, improved profitability and earnings growth of our Set businesses, including smartphones and flat panel TVs led to our company’s strong earnings,” said Robert Yi, Senior Vice President and Head of Investor Relations.
Smartphone Sales Remain Main Driver
The Telecommunications businesses – including mobile communications and telecommunication systems – posted a record quarterly operating profit of 2.64 trillion won for the period. Fourth quarter revenue reached a record 17.82 trillion won compared with 11.75 trillion won for the same period of 2010.
The stellar performance has allowed Samsung to register full year 2011 operating profit of 8.27 trillion won, up 90 percent on-year. Total sales for fiscal year 2011 also hit an all-time yearly high of 55.53 trillion won, accounting for almost one-third of Samsung Electronics’ total revenue for the year.
Samsung’s flagship GALAXY S II smartphone and its full lineup of high-end mobile devices, such as the GALAXY Note and the GALAXY Nexus, and entry-level models drove up revenue for the year by almost 40 percent compared with the previous year.
All told, shipments of Samsung smartphones rose by approximately 30 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with the previous quarter.
For the global market outlook for this year, demand for entry-level smartphones and tablet PCs will increase significantly, while the growth momentum for feature phones is expected to stay static. Emerging markets and the spread of LTE (Long-Term Evolution) wireless telecommunications technology have also contributed to the growth of the smartphone market, which is expected to grow by more than 30 percent.
The Telecommunication System Business will further solidify its leadership in the wireless network market with the expansion of the LTE service in Korea and North America.
4Q FY2011 Earnings Conference Call [Samsung presentation, Jan 27, 2012]
End of updates
Samsung and Google introduce GALAXY Nexus [Samsung Mobile press release, Oct 19, 2011]
World’s First Smartphone to feature Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a HD Super AMOLED display
Best-in-class hardware meets the most advanced software
GALAXY Nexus is the first smartphone to feature a 4.65’’ display with a market-leading resolution of 720p (1280×720), ensuring you can enjoy GALAXY Nexus’ immersive entertainment capabilities and fast web browsing in superior clarity.
Succeeding the original Contour Display of Nexus S, GALAXY Nexus comes with a rounded shape that fits perfectly within your palm or to your face for phone calling. Hyper-skin backing on the battery cover improves the ergonomic feel of the device and makes the phone slip-resistant. At just 8.94mm thick, with a minimal 4.29mm bezel, GALAXY Nexus provides superb portability alongside an expansive screen.
GALAXY Nexus also features an ultra-fast 1.2GHz dual core processor, providing superior power and speed, ensuring you can take full advantage of GALAXY Nexus’ enhanced multitasking capabilities with ease, or enjoy the large, vivid display to its full capacity with high-definition gaming or video streaming. LTE or HSPA＋ connectivity combined with a dual core processor delivers high-speed web browsing which ensures you always have the web at your fingertips, wherever you are.
GALAXY Nexus will be available in the U.S., Europe, and Asia beginning in Novemberand gradually rolled out to other global markets.
Network HSPA＋ 21Mbps/HSUPA 5.76Mbps 850/900/1900/1700/2100
＊LTE version will be available depending on the region.
Processor 1.2 GHz Dual Core Processor Display 4.65” 1280X720 HD Super AMOLED OS Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich Camera Main(Rear) : 5 MP AF with LED Flash with zero shutter lag and fast shot2shot
Sub (Front) : 1.3MP for Video Call
Video Codec : MPEG4/H.263/H.264
Playback : 1080p@ 30fps
Recording : 1080p Full HD Video@ 30fps
Audio Codec : MP3/AAC/AAC＋/eAAC＋3.5mm Ear Jack Google™Mobile Services Android Market™, Gmail™, Google Earth™, YouTube™, Movie Studio
Google Maps™ 5.0 with 3D maps and turn-by-turn navigation
Syncing with Google Calendar™, Google＋ app
Connectivity Bluetooth® technology v 3.0 USB 2.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz/ 5GHz)
Sensor Accelerometer, Compass, Gyro, Light, Proximity, Barometer Memory 1GB(RAM) ＋ 16GB/ 32GB Internal memory Size 135.5 x 67.94 x 8.94mm, 135g Battery Standard battery, Li-on 1,750 mAh
TI confirms OMAP 4460 is in Nexus Galaxy [Oct 19, 2011]
We got word from TI that says it clearly. “Yes, the highly-anticipated Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” release runs on the OMAP4460 processor.”
They went on to say that this is mainly due the fact they are better than the competition. They claim “the ability to provide hardware-integrated security, distinctive and advanced imaging features, enhanced memory and
more, all on a smart multicore architecture.”
TI’s vice president of OMAP platform business, Remi El-Ouazzane continues with something we will break into a separate story. He tells the word that OMAP 4460 is inside Nexus and that they are the first with Android 4.0 phone. It looks like they are the reference even for Ice Cream Sandwich tablets.
“What I may be the most excited by is not only the ability to converge to one Android release for both smartphones and tablets, but to be able to pack that level of performance across graphics or video on an HD screen and within the power envelope of a smartphone device.This is where our OMAP smart multicore architecture makes a huge difference,” he said.
Also, He goes after Nvidia with this comment: “At the end of the day, brute force (number of cores, for instance) does not rival sophistication.” TI is telling the world that their two core with great video and graphics with great power is just enough.
|ARM® Cortex™-A9 Clock Speed (two)||1 GHz||1.5 GHz||1.8 GHz|
|2D & 3D Graphics||Hardware accelerated
[POWERVR™ SGX540, greater than 2x the sustained performance compared to the previous SGX530 core]
[POWERVR™ SGX540, greater than 2x the sustained performance compared to the previous SGX530 core ]
Dedicated 2D and 3D graphic cores [POWERVR™ SGX544, more than two times the sustained performance compared to the previous SGX540 core performances, supports DirectX with maximum hardware acceleration]
|Video performance (2D)||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD|
|Video Performance (3D)||720p stereoscopic 3D||1080p Stereoscopic 3D||1080p Stereoscopic 3D|
|Imaging Performance (per second)||20 MP main camera
5MP stereo (dual cameras)
|20MP main camera
12 MP stereo (dual cameras)
|20MP main camera
12 MP stereo (dual cameras)
|Availability||Currently sampling||Currently sampling||Samples in 4Q 2011|
|Display Support||WUXGA (1920 x 1200)||WUXGA (1920 x 1200)||QXGA (2048×1536), multiple screens|
Why the Galaxy Nexus uses OMAP instead of Exynos [Oct 18, 2011]
The rumors seemed strange from the start — a Samsung phone with a Texas Instruments processor? Last year’s Nexus S was a Samsung device, and it was Samsung through and through with a 1GHz Hummingbird system-on-a-chip (SoC). Now here we are looking at the new Googleflagship, the Galaxy Nexus, and it has a TI OMAP4460 on the inside. Why not Samsung’s own Exynos part?
There area few factors at work here, but the most important one is related to how the Nexus program works. Back when Google announced the Motorola Mobility buy, the company finally revealed a bit about how it operates the Nexus program. This was done in an effort to show that Motorola won’t be getting preferential treatment.
According to Google’s Andy Rubin, each year Google selects a device maker that it wants to work closely with on the next Nexus phone. But it’s not just the OEM that is involved — Google decides on components in the phone individually. Unlike other devices, Google gets it way with the Nexus.
So the team that will eventually “huddle together in one building” will be made up of the OEM, and several component makers that supply things like the SoC and radios. Then 9-12 months later, a little Nexus is born. Last year, Google went with Samsungfor the device itself, and the SoC. This year, Google has decided to put Texas Instruments on the processor team.
So now the OMAP4460 is getting quite a lot of scrutiny, even though it isn’t exactly a new chip. This dual-core SoC is clocked at 1.2GHz, and uses ARM Cortex-A9 architecture, just like the Exynos. That’s not a problem, but the older GPU, the PowerVR SGX540 is. We were hoping for a step up in the graphics department.
[Samsung’s own Cortex A9 based SoC, Exynos 4210 [Sept 22, 2011] in 1GHz and 1.2GHz version is currently sampling.]
Why did Google choose the OMAP for its new Nexus? Well, it might not live up to the high graphical standards set out by the iPhone, but it is a solid chip in its own right. The OMAP4 platform makes use of an additional hardware accelerator called IVA 3 [IVA-HD as called in the Technical Reference below] that makes encoding and decoding HD video a snap. The Galaxy Nexus has an HD screen, so this hardware focus on video is a big plus.
Google engineers were likely also drawn to the OMAP for its use of a dual-channel memory controller. Android’s multitasking system means that data is constantly being moved into, and out of, active memory. This is definitely a strength of TI’s OMAP parts.
Google will be developing the new version of Android on OMAP for the next year, so be ready for more devices based on this one. Much like the Nexus One started the Snapdragon revolution two years ago, this could be TI’s time to shine. If that OMAP4460 starts looking old and tired to OEMs in the coming year, there is always the upcoming OMAP4470 (which is armed with the much-newer and faster SGX544 GPU) to maintain compatibility and increase performance, too.
One official benchmark (GLBenchmark 2.1) to show the GPU performance differences:
OMAP4460 Multimedia Device Silicon Revision 1.x – Technical Reference Manual [PRELIMINARY, February 2011–Revised October 2011, 5620 pages]
- NOTE: Missing functionality in OMAP4430 Multimedia Device Silicon Revision 2.x – Technical Reference Manual [July 2010–Revised October 2011, 5564 pages]
The OMAP4460 high-performance multimedia application device is based on enhanced OMAP™ architecture and uses 45-nm technology.
• The architecture is designed to provide best-in-class video, image, and graphics processing for 2.5/3G wireless terminals, high-performance personal digital assistants (PDAs). For that purpose, the device
supports the following functions:
– Streaming video up to full high definition (HD) (1920 × 1080 p, 30 fps)
– 2-dimensional (2D)/3-dimensional (3D) mobile gaming
– Video conferencing
– High-resolution still image (up to 16 Mp)
• The device supports high-level operating systems (OSs) such as:
– Palm OS™
– Symbian OS™
– Windows™ CE, WinMobile™
• The device is composed of the following subsystems:
– Cortex™-A9 microprocessor unit (MPU) subsystem, including two ARM® Cortex-A9 cores
– Digital signal processor (DSP) subsystem
– Image and video accelerator high-definition (IVA-HD [IVA 3 as called in marketing materials]) subsystem
– Cortex™-M3 MPU subsystem, including two ARM Cortex-M3 microprocessors
– Display subsystem
– Audio back-end (ABE) subsystem
– Imaging subsystem (ISS), consisting of image signal processor (ISP) and still image coprocessor (SIMCOP) block
– 2D/3D graphic accelerator (SGX) subsystem
– Emulation (EMU) subsystem
The purpose of the MA is to improve the missed latency of the L2 cache between the ARM Cortex-A9 processor and external memory. One of the PL310 master ports is connected to the MA and is used for all accesses to SCRAM. The PL310 address filtering mechanism is used to split incoming addresses between the MA connected to one of the PL310 master ports and the local interconnect connected to the other PL310 master port.
Cache Management Unit
The CMU provides the ability to perform maintenance operations on Cortex-A9 MPU caches by physical address range. This reduces the execution time required by the Cortex-A9 CPUs to perform cache maintenance operations, while improving the overall throughput of maintenance operations. This frees the CPUs for other useful work. The registers inside the CMU are configured using the 32-bit interconnect configuration port from the local interconnect. The CMU operates at half the clock speed of the CPU core.
EMIF Controller [EMI Module]
The EMIF [External Memory InterFace] module provides connectivity between the device and the LPDDR2-type memories and manages data bus read/write accesses between external memories, the microprocessor unit (MPU), and the direct memory access (DMA) controller.
The EMIF is an L3 bus peripheral that provides an interface to the LPDDR2 memories.
The diagram below shows the interconnection between the EMIF module and the other modules.
Digital locked loops (DLLs) are used to delay the input DQS signals during reads so that these strobe signals can be used to latch incoming data on the DQ pins, as required by the LPDDR2 standard.
Physical layers (PHYs) are hard macros that convert single-data rate (SDR) signals to DDR signals.
The EMIF supports three local interfaces: one connects to the system interconnect, one to a low-latency master, and one comes from the MPU half of the EMIF-to-MPU connection. These interfaces are used to request all external memory device accesses, to access the EMIF registers, and to transfer all data to and from the EMIF controller. … A third interface arranges the connection between the EMIF and the MPU. It is separated to the MPU half of the EMIF-to-MPU L3 Interface and the EMIF half of the EMIF-to-MPU L3 Interface.
• The device includes state-of-art power-management techniques required for high-performance mobile products.
• Comprehensive power management is integrated into the device.
• The device also integrates:
– On-chip memory
– External memory interfaces
– Memory management
– Level 3 (L3) and level 4 (L4) interconnects
– System and connecting peripherals
Cortex-A9 MPU Subsystem Description
The Cortex-A9 MPU subsystem [is based on the symmetric multiprocessor (SMP) architecture and] integrates the following submodules:
• ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore
– Two ARM Cortex-A9 central processing units (CPUs)
– ARM Version 7 ISA™: Standard ARM instruction set plus Thumb®-2, Jazelle® RCT and Jazelle DBX Java™ accelerators
– Neon™ SIMD coprocessor and VFPv3 per CPU
– Interrupt controller (Cortex-A9 MPU INTC) with up to 128 interrupt requests
– One general-purpose timer and one watchdog timer per CPU
– Debug and trace features
– 32-KB instruction and 32-KB data level 1 (L1) caches per CPU
• Shared 1-MB level 2 (L2) cache
• 48 KB bootable ROM
• Local power, reset, and clock management (PRCM) module
• Emulation features
• Digital phase-locked loop (DPLL)
ABE Subsystem Description
The ABE subsystem handles audio processing for the application. It manages the audio and voice streams between the Cortex-A9 MPU subsystem and/or DSP, and the physical interfaces.
The ABE subsystem allows:
• Buffering of audio samples
• Mixing audio with voice downstream and/or microphone upstream (sidetone)
• Postprocessing of equalization, 3D effects, bass-boost
The ABE subsystem consists of:
• Audio engine (AE) subsystem, which performs real-time signal processing such as:
– Muxing and mixing voice and data streams
– Postprocessing operations such as sampling rate conversion, volume control, 3D effects
– Execution of whole data transfers in the ABE subsystem using audio traffic controller (ATC)
The AE subsystem includes an AE and has the following on-chip memories available: 64-KB data memory (DMEM); 6-KB coefficient memory (CMEM); and 18-KB sample memory (SMEM).
The ATC manages the data movement in the ABE subsystem and is in charge of interrupt generation to the DSP and Cortex-A9 MPU subsystems.
• Four general-purpose timers (GPTIMERs) and one watchdog timer (WDTIMER)
• Peripheral interfaces:
– Three multichannel buffered serial ports (McBSPs) for inter-IC sound ( I2S™) external connectivity
– One multichannel audio serial port (McASP) supporting Sony/Philips digital interconnect format (S/PDIF) output
– One MIPI SLIMbus interface to support new generations of MIPI-compliant components
– One digital microphone (DMIC) for three stereo digital microphones support
– One multichannel pulse-density modulation (McPDM) interface, which ensures communication with the TWL6040 audio companion chip
• Internal interfaces for connection with the DSP and Cortex-A9 MPU subsystems and other modules in the device
• Dedicated power domain (ABE power domain)
DSP Subsystem Description
This information is not available in the public domain.
IVA-HD [IVA 3 as called in marketing materials] Subsystem Description
The IVA-HD subsystem is a set of video encoder/decoder hardware accelerators. It supports up to 1080p × 30 fps, slow-motion camcorder, triple play (HD and SD capture and JPEG capture), real-time transcoding of up to 720p, and video conferencing up to 720p.
The IVA-HD subsystem is composed of:
• Improved motion estimation acceleration engine (iME3), which is used in encoding processing
• Improved loop filter acceleration engine (iLF3), which performs deblocking filtering
• Improved sequencer (iCONT1) based on the ARM968E-S™ microcontroller. It includes memory and INTC and is used as a primary sequencer.
• Intraprediction estimation engine (iPE3). It is used in encoding processing.
• Calculation engine (CALC3), which performs transform and quantization calculations
• Motion compensation engine (MC3), which creates an interprediction macroblock with given motion vectors and modes from the reference data
• Entropy coder/decoder (ECD3), which uses Huffman and arithmetic codes during the process of encoding and decoding the stream
• Video DMA processor (iCONT2), which is also based on the ARM968E-S microcontroller and can be used as secondary sequencer
• Video DMA engine (vDMA), which is a DMA engine for data transmission between external memories and shared L2 memory
• Synchronization box (SyncBox) embedded in each hardware accelerator and in both iCONTs
• Mailbox for communication between IVA-HD and external to it processors (DSP, Cortex-A9, and Cortex-M3)
• Shared L2 interface and memory
• Video local interconnect for connection between the submodules of the IVA-HD, and between the IVA-HD and DSP subsystems
• IVA-HD system control module (SYSCTRL), which controls the clocks in the subsystem and PRCM handshaking
The IVA-HD subsystem can process three data formats for internal data: picture or slice, macroblock header, and residual data.
The IVA-HD supports [the following codec standards natively; that is, all functions of standards are accelerated (without any intervention of the digital signal processor [DSP])] the following formats:
• MPEG-1/-2/-4 such as MPEG-2 MP, ML, and MPEG-4 as SP/ASP
• Divx 5.02 and above
• Sorenson Spark [V0 and V1] (decode)
• H.263 P0 (encode and decode) and P3 (decode)
• H.264 Annex G (scalable baseline profile up to 720p)
• H.264 BP/MP/HP
• [H.264: Fast Profile/RCDO Encode and Decode]
• H.264 Annex H (partial) [up to 720p30]
• Stereoscopic video
• JPEG [(also MJPEG)] (encode/decode)
• VC-1 [WMV9/RTV] SP/MP/AP
• RealVideo® 8/9/10 (decode only)
• On2® VP6.2/VP7 (decode only)
[IVA-HD 1.0 will use eXpressDSP Digital Media (xDM) standard as the principle software interface. The xDM standard defines application programming interfaces (APIs) through which an application invokes a
particular class of codec, such as video decode or audio encode.
xDM developers kit, technical documentation and full compliant codecs can be downloaded from http://focus.ti.com/docs/toolsw/folders/print/tmdxdaisxdm.html.
Software released on IVA-HD 1.0 will be xDM-compliant and will be available during 2010.]
Display Subsystem Description
The display subsystem provides the control signals required to interface the OMAP system memory frame buffer (SDRAM) directly to the displays. [The display subsystem (DSS) provides the logic to display a video frame from the memory frame buffer on a liquid-crystal display (LCD) panel or a TV set.] It supports hardware cursor, independent gamma curve on all interfaces, multiple-buffer, and programmable color phase rotation. The display subsystem allows low-power display refresh and arbitration between normal and low-priority pipelines.
The display subsystem consists of the following sections:
• Display controller: It can read and display the encoded pixel data stored in memory and write the output of one of the overlays or one of the pipelines into the system memory. It supports the following components:
– Three video pipelines, one graphic pipeline, and one write-back pipeline. The graphic pipeline supports pixel formats such as: ARGB16-4444, RGB16-565, ARGB16-1555, ARGB32-8888, RGBA32-8888, RGB24-888, and BITMAP (1, 2, 4, or 8 bits per pixel). It allows selection of the
– Write-back pipeline: it uses poly-phase filtering for independent horizontal and vertical resampling (upsampling and downsampling). It allows programmable color space conversion of RGB24 into YUV4:2:2-UYVY, YUV4:2:2-YUV2, or YUV4:2:0-NV12, and selection of color-depth reduction from RGB24 to RGB16.
– Two LCD outputs, each one with dedicated overlay manager, for support of passive matrix color and monochrome displays (up to 8-bit interface) and active matrix color displays (up to 24-bit interface). Secondary LCD output is available through parallel CMOS interface for MIPI®-DPI 1.0
– One TV output with dedicated overlay manager
– Own direct memory access (DMA) engine
• Remote frame buffer interface (RFBI) module.
– Support for MIPI-DBI protocol
– 8-/9-/16-bit parallel interface
– Programmable pixel modes and output formats
• Two MIPI display serial interfaces (DSIs) with the following main features:
– Support for MIPI-DSI (four data-lane complex inputs/outputs (I/Os) for DSI1 and two data-lane complex I/Os for DSI2)
– Support for video mode and command mode
– Data interleaving support for synchronous and asynchronous streams
– Bidirectional data link support
• High-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) encoder with the following main features:
– HDMI 1.3, HDCP 1.2, and DVI 1.0 compliant
— Including support for the 3D Stereoscopic frame-packing formats of HDMI v1.4 standard (720p, 50Hz, 720p, 60Hz and 1080p, 24Hz)
– Deep-color mode support (10-bit for up to 1080p and up to 12-bit for 1080i/720p)
– Support for uncompressed multichannel audio
– Integrated high-bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) encryption engine for transmitting protected audio and video content
– Integrated transition minimized differential signaling (TMDS) and TERC4 encoders for data island support
• NTSC/PAL video encoder with the following main features:
– Output to on-chip video digital-to-analog converter (VDAC) providing composite analog output signal: NTSC-J, M; PAL-B, D, G, H, I; PAL-M
– Support for square pixel sampling
– Programmable horizontal synchronization, vertical timing, and waveforms
NOTE: The NTSC/PAL video encoder and VDAC function are not supported.
Face Detect Module Description
The face detect module is a stand-alone module that performs face detection and tracking on a picture stored in the SDRAM memory. It communicates with the Cortex-A9 MPU, DSP, and Cortex-M3 MPU
Face detect is typically used on:
• Video encoding
• Face-based priority auto-focusing
• Red-eye removal
The face detect module comprises:
• Face detection core with embedded DMA engine for data memory access
• RAM and ROM memories
• L3 and L4 port interfaces
Cortex-M3 MPU Subsystem Description
[The dual Cortex™-M3 microprocessor (MPU) subsystem controls the imaging subsystem (ISS) and manages some controls of the video and display subsystem. It contains two ARM® Cortex-M3 processors (CPUs) that share a common level 1 (L1) cache (shared cache). One of the CPUs is dedicated to sequencing still image coprocessor (SIMCOP) accelerators, and the other CPU is dedicated to the ISS and display subsystem control. A single image real-time operating system (RTOS) runs on both cores, thereby minimizing the code size. The integrated interrupt handling of the dual Cortex-M3 MPU allows efficient control of the ISS.]
The Cortex-M3 MPU subsystem includes the following components:
• Two Cortex-M3 CPUs: One for SIMCOP control, and the other for RTOS, ISP, and display subsystem control
• ARMv7-M and Thumb-2 instruction set architecture
• Dedicated INTC with up to 64 physical interrupt events
• Two-level memory subsystem hierarchy
— 32-KB shared cache memory
– L2 ROM + RAM
— 64-KB RAM
— 16-KB bootable ROM
• Cortex-M3 system bus directly connected to the ISS interconnect
• MMU for address translation
• Integrated power management
• Emulation feature embedded in the Cortex-M3
[The imaging subsystem (ISS) deals with the processing of the pixel data coming from an external image sensor, data from memory (image format encoding and decoding can be done to and from memory), or data from SL2 in IVA-HD for hardware encoding. With its subparts, such as interfaces and interconnects, image signal processor (ISP), and still image coprocessor (SIMCOP), the ISS is a key component for the following multimedia applications: camera viewfinder, video record, and still image capture.]
The ISS processes data coming from the image sensor, memory, and IVA-HD subsystem. The ISS is responsible for multimedia applications such as: camera viewfinder; video record with up to 1080 p at 30 fps with digital zoom and still image processing, such as image capture up to 16 Mp with digital zoom and rotation. The ISS supports a pixel throughput of up to 200 Mp/s. It assures good performance with sensors up to 16 Mp and more (higher resolution can be achieved through multiple passes). The ISS can implement third-party algorithms for further flexibility when working with image sensors.
The ISS consists of:
• The ISP, which deals with on-the-fly or memory-to-memory data processing. It allows data collection for autoexposure, autowhite balance, autofocus, resizing, and histogram generation.
The ISP consists of:
– Image pipe interface (IPIPEIF) for synchronization signals (HD, VD) for the ISIF, IPIPE, RSZ, and hardware 3A (H3A) modules, and data transfer from video port, SDRAM, ISIF. Various pixel data manipulation functions.
– Image pipe (IPIPE) front-end and back-end modules for raw data processing and RGB and YUV data processing, respectively. They support:
— Sensor data linearization for dynamic range extension
— Programmable 2D lens shading compensation correction
— Black-level compensation
— Gamma correction
— RGB color correction
— RGB to YUV4:2:2 color conversion
— 3D look up table (LUT) for color correction
— 2D edge enhancement
— False chroma suppression
– H3A for autowhite balance, autoexposure, and autofocus
– Pattern generator (PG) for internal data generation for test purposes. It provides the ability to test some of the ISP submodules without the use of an external image sensor.
– Two independent resizers, which allow YUV4:2:2 to YUV4:2:0 planar Chroma filtering and downsampling. The resizers support input and output flows with up to 200 Mp/s, and memory-to-memory rescaling in the range ×1/4096 scale down, and ×20 scale up.– Image sensor interface (ISIF) can process the incoming data and supports the following main functions:
— Sensor data linearization
— Supports VGA read out mode
— Color space conversion
— Digital clamp with horizontal/vertical offset drift compensation
— Vertical line defect correction
— Programmable 2D-matrix lens shading correction
— 10-to-8 bits A-Law compression table inside
– Buffer logic (BL), which processes and manages the requests to the module and memory subsystem
• Peripheral serial interfaces for connection with sensors and memories:
– Two PHYs, CSIPHY1 and CSIPHY2, for physical connection to external sensors
– Peripheral serial interfaces CSI2-A and CSI2-B/CCP2 for image data transfer from sensors to memory or ISP
• Peripheral 16-bit parallel interface, BT656 and SYNC mode
[Parallel interface (CPI)
• 16 bits wide
• up to 148.5 MPix/s
• BT656 and SYNC mode (HS, VS, FIELD, WEN)
The camera subsystem can manage a parallel interface and [up to] two serial image sensors. Depending on the configuration of the shared pins, two of the interfaces can be active at the same time. However, only one data flow can use the ISP. Moreover, if the parallel interface is used data from it goes to ISP and the other used interface must send it to memory.]
• SIMCOP module for memory-to-memory operation; JPEG encode/decode hardware acceleration; high-ISO filtering; block-based rotation; warping and fusion; and general-purpose imaging acceleration.
The SIMCOP includes the following main submodules:
– Two imaging extension (iMX) modules – programmable image and video processing engines
– Noise filter 2 (NSF2) – for advanced noise filtering and edge-enhancement
– Variable-length coder/decoder for JPEG (VLCDJ) module
– Discrete cosine transform (DCT) module
– Lens distortion correction (LDC) module
– Rotation accelerator (ROT) engine
– Hardware sequencer, which offloads sequencing tasks from the MPU
– Shared buffers/memories
– DMA controller
• Timing control module for CAM global reset control, CAM flash strobe, and CAM shutter
• System interfaces and interconnects comprising:
– Two configuration interfaces
– One 128-bit master data interface
– Internal ISS interconnects for image data and configuration
– On-chip RAM interface
– Circular buffer (CBUFF) and burst-translation engine (BTE) for efficient communication with external memory (SDRAM/TILER support)
2D/3D Graphics Accelerator [SGX Subsystem] Description
The 2D/3D graphics accelerator subsystem is based on POWERVR® SGX540 core from Imagination Technologies. It supports phone/PDA and handheld gaming applications. [The POWERVR SGX540 v1.2.0 architecture is scalable and can target all market segments from mainstream mobile devices to high-end desktop graphics.] The SGX can process different data types simultaneously, such as: pixel data, vertex data, video data, and general-purpose data processing. [Targeted applications include feature phones, PDAs, and handheld gaming applications.]
The SGX subsystem has the following features:
• Universal scalable shader engine ( USSE™), multithreaded engine incorporating pixel and vertex shader functionality to reduce die area
• Advanced shader feature set in excess of Microsoft VS3.0, PS3.0, and OGL2.0
• Industry-standard API supports Direct3D™ Mobile, OGL-ES 1.1 and 2.0, OpenVG™ 1.1, and OpenMAX™
• Fine-grained task switching, load balancing, and power management
• Programmable high-quality image antialiasing
• Advanced geometry DMA driven operation for minimum CPU interaction
• Fully virtualized memory addressing for OS operation in a unified memory architecture
• Advanced and standard 2D operations, such as vector graphics, BLTs, ROPs, etc.
• Programmable video encode and decode support for H.264, H.263, MPEG-4 (SP), WMV9, and JPEG
On-Chip Debug Support [EMU Subsystem] Description
[Debugging a system containing an embedded processor involves an environment that connects high-level debugging software, executing on a host computer, to a low-level debug interface supported by the target
device. In between these levels is a debug and trace controller (DTC) that facilitates communication between the host debugger and the debug support logic on the target chip.
A combination of hardware and software that connects the host debugger to the target system, the DTC uses one or more hardware interfaces and/or protocols to convert actions dictated by the debugger user to
JTAG® commands and scans that execute the core hardware.
The debug software and hardware components let the user control multiple central processing unit (CPU) cores embedded in the device in a global or local manner. This environment provides:
• Synchronized global starting and stopping of multiple processors
• Starting and stopping of an individual processor
• Each processor can generate triggers that can be used to alter the execution flow of other processors.
System topics include but are not limited to:
• System clocking and power-down issues
• Interconnection of multiple devices
• Trigger channels
For easy integration into applications, a set of libraries (APIs) for debug-IP programming and a software message library are being provided. CToolsLib is a collection of embedded target APIs/library to enable
easy programmatic access to the chip tools (CTools), which are system-level debug facilities included in the debug subsystem capabilities of TI devices. More information about the APIs, download files, and
other useful links for available libraries can be found on the CToolsLib Wiki site: http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/CToolsLib]
The on-chip debug support has the following features:
• Multiprocessor debugging lets users control multiple CPU cores embedded in the device, such as:
– Global starting and stopping of individual or multiple processors
– Each processor can generate triggers that can be used to alter the execution flow of other processors
– System clocking and power down
– Interconnection of multiple devices
– Channel triggering
• Target debugging, using IEEE1149.1 (JTAG®), or IEEE1149.7 (complementary superset of JTAG) port
• Reduction of power consumption in normal operating mode
• Real-time software trace allows the OMAP software masters to transmit trace data from OS processes or tasks on 256 different channels.
The debug subsystem includes:
• IEEE1149.7 adapter
• Generic TAP for emulation and test control ( ICEPick-D™)
• Debug access port (DAP)
• Processor trace subsystem
• System trace subsystem
• EMU configuration interconnect
• Cross-triggering unit (XTRIGGER)
• Debug resource manager (DRM)
• Controls the wake-up and power-down of the emulation power domain
CORE instrumentation interconnect:
• Initiator ports:
– L3 interconnect (for software instrumentation and performance probes)
– IVA-HD instrumentation (HWA profiling)
– CM2 instrumentation
• Target port:
– EMU instrumentation interconnect
OCP watch-point (OCP-WP):
• Monitors L3 interconnect transaction when target transaction attributes match the user-defined attributes or trigger on external debug event
• Only one instance, shared among the following L3 targets:
Power management events profiler (PM instrumentation)
Clock management events profiler (CM instrumentation)
Statistics collector (performance probes)
Power, Reset, and Clock Management [PRCM module]Description
The PRCM module allows efficient control of clocks and power according to the required performance, and reduction of power consumption.
[Power management (efficient use of the limited battery resources on a mobile device) is one of the most important design aspects of any mobile system. It imposes strong control over limited available power resources to ensure they function for the longest possible length of time.
The device power-management architecture ensures maximum performance and operation time for user satisfaction (audio/video support) while offering versatile power-management techniques for maximum design flexibility, depending on application requirements.
This introduction contains the following information:
• Power-management architecture building blocks for the device
• State-of-the-art power-management techniques supported by the power-management architecture of the device
To provide a versatile architecture supporting multiple power-management techniques, the power-management framework is built with three levels of resource management: clock, power, and voltage management.
These management levels are enforced by defining the managed entities or building blocks of the power-management architecture, called the clock, power, and voltage domains.
A domain is a group of modules or subsections of the device that share a common entity (for example, common clock source, common voltage source, or a common power switch). The group forming the domain is managed by a policy manager. For example, a clock for a clock domain is managed by a dedicated clock manager within the power, reset, and clock management (PRCM) module. The clock manager takes into consideration the joint clocking constraints of all the modules belonging to that clock domain (and, hence, receiving that clock).
NOTE: In the following sections, the term module is used to represent the device IPs (that is, modules or subsystems), other than the PRCM module, that receive clock, reset, or power signals from the PRCM module.
The PRCM module manages the gating (that is, switching off) and enabling of the clocks to the device modules. The clocks are managed based on the requirement constraints of the associated modules. The following sections identify the module clock characteristics, management policy, clock domains, and clock domain management.
The PRCM module manages the switching on and off of the power supply to the device modules. The power to the modules can be switched off when they are not in use to minimize device power consumption. Independent power control of sections of the device allow the PRCM module to turn on and off specific sections of the device without affecting the others.
The PRCM module controls the voltage scaling (that is, switching the voltage in discrete steps or in a continuum within a range of possible values) of the power sources of the device. This allows control of the
device power consumption according to the performance criteria defined. Higher performance is ensured with higher voltage and clock frequencies (and hence higher power consumption), while lower performance can be supported with lowered power consumption by reducing or completely gating the power supply to specific areas of the device and gating the associated clocks.
The PRCM module is divided into:
• Power and reset management (PRM), based on the SmartReflex™ framework with the following features:
– Dynamic clock gating
– Dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS)
– Dynamic power switching (DPS)
– Static leakage management (SLM)
– Adaptive body bias (ABB)
– Retention-till-access (RTA) for memories
• Clock management 1 (CM1) for clock generation, distribution, and management for the Cortex-A9 MPU, ABE, and CORE always-on power domains. The clock management allows reduction of dynamic
• Clock management 2 (CM2) for clock generation, distribution, and management for other modules
System and Connection Peripherals
The OMAP device supports a comprehensive set of peripherals to provide flexible and high-speed (HS) interfacing and on-chip programming resources.
System Peripherals [see on the above diagram]
• Seven general-purpose timers (GPTIMER)
• One watchdog timer (WDTIMER)
• One 32-kHz synchronization timer (32KTIMER)
• System control module, which contains registers for the following functions:
– Static device configuration
– Debug and observability
– Pad configuration
– I/O configuration
– eFuse logic
– Analog function control
– System boot decoding logic
• System mailbox with eight mailbox message queues
[Communication between the on-chip processors – Cortex-A9 MPU, DSP and Cortex-M3 MPU – of the device uses a queued mailbox-interrupt mechanism. The queued mailbox-interrupt mechanism allows the software to establish a communication channel between two processors through a set of registers and associated interrupt signals by sending and receiving messages (mailboxes). ]
• One SPINLOCK module [provides hardware assistance for synchronizing the processes running on multiple processors in the device] with 32 hardware semaphores, which can service tasks between the Cortex-A9 MPU, DSP, and Cortex-M3 MPU subsystems
• One chip-to-chip (C2C) interface, which [is a serial, low-latency, peer-to-peer communication protocol that enables the extension of an internal protocol bus to one physical device over a printed circuit board (PCB). It] services the communication between the OMAP device and external devices
… [see later]
On-Chip Memory Description
The on-chip memory is divided into L3 OCM RAM, SAR ROM, SAR RAM, and memories in the subsystems (Cortex-A9, Cortex-M3, ABE, and IVA-HD).
• The L3 OCM RAM consists of 56KB of on-chip SRAM.
• The save-and-restore (SAR) ROM [see on the above diagram] consists of 4KB and contains a linked list of descriptors used by the system DMA (sDMA).
• The SAR RAM [see on the above diagram] consists of 8KB divided into four blocks. It is used as context-saving memory when the device goes into off mode.
Memory Management Description
The memory management is performed from:
• sDMA controller with up to 127 requests, 32 prioritizable logical channels, and 256 × 64-bit FIFO
[The system direct memory access (SDMA) module, also called DMA4, performs high-performance data transfers between memories and peripheral devices without microprocessor unit (MPU) or digital signal
processor (DSP) support during transfer. A DMA transfer is programmed through a logical DMA channel, which allows the transfer to be optimally tailored to the requirements of the application. ]
• Dynamic memory management (DMM) module, which performs global address translation, address rotation (tiling), and access interleaving
[The dynamic memory manager (DMM) module is typically located immediately in front of the synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM) controller (SDRC), as shown in the below diagram.
In a broad sense, the DMM manages various aspects of memory accesses such as:
– Initiator-indexed priority generation
– Multizone SDRAM interleaving configuration
– Block object transfer optimization – tiling
– Centralized low-latency page translation – MMU-like feature
The dynamic qualifier for memory management highlights the software configurability, and hence the runtime nature, of the four aspects of memory management handled by the DMM.]
External Memory Interface Description
There are two main interfaces for connection to external memories: general-purpose memory controller (GPMC) and dual-channel SDRAM controller (SDRC).
The GPMC [an unified memory controller dedicated to interfacing external memory devices] supports:
• Asynchronous SRAM memories
• Asynchronous/synchronous [, and page mode (available only in nonmuxed mode) burst] NOR flash memories
• NAND flash memories
• Pseudo-SRAM devices
The SDRC/EMIF [provides connectivity between the device and LPDDR2-type memory and] allows:
• Connection between the device and LPDDR2-type memory. It supports double-data rate (DDR) and single-data rate (SDR) protocols. The EMIF is the interface between LPDDR2 SDRAM and the Cortex-A9 MPU subsystem, ISS, IVA-HD subsystem, SGX, and DMA controllers.
• PHY is the DDR physical interface, which implements data-rate conversion in compliance with LPDDR2 JEDEC requirements.
System and Connection Peripherals
The OMAP device supports a comprehensive set of peripherals to provide flexible and high-speed (HS) interfacing and on-chip programming resources.
… [see earlier]
• Three universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter (UART) modules as serial-communication interfaces
• One UART + IrDA SIR up to FIR + TV remote control interface (CIR)
• McBSP module to provide full-duplex serial communication between the OMAP and other applications chips and codecs
• Five HS I2C™ controller modules; four of them are general-purpose modules with rates up to 3.4 Mbps, and the fifth one, in the PRCM module, performs dynamic voltage control and power sequencing with an external power IC.
• HDQ™/ 1-Wire® – Benchmarq HDQ and Dallas Semiconductor 1-Wire protocols interface
• Two HS MMC/SD/SDIO modules with 8-bit data bus interface, that can act as an initiator on L3 interconnect thanks to an embedded DMA
• Three HS MMC/SD/SDIO modules with 4-bit data bus interface
• Six general-purpose input/output (GPIO) modules with 32 I/Os each
• One keyboard controller, which supports up to 9 × 9 matrix keypads
• One MIPI SLIMbus interface
• Four multichannel serial peripheral interface (MCSPI) modules
• One HS universal serial bus (USB) On-The-Go (OTG) module with embedded PHY, compliant with the USB2.0 (up to 480 Mbps) standard for HS functions and with the OTG supplement
• One HS multiport USB host module, which can be used for interchip connection or with an off-chip transceiver. It is compliant with the USB2.0 standard. The USB host module allows communication with USB peripherals with data rates up to 480 Mbps for HS, up to 12 Mbps for full-speed, and up to 1.5 Mbps for low-speed.
• One full-speed USB module compliant with the USB1.1 standard for full-speed functions
• One MIPI high-speed synchronous serial interface (HSI) module with two full-duplex serial communication interfaces. It is used for communication between the OMAP device and an external device, with data rates up to 192 Mbps for transmission, and up to 225 Mbps for reception. The MIPI HSI supports 16 logical channels on each destination (RX/TX).
TD-SCDMA: US$3B into the network (by the end of 2012) and 6 million phones procured (just in October)
Updates: China government not expected to issue TD-LTE operating license for the time being [Jan 16, 2012]
While China Mobile has been actively promoting TD-LTE, the China government is not expected to issue a TD-LTE operating license to China Mobile for the time being, according to industry sources.
China Mobile finished initial TD-LTE trials in seven selected cities in China around the end of 2011 and has proposed a second-round of trials, but the China government has not yet approved the plans, signaling the government’s attitude to slow down promotion of TD-LTE in China, the sources indicated.
This is because 3G mobile communication services are taking off in the China market and therefore the government does not want to issue a TD-LTE operating license out of consideration for China Telecom and China Unicom, the sources said.
– China Outstrips U.S. in Smartphone Market [Nov 23, 2011]
Deliveries of smart phones to operators and retailers in China grew 58% in the third quarter from the previous quarter to 24 million units. That surpassed 23 million units delivered to the U.S. market, down 7% from the previous quarter …
Nokia Corp. had the largest share of China’s smartphone market in the third quarter, with 29%. … Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is chasing hard with 18% of the Chinese market …
Strategy Analytics estimates that 57% of the world’s handsets were manufactured in China in 2010. … two of Nokia’s eight production facilities are based in China and the company said China is also one of its bigger suppliers of mobile handset components. …
End of updates
China Mobile Begins New Round of TD-SCDMA Procurement [Oct 12, 2011]
China Mobile (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK) recently began its fifth-round TD-SCDMA equipment tender. China Mobile will further expand its TD-SCDMA 3G network by deploying base stations in county-level cities and other key urban areas, with total base stations expected to reach approximately 300,000 by the end of 2012. Mobile network equipment vendors have received tender orders and will place bids this week.
China Mobile will invest an estimated CNY19 billion (US$2.97 billion) to expand its TD-SCDMA network, adding 53,000 base stations around China, according to China-based media DoNews.
China Mobile has established about 210,000 TD-SCDMA base stations around China, the report indicated.
The second-round value was not disclosed only the following became known (China Mobile Releases TD-SCDMA Tender Results [Nov 17, 2011])
The second round TD-SCDMA tender, with a scale 1.53 times that of the first round, involved 23,000 wireless base stations in 28 Chinese cities.
The third-round had a value of RMB8.6 billion ($1.26 billion), see: China Mobile releases 3rd-round TD-SCDMA bidding results [May 11, 2009]
According to China Mobile to Release Results of Phase Four of TD-SCDMA Tender [TD Forum, July 1, 2011]
China Mobile is expected to procure around 102,000 base stations for the TD-SCDMA network in 101 cities, close to the total number in the previous projects.
In the previous three TD-SCDMA network construction projects, China Mobile set up 108,000 base stations in total, with a combined investment of over CNY90 billion (USD13.16 billion).
According to Winners of New TD-SCDMA Bid [June 9, 2010]:
CMC has spent about 103 billion yuan ($15 billion) on three phases of TD-SCDMA construction so far. Insiders estimate the new round will cost about 90 billion yuan ($13 billion) based on the number of BTSs that will be 2.5 times over the previous phase. Actual spending may be different because more or less BTSs may be needed as project goes along. Previously, CMC announced a phase-down in capex to reach about 80 billion yuan ($12 billon) by 2012 from 123 billion yuan ($18 billion) in 2010, a reduction of 35% in three years.
CMC’s goal is, after the fourth phase, TD-SCDMA coverage will be available in all major cities with improved signal quality and low drop ratio. However, user experience can be very different. Even in cities where the service is available people still complain about shaky connection and jagged video especially in moving vehicles or traveling toward the edge of city. CMC officials say an objective of fourth phase is to “replenish” blind spots in existing networks missed from previous phase, a weakness that has put CMC behind its rivals in quality of service.
If everything goes smoothly, construction is expected to begin in August or September.
According to Chinese vendors take 70% of [4th round] TD tender: report [July 28, 2010]:
China Mobile has built out its network in 238 cities over the last two years. It spent 129 billion yuan ($19b) on its 2G and 3G networks in 2009-10 and this year expects to invest 123 billion yuan, of which 106 billion will go to its combined 2G/3G rollout.
CMCC to Invest CNY 19bn to Construct TD-SCDMA Network [Oct 13, 2011]
BEIJING, Oct 13, 2011 (SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) — The insider disclosed on October that CMCC (China Mobile Communications Corporation) is to invest CNY 19 billion to construct TD-SCDMA network in different counties and important villages and towns in China.
Meanwhile, the existing TD network topology in cities will be perfected. It is reported that CMCC plans to construct 53,000 new TD base stations. Through the first four phases of construction and continuous blind compensation, CMCC has constructed 210,000 base stations by the beginning of this year.
The invitation for the bidding started from the later half of September and has entered into the crucial bidding returning stage at present. According to the requirements of CMCC, manufacturers have to return the tenders today.
It is specially required by CMCC that the TD-SCDMA network to be newly constructed should be smoothly upgraded to TD-LTE network with the same frequency, namely, the TD-SCDMA network should be upgraded and evolved to the future LTE-frequency network in terms of wireless equipment, core network equipment, transmission and supporting facility at current frequency.
Source: http://www.sina.com.cn (October 13, 2011)
The current subscriber data (from the corresponding operators, till August 2011) is indeed showing that China Mobile TD-SCDMA needs a significant boost in the subscriber numbers:
China Mobile had 627.628 million mobile subscribers as of August 31, 2011, and 40.318 million 3G subscribers, that is only 6.4% of the overall.
China Unicom meanwhile had 186.1 million mobile subscribers as of August 31, 2011, and 27.868 million 3G subscribers, that is as much as 14.97% of the overall.
According to a notice issued to all mobile phone manufacturers , China Mobile has launched a new round of TD-SCDMA mobile phone purchases before National Day [Oct 1], and plans to purchase six million universal TD mobile phones.
All procurement of universal TD handset
A relevant mobile phone manufacturer said this purchase is called “universal G3 mobile phone” centralized procurement project, the procurement of universal G3 mobile phone estimates about 6 million, including 3.6 million low-end TV terminals , 2.4 million mid-end TV terminals.
The mobile phone manufacturers received invitation to tender on the September 29th 16:00 to 18:00 and September 30 9:00-18:00 .
The TD phones purchases maybe related to the fourth round TD-SCDMA network Construction. The construction is currently underway and will be extended to almost all cities of the country. In this case, the demand for TD mobile phones increased.
Chipmakers are ready to support that:
First real chances for Marvell on the tablet and smartphone fronts [Aug 21 – Sept 25, 2011]
especially because: Kinoma is now the marvellous software owned by Marvell [Feb 15, 2011]
Spreadtrum is the other big player in that:
China Mobile To Adjust Subsidies For TD-SCDMA Terminals [Oct 17, 2011]
China Mobile (0941.HK) plans to adjust the subsidies given to buyers of its TD-SCDMA terminals in order to expand the pool of its 3G users following several unsuccessful attempts to introduce Apple Inc’s iPhone, reports yicai.com.
Li Liyou, the C.E.O. of a TD-SCDMA chip maker [chairman of Spreadtrum], said the largest mobile operator in China has cut the procurement of TD-SCDMA terminals by two-thirds, and buyers of TD-SCDMA phones which are included under the operator’s list of TD-SCDMA phones will now be able to enjoy fee rebates.
According to Li, 2012 will be the year in which GSM mobile phones are replaced by TD-SCDMA phones as the difference in production cost per phone is reduced to less than $2, and TD-SCDMA smartphones currently cost about $60 to make, and can be sold to customers at 700 yuan each.
Procurement by China Mobile currently accounts for less than 30 percent of total TD-SCDMA terminal sales volume, said Gao Guiming, vice president of Changhong Communication and Digital Information.
Spreadtrum Meets Milestone for China Mobile TD-SCDMA Grant [Sept 30, 2011]
Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in both 2G and 3G wireless communications standards, today announced that in 3Q 2011 it has met the last major milestone of a TD-SCDMA research and development grant awarded by China Mobile to the Company in 2009. This marks successful completion of the project and will enable the Company to recognize more than US$8 million in research and development grants as an offset to operating expenses in the third quarter of 2011, including subsidies recognized from both the China Mobile and other government projects. Spreadtrum’s TD-SCDMA customers include more than 30 global and domestic tier-1 manufacturers and design houses who have introduced more than 72 feature phone and smartphone models in 2011 using Spreadtrum’s baseband solutions.
Spreadtrum now commands more than 50% market share of TD-SCDMA shipment volumes. Dr. Leo Li, Spreadtrum’s president and CEO commented, “We are the clear leader in the feature phone and fixed wireless segments of the TD-SCDMA market, which account for the majority of industry shipments so far this year. Our 40nm-based single-chips with TD-SCDMA/EDGE/GPRS/GSM, multi-media and power management features have enabled customers building handsets on our platform to achieve breakthrough standby and talk times, at a retail price point that is attractive to 3G handset buyers. We further expect to expand our footprint in the smartphone segment following the launch of our low-cost single-chip smartphone product.”
Dr. Li added, “In addition to today’s news and in response to recent shareholder inquiries, we would like to provide additional clarification on our corporate structure. Our primary operations in China are conducted through a wholly foreign owned enterprise (WFOE), distinct from the variable interest entity (VIE) structures that are common in the China Internet sector and that have been the subject of recent press speculation with regards to possible PRC or US government review. There is no active investigation that we are aware of by either the China government or the US Department of Justice of our corporate structure or accounting practices, which adhere to conservative interpretation of US GAAP.”
Spreadtrum Communications Inc. of mainland China has contracted Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE) to make its baseband chips designed on 40nm process rule amid white-hot competition among the mainland’s 3G chip vendors.
Spreadtrum has commanded a 56% share of the mainland market for the wireless chips specifically designed for mobile phones that are built on the TD-SCDMA (time-division synchronous code division multiple access) 3G format, which is spearheaded by China Mobile Co., Ltd.
The chip vendor recently completed a 40nm chip design, which it claimed consumes only two thirds of the electrical power that a 65nm chip does and brings down the cost of TD-SCDMA phone close to that of the 2.7G EDGE handset.
Spreadtrum has designated TSMC to make the chips and ASE to package the chips for it in conjunction with China Mobile’s plan to promote TD-SCDMA handsets during the 2012 Chinese New Year holidays, which will begin on Jan. 23.
The vendor will begin pilot production of its chips for the 4G TD-LTE (time division long term evolution) phones at the end of this year also at TSMC and ASE.
Industry executives expect Spreadtrum to retain the championship in the mainland’s market for the TD-based chips given that it has shied away competition against Taiwan’s MedaTek Inc. for a slice on WCDMA (wideband code division multiple access) market, where competition is keener among chip vendors than on TD-SCDMA market. In addition to MediaTek, competitors in the mainland’s WCDMA market include MStar Semiconductor Inc., Qualcomm Inc. and ST-Ericsson Inc.
The mainland now has around 100 million subscribers to 3G telecommunications service, which is mostly provided by China Telecom on CDMA2000 network, China Unicom on WCDMA network and China Mobile on TD-SCDMA network.
Adobe Announces Agreement to Acquire Nitobi, Creator of PhoneGap [Adobe press release, Oct 3, 2011]
Open Source HTML5 Mobile App Platform Accelerates Adobe’s HTML5 and Web Standards Strategy
“PhoneGap has proven to be an industry-defining app solution for HTML5 developers,” said Danny Winokur, vice president and general manager, Platform, Adobe. “PhoneGap is a fantastic solution for developing a broad range of mobile apps using the latest Web standards, and is already integrated with Dreamweaver® CS5.5. It’s a perfect complement to Adobe’s broad family of developer solutions, including Adobe AIR, and will allow us to continue to provide content publishers and developers with the best, cutting-edge solutions for creating innovative applications across platforms and devices.”
Adobe has also extended existing tools like Adobe Dreamweaver and Flash Professional to bring the next generation of Web standards to designers and developers who rely on those tools. Adobe today released the new CSS3 Mobile Pack for Adobe Fireworks®, which will enable designers to easily extract CSS3 from their design elements in Fireworks and quickly add them to their HTML based websites and mobile applications.
Internet Explorer 10 Developer Guide: CSS [Sept 13, 2011]
CSS Regions is a page layout feature for Metro style apps in Windows Developer Preview and for Internet Explorer 10. With it, developers and designers can take a single HTML content stream of text and images and segment that stream into multiple empty containers defined in a standard HTML template. HTML templates are documents that are mostly empty of original content, but are instead composed primarily of empty containers that are sized and positioned to give incoming content a specific layout.
This allows for a continuous content stream to be restructured into a multi-page layout more suited, for instance, for tablet consumption.
Within a single page, CSS Regions allows web developers to develop complex content layouts equivalent to what might be seen in a magazine or newspaper, where multiple regions of the same flow of content (text, related pictures, video, and so on) are shaped around unrelated content elements, such as alternate stories or advertisements.
Furthermore, CSS Regions enables content placed in a target container to take on the styling of that container, even if it is independent of the content source formatting.
CSS Regions are defined by the W3C in the CSS Regions specification, which is currently an Editor’s Draft.
When can I use CSS Regions? [excerpted, Oct 12, 2011]
Adobe has proposed a new set of CSS-based tools that the company hopes will one day become a standard on the web. Following on the heels of Adobe’s effort to improve web layout tools with CSS Regions, Adobe is now proposing CSS Shaders, which would bring high-quality cinematic effects to the web without the need for plugins like Flash.
“Shader” is a term pulled from the 3D graphics world; it refers to small programs that create 3D effects, like the rippling motion in a waving flag. The CSS Shaders proposal would add similar tools to the CSS specification, allowing web developers to easily apply cinema-style filter effects to any HTML content. Think grayscale to color transitions, animated shadows, photo-realistic warping and other mainstays of the 3D animation world.
CSS Shaders will look familiar to anyone who’s used the various filters in Adobe Flash since they are essentially the same thing applied to HTML. At the moment there’s no working demo, but you can see CSS Shaders at work in the video below
Some of what CSS Shaders do in the demo is already possible using WebGL. However, WebGL’s magic only works on the HTML5 canvas element and can only apply the shader effects that WebGL supports. CSS Shaders, on the other hand, would allow anyone to write custom shaders, load those shaders via the page’s stylesheet and then apply them to any HTML element.
Adobe has been working with Apple and Opera to create the new CSS Shaders draft proposal at the W3C. The CSS version of shaders borrows some ideas from the earlier draft spec for SVG filter effects (now Filter Effects 1.0), but would apply the filters to HTML rather an SVG.
As for the real world, John Nack, Principal Product Manager at Adobe, reports that the code used for the demo is “under consideration for inclusion in WebKit.” For now though Adobe is using its own build of Chromium to create the demo videos.
If you’d like to learn more about how CSS Shaders work and what sort of filters Adobe has created, head on over to the company’s devnet site where Adobe’s Vincent Hardy offers an overview of CSS Shaders, a look at the proposed syntax and several more (sadly not embeddable) demo movies.
CSS Shaders [Oct 10, 2011]
CSS shaders, cinematic effects for HTML.
Short video demonstrating CSS shaders in action. CSS shaders are a proposal from Adobe, Apple and Opera made to the W3C in October 2011: https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/FXTF/raw-file/tip/custom/index.html.
Introducing CSS shaders: Cinematic effects for the web [Oct 3, 2011]
Advances in HTML5 and CSS (for example transitions, animations, transforms, text shadows, box-shadows, gradients, SVG) have improved the graphical and interactive richness of HTML. SVG filter effects are now moving to Filter Effects 1.0to become available in CSS and HTML, in addition to SVG, and will bring effects such as grayscale, sepia tone, or hue-rotate to all web content. More sophisticated effects, such as the chiseled effect shown in Figure 1, will also be possible.
Figure 1. Filter Effects applied to SVG content, from the svg-wow.org website.
The Adobe CSS shaders proposal has been brought to the W3C FX task force. CSS shaders define a filter effects extensibility mechanism and provide rich, easily animated visual effects to all HTML5 content. They work particularly well with CSS animations and CSS transitions.
Adobe Enables 3D Games With Flash Player 11, AIR 3 [Sept 21, 2011]
… said Danny Winokur, vice president and general manager of Platform, Adobe. “Flash offers the best way for content owners to deliver their most demanding experiences, including games, premium video and sophisticated data-driven apps, to all of their users, while HTML 5 tools such as Adobe Edge and Dreamweaver® are ideal for building interactive Web pages, rich ads, branded microsites and general-purpose mobile applications.” …
Adobe Gains Mobile Capabilities, Partnerships With Nitobi/PhoneGap Deal [Gartner, Oct 10, 2011]
Adobe will gain credibility in mobile application development with this acquisition, but it needs to preserve partnerships and demonstrate the viability of the subscription-based business model for enterprises.
By purchasing Nitobi, Adobe gets PhoneGap Build and becomes the primary sponsor of the PhoneGap open-source project. Adobe will be able to address the needs of mobile application developers and enterprises with mobile application requirements.
Nitobi introduced PhoneGap in 2008, positioning itself as a vendor of mobile consumer application development platform with several independent software vendors (ISVs) and complementary mobile framework vendors and enterprises. PhoneGap has achieved tremendous traction by providing native code wrappers for most of the relevant operating systems and enabling developers to write an application once and deploy it to a number of devices with variable native functions.
Though Adobe will gain these capabilities, we believe it faces four hurdles:
- PhoneGap has found a unique market position, focused on providing a middleware layer that implements both standards-based and native phone APIs. Over time, the incremental value-add of PhoneGap’s access to native functions may be eroded by updates to HTML5 and other standards. However, Gartner expects that smartphone OS manufacturer innovation will mean that there will be a long-term, ever-changing gap between what is available in standards and what is being built into the latest mobile device operating systems.
- PhoneGap has traction with other development vendors such as Worklight and Sencha. Adobe will need to continue to invest in Phone Gap’s open-source offering to remain attractive to these partners.
- The Creative Cloud subscription model is unproven and targeted outside traditional enterprise development. Gartner observes that many enterprises are averse to such business models (similar to Usablenet).
- Adobe has had little success over time among enterprise mobile developers, and few of them currently use the PhoneGap framework. Gartner has seen a minor amount of evidence that this will change.
Meanwhile, in the rich Internet application (RIA) space, offerings from Adobe (Flex), Microsoft (Silverlight), IBM (Expeditor) and Oracle (ADF Faces) are losing to lighter-weight, vendor-neutral technologies like jQuery (an open-source package which is now supported by Adobe, Microsoft and Oracle).
On the upside, Adobe notes that Nitobi is in the process of contributing the core PhoneGap code to the Apache Software Foundation, and it will continue to update and maintain the framework to add support for new device capabilities as they appear in the market. The primary value for Adobe customers will stem from integrations between PhoneGap and value-added services provided within the Adobe Creative Cloud offering. Formal sponsorship of PhoneGap by Adobe, a financially sound organization with broad reach, also ensures longevity for the framework.
- PhoneGap customers: Continue to use PhoneGap, but assess your mobile architecture and selections of vendors/platforms on at least an annual basis, particularly if you are using Worklight, Sencha, JQueryMobile, Dojox or other frameworks in conjunction with PhoneGap.
- Enterprises pondering native app deployment: Consider PhoneGap a strong choice if you have existing Web investments you would like to resurface in a native app store.
Designers respond to Adobe’s acquisition of Nitobi, TypeKit [DigitalArts, Oct 7, 2011]
The TypeKit announcement, which came early on in the first keynote session, to a huge cheer from the creatives in the audience, means that Typekit fonts will soon be offered as a standalone service and over time as part of Adobe Creative Cloud. It will give designers and developers access to Typekit’s massive font library, with a license to integrate real fonts into websites and ensure fonts are displayed consistently across all modern browsers.
“When Kevin Lynch said the opening announcement was about fonts, I thought ‘this is what we came to MAX for, fonts – are you serious?’, but when they said it was TypeKit I was amazed,” said RJ Owen, experience planner at Colorado-based design agency Effective UI. “As a developer that was super-exciting. I love TypeKit. Jason Santa Maria and those other guys there have been my web-heroes, so knowing that Adobe is interesting in acquiring them is really cool.”
Louisa Churchyard, a freelance web designer from Seattle, was also excited at the TypeKit announcement.
“It’s amazing- it’s really key for designers,” she said. “Not only can you use the font functionality to use any beautiful font on the Web, but the idea that Adobe will build TypeKit into their products is really great. It will save a lot of time.”
Typekit provides font technology for sites such as The New York Times
However it was the Nitobi announcement that was foremost on the minds of most MAX delegates and conference speakers.
“I was really excited about the PhoneGap announcement,” said RJ. “ I think Adobe is doing a really great job from a technology standpoint in the way that they’re trying to push forward both Flash and HTML5. I think it’s the right tone for them and it’s the way the industry is going.”
“I think it gives Adobe a better way to play in the mobile apps space, rather than trying to deploy Flash apps to everyone’s platforms,” continued RJ. “Now they’ve got a HTML5 avenue into Apps as well. It shows that they support the things that the community supports. PhoneGap’s already big, so this gives Adobe bigger credibility with HTML developers.”
Steve Lund, of development and consulting company Digital Primateswas also very positive. “It’s interesting,” he said. “We’ve just developed an application for a company who wanted to get it on the Web, on Android, on iPad, on TV- they wanted that same experience everywhere. More and more companies are needing that. So moving in that direction and staying on top of being able to deploy to all those places is pretty exciting. Simplifying that build process is pretty interesting too. Flex and Flashbuilder already have a pretty good way to deploy to all those devices, but if we move more to HTML 5 side of things I think we’ll be looking into PhoneGap.”
Danny Jackson of interactive design agency rain also finds the Nitobi announcement interesting, but is rather more downbeat about the PhoneGap product itself.
“We’ve just launching a project that been done using PhoneGap, but we weren’t super-impressed with it,” he said. “A lot of the time our clients come to us with a project which they want across platforms, but don’t have the budget to code it natively, so we have to look for cross-platform solutions and that’s why we used PhoneGap initially.”
Danny said a lot of clients are now specifying HTML5 as part of the project requirements these days because they want the app to run on the iPad.
“When I heard the announcement it started me wondering what advancements could be made to PhoneGap [with Adobe]. At the moment, it’s fine to work with, but it was really far off from doing all things natively for mobile. For our project [using PhoneGap] there’s some latency on iOS – it’s not as snappy as native, and for Android it’s even worse. Our thoughts then were that we probably wouldn’t use PhoneGap going forward and instead use AIR for Mobile.”
Adobe: the biggest WebKit contributor you didn’t know about [Oct 11, 2011]
Dave McAllister, who has been shepherding Adobe’s open source work for several years now, says “the biggest change since last year is our adoption of and contribution to external projects – the adoption and understanding of community-led open source projects that are adding value to Adobe’s basic platforms.”
Some of that, but certainly not all, has come from acquiring companies like Nitobi and Day who were already involved in projects through Apache, but there’s a lot of work being done by core teams at Adobe, both in Apache and beyond, in projects that are mainstream rather than niche. “We’re making massive contributions to Apache,” he points out. “We are the drivers for jQuery Mobile, we are working on jQuery DataGrid, we are now massively involved in WebKit and in CSS Regions and Shaders [with the W3C]; CSS Regions are mainstream for WebKit [now] and Shaders are moving that way. We have two full time employees also now who are committers to WebKit and we did not have that last year. They also are working on specific technologies with WebKit, like CSS Regions and Shaders. Not including the PhoneGap submission, the number of Apache projects with current or past participation from Adobe employees is 31.”
“One is a specification and one is an implementation,” as McAllister puts it. “In many ways – but not all – the concept of prototyping and delivering to the mainstream of WebKit has been leading HTML5 development. The things that have been floated into WebKit show up in the W3C. We presented regions to the W3C at the same time that it went into WebKit, and it’s now mainstream in WebKit. We see Mozilla and we see IE adopting the standard from W3C; we see that standard implemented in WebKit.”
Prototyping means you’re more likely to get specifications that developers can actually build sites with. McAllister compares a problematic standard like SVG Filters (which he frankly calls “nightmarish”) with the far more practical CSS Shaders: “What you’re seeing is part of that maturity of standards versus production. There’s a reason you’re now seeing implementation lead specification.” Of course, WebKit is also an important route to mobile (with PhoneGap and AIR covering the app options for developers). The mobile web, he points out “is heavily weighted towards WebKit, in the 70% range of mobile browsers.”
Adobe is also contributing to some W3C test suites“where we have expertise” (like internationalisation) but he also sounds a note of caution. “You have to be really careful that the test itself does not become a certification suite; you don’t want it’s ‘cool, this is all open source, do with it what you want to, redistribute it any way you want to, but I’m sorry you didn’t pass the certification test so you can’t do anything with it’. That is a way to stifle that marketplace.”
Too soon to standardise
There is some work Adobe is doing that’s isn’t being proposed as a standard or being contributed to an open source project because it’s too soon, in particular touch – something that has a vendor prefix in every browser that supports it. “It would be really great to have universal hardware and software standards for touch but it’s too soon; the market’s too new. Standards codify what’s common and in the touch world there’s just too much innovation going on.”
But when new technologies stabilise, McAllister says: “You are going to see us probably being aggressive in standards activities that we need to be aggressive in. You’re seeing that a little of that with CSS. Where our customers really expect to have the best capabilities in a technology, if that is controlled by a standard, then it’s part of our job to represent what those needs are.”
That means we can expect to see Adobe continue the cycle of contributing to open source to advance platforms the company is interested in, proposing standards based on proving their ideas with those prototypes – and building tools so that developers can work with those standards.
Adobe Releases Early Preview [Preview 1] of New HTML5 Web Motion and Interaction Design Tool [Heidi Voltmer, Group Product Marketing Manager, Mark Anders, Fellow, Adobe, July 31, 2011]
Adobe’s Heidi Voltmer shares the news about the first Adobe Edge preview and Mark Anders shows off a demo of Adobe Edge.
Adobe Releases Early Preview of New HTML5 Web Motion and Interaction Design Tool [Adobe press release, Aug 1, 2011]
Company Invites Community Into Development Process to Shape Final Product
“Now, with Adobe Edge, we’re taking our HTML5 tooling to a whole new level and look forward to getting some really useful feedback from the community over the next few months, as we refine the product.”
While in public preview, Adobe Edge will be a no-charge download that web designers are encouraged to explore and provide feedback on, to help shape future preview releases. To download the software, visit www.labs.adobe.com.
Adobe Edge, first shown at Adobe MAX 2010, is ideal for designers who want an efficient way to leverage Web standards like HTML to create Web content with motion and transitions. Adobe Edge is being designed as a fast and lightweight professional-grade tool that complements Adobe’s existing Web tools, such as Adobe Dreamweaver® CS5.5, Adobe Flash Professional CS5.5 and Adobe Flash Builder® 4.5 software.
“Over the last year Adobe has delivered on several significant HTML5 milestones including contributions to jQuery, submitting code to WebKit, and enhanced HTML5 output in Creative Suite® 5.5,” said Paul Gubbay, vice president of Design and Web Engineering, Adobe. “Now, with Adobe Edge, we’re taking our HTML5 tooling to a whole new leveland look forward to getting some really useful feedback from the community over the next few months, as we refine the product.”
The Adobe Edge preview works natively with HTML. It enables users to add motion to existing HTML documents without hampering design integrity of CSS-based layouts, and it also enables users to easily create visually rich content from scratch, using familiar drawing tools that produce HTML elements styled with CSS3. Users can import standard Web graphics assets such as SVG, PNG, JPG and GIF files and style them using CSS3. The design stage utilizes WebKit to enable design, preview and manipulation of content with incredible fidelity. The innovative timeline feature is both familiar for creative professionals and breaks new ground in animation productivity to enable users to define and customize motion applied to HTML elements with extreme precision. Content created with Edge is designed to work on modern browsers including those on Android, BlackBerry Playbook™, iOS, HP webOS and other smartphone mobile devices as well as Firefox™, Google Chrome™, Safari™ and Internet Explorer 9™.
This Adobe Edge public preview is available today on Adobe Labs as a no-charge download for anyone wanting to explore adding motion and animation to their HTML workflow or HTML animation to their skill set. Creative professionals are encouraged to dive into the public preview and provide their feedback at www.labs.adobe.com. The Adobe Edge preview is expected to be updated regularly as new functionality is added.
This summer Adobe is sponsoring the Expressive Web Tour HTML5 Campsin cities that include San Francisco, Tokyo, New York City and London to continue providing further support to people interested in HTML5.
In addition, Adobe has launched a new online resourceshowcasing some of the newest and most expressive HTML5 and CSS3 features being added to the modern Web. The new site, which was released today in beta, was created using new HTML5 and CSS3 features.
About Adobe’s HTML5 Innovations
Adobe Edge is the latest development in the company’s HTML5 and Web standards strategy which also includes commitment to innovate open source platforms like Webkit, contributing to Web frameworks like jQuery and extending existing tools like Adobe Dreamweaver and Flash to bring the next generation of Web standards to Web designers and developers.
Adobe Edge: A new web motion and interaction design tool [Rich Lee, Inspire Magazine [Adobe], Sept 20, 2011]
As the product marketing manager for Edge, my job is to get the word out, encourage use, and communicate with customers. In this article, I discuss our first launch, what’s new with Preview 2, and the importance of your feedback in helping us continually improve future versions of Edge. If you’re eager to see Adobe Edge up close, check out Mark Anders’ video below.
ADC Presents – Edge Closer Look [Mark Anders, Adobe Fellow, Adobe Developer Connection, Aug 10, 2011] [actually a little updated version of the Mark Anders part embedded into the the press release video shown earlier]Adobe Fellow Mark Anders demonstrates how to animate an ad with drawing tools, text, and graphics. He’ll also show you how to add motion to an existing HTML file, as well as some of Edge Preview 1’s easing functions.
Edge Preview 1
Edge was released as a preview, instead of being called a beta or even an alpha. “Preview” signified that it was a glimpse of what’s to come. The primary focus of Preview 1 was the animation model, which is the foundation we’re building on. We also focused on other starting points such as the stage, timeline, and elements controls. Our goal was to make Edge approachable and easy to use, and give our users a solid starting point.
Within a day, more than 50,000 people downloaded Edge. And Edge was one of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter. But the best result was the feedback we received and the number of animations our customers made. To see what people created within days of the Edge launch was awesome — our entire team was amazed by the level of ingenuity and creativity from the community. Check out some exampleson the Edge discussion board.
The results of Preview 1 showed us there is a lot of demand for a tool like Edge, which gave us even more encouragement to build the best product we can.
Introducing Edge Preview 2
Edge Preview 2 was released on September 8, with a theme of fit and finish improvements. We included features we weren’t able to include for Preview 1, updated to the latest version of jQuery, and fixed bugs (including a nasty one that forced some Windows users with certain graphics cards to run in 16-bit mode). We also implemented many of the requests we received from Preview 1 users.
Here’s a summary of the updates:
- Smart guides:Guides and dimension markers are displayed when an object on the stage is moved or resized. This helps you align with precision and resize objects in relation to others on the stage.
- Specify semantic tags on managed elements: Change the tag type of each shape, image and text you create in Edge to reflect how they appear in the HTML document object model (DOM).
- Copy and paste elements:You can now copy and paste elements in Edge, to easily duplicate shapes, images or text. Duplicate images will refer to the same underlying asset.
- Align and distribute elements:Select multiple elements, and align and distribute them via new options in the Modify menu.
- Drag and drop z-index manipulation: In the elements panel, you can now control the z-order of shapes, text and images created in Edge.
- Playhead time editing:You can now type into the timeline’s counter to move the playhead to a specific location, or by dragging the numeric value up or down with your mouse.
- Windows 7 update: An error on the Windows version that caused Edge to crash on startup has been resolved, no longer requiring users to change the display bit depth from 32-bit to 16-bit.
- jQuery update: Edge’s animation framework now works with the latest version of jQuery, 1.6.2.
Check out the complete list of updates on Adobe Labs.
More previews to come
Even though we’re making fast progress with Edge, there’s still more to come. We are planning to release more versions of Edge, as more features and capabilities are added. One of the biggest improvements will be interactivity. This is a major feature that has been on our radar since day 1, and is the most popular request we’ve received from the community. We are working diligently on it and hope to have it available to you soon.
Other changes you can expect are expanded features and functionality, plus more fit and finish improvements and bug fixes. Our philosophy is to improve each version of Edge by being more transparent and letting customers shape its development.
Edge has come a long way since it was first shown as a prototype at MAX 2010, but it’s far from finished.
Feedback is key
It’s no secret that Adobe Edge won’t be free forever. But before we put a price on it, our team needs to ensure we make a 1.0 product worth buying. So instead of assuming we know what customers want, our top priority is to harness your feedback. Feature requests, questions, bugs, good or bad comments — we want to hear them all. This development period gives us time to implement features, make changes, or even pivot directions. In fact, Preview 2 addresses many of the comments we heard from Preview 1 users. Getting Edge into your hands early helps us get it right for the future.
Edge came with a clean slate, an opportunity that marketers crave. In more than 12 years of working in marketing in Silicon Valley, I’ve been involved with a variety of projects across the hardware, software, and Internet industries. What’s different with Edge is the level of openness and desire for customer involvement in its development process. It has been a very refreshing change of methodology, especially in technology companies where decisions are often made behind closed doors. I hope this change will ultimately translate into a new level of trust and, more importantly, a better product for our customers.
To submit feature requests, report bugs, ask questions, or leave comments, visit the Edge discussion board.
Adobe MAX Keynote Announcements – Day 2 [MAX News, Oct 4, 2011]
Creating the very best user experiences
The Adobe MAX 2011 day two keynote explored the best solutions for how Adobe Flash® technology and HTML work together to deliver highly expressive experiences in the browser and as apps. Among the highlights:
– HTML contributions: Adobe has been contributing actively to HTML5 with the W3C and through contributions to Webkit to enable new expressiveness in HTML.
- CSS Regions: CSS Regions give designers more control over the flow of text in HTML by letting them wrap text around graphics and custom shapes. CSS Regions are available in the latest versions of Chromium and Internet Explorer 10.
- CSS Shaders: Adobe has proposed CSS Shaders to the W3C as a contribution to HTML, with the goal of enabling rich, animated effects for the HTML5 content elements through CSS. Find out more and see examples on the Adobe Developer Connection.
Edge will continue to be updated during the preview period with additional features and improved functionality. Preview 3 introduces interactivity capabilities for Edge, the most requested functionality thus far. The first set of interactivity features include looping, hyperlinks, access to the Edge animation framework API, and the ability to handle HTML DOM events– all within Edge.
- Actions — The core of Edge’s interactivity capabilities, Actions are functions that can be added to handle a single event.
- A built-in code snippet library is available for commonly used functions like go to, stop, hyperlink, etc.
- Where actions can be attached:
- Elementsto handle click events
- Stageto access composition-level events such as “loaded”
- Timelineto access playback events such as “complete”
- Triggersto allow time-based actions to be applied in the timeline
- Objects other than triggers allow you to select multiple events you wish to handle, each with its own action.
- Labels — Insert labels on the timeline as reference points in your code, to enable functionality like playing or seeking to that point in the timeline.
…How does Adobe Edge differ from other Adobe tools for the web?
Edge is a new addition to the existing set of Adobe professional web tools like Dreamweaver, Flash Professional, and Flash Builder. Each Adobe tool has strengths for their respective use cases and support different technologies:
Adobe & jQuery
Updates on Adobe’s use of, and contributions to, jQuery
Adobe Edge Preview 3 available [Oct 4, 2011]
Below, I’ll briefly cover a few of the new additions in Preview 3 and hopefully give you some background and tips that help to get you going.
Since the Edge Runtime itself uses jQuery 1.6.2, the code for your custom action/trigger functions can make full use of the jQuery core API.
Here are some things to keep in mind when writing your custom event/trigger functions:
jQuery Mobile 1.0 Release Candidate 1 available [Oct 3, 2011]
jQuery Mobile 1.0 Release Candidate 1 is now available for download and testing. This release contains numerous bug fixes and some much needed updates to the framework documentation.
Full details can be found here:
You can see a video preview of the new Theme Roller Mobile tool here:
For information on how to download or insert jQuery Mobile into your pages, go here:
A demo of jQuery Mobile 1.0 RC1 can also be found here:
The team is currently focused on fixing bugs and improving performance. If you have any issues or enhancement requests, please file them in the jQuery Mobile issue tracker on GitHub so they can be considered/addressed for the 1.0 final release:
jQuery Mobile Beta 3 available [Sept 9, 2011]
… Finally, we are now driving towards the 1.0 release. Focus will be placed on fixing bugs and improving performance. …
jQuery Mobile Beta 2 available [Aug 4, 2011]
… One important change to note with this release is the updated Mobile Grade Browser Support matrix, which includes several new platforms in the A-Grade support level:
http://jquerymobile.com/gbs/ [“as of 1.0 RC1, we’ve covered all our target platforms for the project” but Windows Phone 7 is just HTC 7 Surround]
Adobe Edge Preview 1 and jQuery [Aug 2, 2011]
Adobe recently released Preview 1 of Adobe® Edge, a new web motion and interaction design tool, on labs:
jQuery is one of the key components in Edge’s implementation. It is used both internally, within the application itself, and within the final animation output it produces, to evaluate selectors and manipulate/traverse the DOM.
The animation output produced by Edge does not make use of jQuery’s $.animate() function. Edge uses its own declarative representation and implementation of timelines and tweens. This representation is designed to be highly flexible yet toolable and human-readable.
Edge Preview 1 uses jQuery 1.4.2. Succeeding Previews will use newer versions of jQuery, and the next release is expected to use version 1.6.2.
Please keep in mind that this is a preview, not a beta, or finished product so there is still quite a bit of work to be done on the product itself. Also, the Edge team is aware of the many ways to animate content with open web technologies (JS, CSS3, Canvas, SVG, etc). For this preview, the focus was on basics, specifically, animation of elements within the HTML document DOM. We’ve heard loud and clear from the community about their desire to animate content within canvas and SVG elements. I assure you that the team has already thought about support for content inside these elements, and so there are already implementation requests for these features in the Edge product backlog.
Dreamweaver CS 5.5 Speaks jQuery [April 13, 2011]
With the release of Creative Suite 5.5 we’re beginning to see the benefit of Adobe’s support for jQuery.
It’s especially exciting for us to see the integration of jQuery Mobile into Dreamweaver CS 5.5. As this video shows, Dreamweaver users now have an incredibly easy way to get started with jQuery Mobile and mobile web application development.
The addition of industrial-strength jQuery code hinting is also fantastic to see and should be a welcomed addition to all those folks who work with jQuery code in Dreamweaver.
The Current State of (Touch) Events [March 7, 2011]
One of the main goals of the jQuery Mobile project is to allow developers to extend the reach of their application content to a wide variety of browsers on different devices. If you take a look at some of the web-enabled devices that are currently out on the market, you will see that there are many different means being employed to allow users to navigate and click/activate elements within a web page.
Older or low-end devices, with no touch screen support, usually have hardware buttons, scroll-wheels, nubs/joysticks, or track-balls. Devices that use buttons and scroll-wheels usually scroll the page, highlighting actionable (clickable) items along the way. When the user activates the highlighted element on screen, a click event is usually dispatched to trigger any actions associated with that element. Devices that use nubs/joysticks or track-balls typically display a cursor on screen, and usually dispatch mouse and click events just like the desktop. The main point to note here is that the browsers on these devices are using the standard desktop mouse events to trigger actions on a web page.
Newer or high-end devices, now rely on touch screens as the main means for scrolling and manipulating items within the display. Although there are many options for browsing the web on these devices, a growing number of them are deploying WebKit based browsers as the default.
One of the common misconceptions I hear quite frequently is the assumption that because all these browsers are all based on WebKit that they all share the same features and work identically. The reallity is that WebKit is just a rendering engine with a set of APIs that allow developers to write browsers on top of it to communicate and drive the rendering of the page. It doesn’t know how to load a file, it doesn’t know what hardware/platform it is running on, what graphics library is being used to render objects to the screen, or even how to deal with OS level events. All of these things are what browsers, built on top of WebKit, need to provide, and this is what is going to make things interesting and challenging for the next few years. All of these WebKit based browsers are either written entirely by the device vendor, or supplied with the OS, but modified by vendors to work better with their hardware and/or add/remove browser and Web Kit features.
All of these factors create a mobile environment where there are lots of WebKit based browsers, but the features they support, performance, and user experience all vary quite a bit.
When Safari for mobile hit the scene, via iOS, it introduced a set of new touch events:
These are the DOM-level events that Safari mobile dispatches in real-time as the user places one or more fingers (touches) on the screen and drags them around. The big problem is that most of the pages on the web assume the use of mouse and click events. To keep most web pages functional, mobile Safari dispatches synthesized mouse events afterthe user lifts his finger so the web page receives a series of mouse events in the following order:
At this point you may be asking “why didn’t the Safari folks just use mouse events instead of creating a whole new set of events?” I think the answer has to do with the fact that the iOS devices support multi-touch. On traditional computing platforms there was always a notion of a single mouse with a main (left) button and maybe center and right buttons. Although you could click and hold down these buttons at different times to generate multiple overlapping mousedown and mouseup events, they were still tied to a single source for the move/positioning information. Also, folks have become accustomed to the fact that these buttons do specific actions. For example right mouse buttons are typically associated with bringing up a context menu, etc. With the new multi-touch events, not only can you have more than 3 touches, each touch generates its own set of touchstart, touchmove, and touchend events, and in some cases touchmoves could be coalesced into single events if more than one touch shares the same target. It suffices to say that the newer touch events are fundamentally different in behavior and perhaps the Safari folks did not want to break or modify the well established mouse usage and behavioral model.
There are a few interesting things to note about touch events on iOS:
- Only one event for each mouse event type is dispatched.
- Mouse events are dispatched approximately 300+ milliseconds after the user lifts his finger.
- Mouse events are not dispatched if the touch results in the screen scrolling. Scroll events are also not dispatched until after the user lifts their finger.
- Mouse events are not dispatched if the user initially touches the screen with more than one finger.
- Touch events are not dispatched to textfields and textareas. Only mouse events are dispatched.
Ok, so getting back to the larger picture, vendors with touch-based devices and WebKit-based browsers have decided to adopt Safari’s touch events. The problem is now each vendor has to implement the event code to drive the touch events. It was explained to me by a device vendor that every hardware device and OS has its own unique implementation and API for dispatching events and that this leads to some interesting differences in browser behavior and event implementations. After playing with several iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices, I have seen first handthat this is indeed true. Some examples off the top of my head include:
- BlackBerry dispatches interleaved touch and mouse events real-time while Android and iOS dispatch single mouse events after the user lifts their finger.
- Some devices dispatch scroll events in a somewhat real-time manor, while others only dispatch a single event after the user lifts their finger.
- Android devices require preventDefault on touchstart to prevent screen scrolling, while other devices require a preventDefault on touchmove, but this causes form elements to break because you can no longer click on them.
- iOS dispatches a touchend event when the screen scrolls, but some platforms just stop dispatching touch events while the screen scrolls.
Some of these differences are bugs, or temporary problems due to current implementation, but the fact remains that the devices with these problems may exist and be used for a long time since vendors decide if and when these devices can be updated with fixes. Hopefully things will get better as standards emerge.
Another complicating factor is that some devices have both a touch-screen and a nub/joystick/track-ball. For jQuery Mobile, we need to support both touch and mouse events within all our components. We can’t just rely on mouse events because they don’t provide the real-time feedback/response that is necessary to make things feel snappy when the user is touching the screen. But supporting both is a big headache because it complicates event handling. For example, we need to set up a component to listen for both touch and mouse events, but then we need to disable mouse event handlers if touch events are used so that handlers/actions are only triggered once. We then need to re-enable the mouse handlers when the touch events are all done, but sometimes “done” is hard to figure out due to the fact that sometimes touch events just stop coming because the screen just scrolled.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be blogging about some of the ways we are dealing with these challenges while trying to reduce the event code complexity for jQuery Mobile components and implementing features like faux momentum scrolling. Stay tuned! [Have not been realized!]
By Steve Drucker– 3:57 PM on March 31, 2011
Have you looked at Sencha Touch? Much better IMHO.
Adobe and jQuery Sitting In A Tree… [Feb 7, 2011]
If you attended Adobe MAX in November you heard us declare our appreciation for jQueryand the important role it plays in helping web designers and developers create engaging experiences across browsers and devices.
Along with that, we announced our intention to 1) increase support/usage of jQuery within our products and 2) contribute to jQuery development projects.
This blog is where we’ll share information about how those efforts are going and hopefully hear from you about what you’d like to see from the combination of jQuery and Adobe.
This being our first post, there are a couple things we should mention to catch you up on what’s been happening since MAX. We’re currently involved in two projects; jQuery Mobile and the jQuery Data Grid.
jQuery Mobile–a touch-optimized UI framework for smartphones and tablets–is currently on its Alpha 3 release. We’re very excited about this project and have had one of our finest–Kin Blas–working closely with the rest of the jQuery mobile team since November. As a side note, Kin will be speaking about jQuery Mobile at a Bay Area Mobile (BAM) meetupin March. Highly recommended if you’re interested in getting an overview of the framework from one of its main contributors.
jQuery Data Grid–a rich, dynamic grid component–is a new jQuery UI project. We recently became sponsors and look forward to getting more involved from a development standpoint. A key aspect of the Data Grid project is the development of a generic data model and a generic template model. These are the pieces we’re most interested in as we’d like to see a jQuery-based framework that helps web designers/developers more easily work with dynamic, client-side data.
We’re thrilled to be participating in the evolution of jQuery and we look forward to sharing more news in the months ahead.
jQuery Mobile: State of the Framework (PDF presentation, 142 slides) [Todd Parker & Scott Jehl, filament group, Oct 1, 2011]
jQuery Mobile: Touch-Optimized Web Framework for Smartphones & Tablets [product website]
A unified user interface system across all popular mobile device platforms, built on the rock-solid jQuery and jQuery UI foundation. Its lightweight code is built with progressive enhancement, and has a flexible, easily themeable design.
Project Goals and Strategy
Seriously cross-platform & cross-device
jQuery mobile framework takes the “write less, do more” mantra to the next level: Instead of writing unique apps for each mobile device or OS, the jQuery mobile framework will allow you to design a single highly branded and customized web application that will work on all popular smartphone and tablet platforms. Device support
Touch-optimized layouts & UI widgets
Our aim is to provide tools to build dynamic touch interfaces that will adapt gracefully to a range of device form factors. The system will include both layouts (lists, detail panes, overlays) and a rich set of form controls and UI widgets (toggles, sliders, tabs). Demos
Themable designs: Bigger and better
To make building mobile themes easy, we’re dramatically expanding the CSS framework to have the power to design full applications. For more polished visuals without the bloat, we added support for more CSS3 properties like
box-shadow, and gradients.
jQuery Mobile ThemeRoller Preview [Oct 1, 2011]
This screencast is a preview of the new jQuery Mobile ThemeRoller tool, shown during Todd Parker and Scott Jehl’s (of http://filamentgroup.com) keynote session at jQuery Conference 2011. This is being developed by Tyler Benziger at Adobe and makes it incredibly easy to create jQuery Mobile themes in just minutes, without having to edit a single line of CSS.
jQuery Mobile 1.0 RC1 Released! [Sept 29, 2011]
ThemeRoller Mobile: Coming soon!
We’ve been working on a completely new ThemeRoller tool, built from the ground-up for jQuery Mobile. Tyler Benzinger from Adobe has been spearheading the development effort (thanks Tyler!) and we’re very close for having a beta version ready for release [in two weeks]. We’re really excited to show it off because there are a lot of super cool features that make it drop-dead-simple to build a stunning theme in minutes.
Essential jQuery Plugin Patterns [Smashing Magazine, Oct 11, 2011]
… Some developers may wish to use the jQuery UI widget factory; it’s great for complex, flexible UI components. Some may not. …
“Complete” Widget Factory
While the authoring guide is a great introduction to plugin development, it doesn’t offer a great number of conveniences for obscuring away from common plumbing tasks that we have to deal with on a regular basis.
The jQuery UI Widget Factory is a solution to this problem that helps you build complex, stateful plugins based on object-oriented principles. It also eases communication with your plugin’s instance, obfuscating a number of the repetitive tasks that you would have to code when working with basic plugins.
In case you haven’t come across these before, stateful plugins keep track of their current state, also allowing you to change properties of the plugin after it has been initialized.
One of the great things about the Widget Factory is that the majority of the jQuery UI library actually uses it as a base for its components. This means that if you’re looking for further guidance on structure beyond this template, you won’t have to look beyond the jQuery UI repository.
jQuery Mobile Widgets With The Widget factory
jQuery mobile is a framework that encourages the design of ubiquitous Web applications that work both on popular mobile devices and platforms and on the desktop. Rather than writing unique applications for each device or OS, you simply write the code once and it should ideally run on many of the A-, B- and C-grade browsers out there at the moment.
The fundamentals behind jQuery mobile can also be applied to plugin and widget development, as seen in some of the core jQuery mobile widgets used in the official library suite. What’s interesting here is that even though there are very small, subtle differences in writing a “mobile”-optimized widget, if you’re familiar with using the jQuery UI Widget Factory, you should be able to start writing these right away.
Customizable starter design for jQuery Mobile [Adobe Developer Connection, Oct 11, 2011]
This article shows you how to use this customizable starter designfor your jQuery Mobile projects. Read the overview to learn about two key approaches to developing websites for mobile, preview and download the template and related files and assets, and watch a short video to learn how you can customize this template.
Overview: Understand jQuery Mobile development
When developing your website for use with mobile devices you have two options. You can make your design “responsive” to varying screen sizes by using CSS media queries, a technique referred to as multiscreen design, responsive design, or screen-sensitive design. The idea behind this approach is to adapt your design based on the users’ screen sizes. Your web page uses a single set of HTML markup, and CSS is used to alter the appearance and layout of that HTML in order to adapt your design for varying screen sizes. (For more information on and a free template for this approach see Customizable starter design for multiscreen development.)
Figure 1. Relationship between the HTML markup and the design view of the content of a jQuery Mobile project in Dreamweaver.
jQuery Mobile has been developed specificaly for this purpose. And Dreamweaver CS5.5, has built-in support to aid you in creating mobile websites built on the jQuery Mobile framework. jQuery Mobile allows you to build pages, or screens, in a single HTML file, and control what information is seen based on user interaction. As the content slides back and forth, the user experience begins to resemble many mobile application interfaces, while allowing you to break your content into manageable pieces for small-screen consumption.
Building Mobile Pages with Dreamweaver CS5.5 [Aug 3, 2011]
New starter pages in Dreamweaver CS5.5 serve as templates for building mobile-friendly pages with jQuery Mobile animation and interactivity. Or you can use jQuery Mobile widgets to design mobile-friendly pages from scratch, with your own choice of jQuery Mobile objects. All without coding! David Karlins, author of Adobe Creative Suite 5 Web Premium How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques, explores this Dreamweaver magic.
In this tutorial, we built a mobile-ready page that used jQuery Mobile to define expandable blocks.
Turning Web Pages into Apps with Dreamweaver CS5.5 [Sep 14, 2011]
David Karlins, author of Adobe Creative Suite 5 Web Premium How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques, concludes his three-part miniseries on how to get mobile with Dreamweaver. This article walks through the relatively easy process of turning a mobile-friendly web page into an app that runs on iOS or Android. Amazingly, Dreamweaver does most of the work, and no coding is needed!
In the second article in this series, “Customizing Mobile Pages with jQuery Mobile in Dreamweaver CS5.5,” I showed you how to build mobile-friendly pages by using Dreamweaver CS5.5’s jQuery Mobile widgets to create your own pages, more or less from scratch.
So actually, if you’ve worked your way through eitherof these previous tutorials, or you know how to build jQuery Mobile pages in Dreamweaver CS5.5 without needing those articles, you’re almost ready to generate an app from your page in Dreamweaver CS5. First let’s look at a checklist of what you need to have in place before generating an app in Dreamweaver CS5.5:
- You need to have a web page built exclusively with HTML5 (which can include audio and video), CSS3, and jQuery Mobile. No Flash objects.NOTENotice that I said a web page. Your app will be generated from a single HTML page. As I explained in the two earlier articles in this series, Dreamweaver’s jQuery Mobile widgets generate forms of content display that look and feel like pages, but everything is within a single HTML page.
- Finally, if you’re going to generate apps for Apple’s mobile iOS (the operating system for the iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad), you’ll need to be using Dreamweaver CS5.5 installed on a Mac. I’ll go into the reasons why shortly, but you need to know about this constraint right away. If you’re generating apps for Google’s Android mobile operating system, you can use either a Windows or Mac install of Dreamweaver CS5.5.
Dreamweaver CS5.5 rather seamlessly invokes software developer kits (SDKs) from Apple and Google, along with PhoneGap, to generate apps. Once you’ve designed your single web page with HTML5, CSS3, and jQuery Mobile, you’ll follow a relatively simple three-step procedure to build your app in Dreamweaver CS5.5. The following sections provide the details, but these are the basic steps:
- Configure the application framework(s).This is a one-time step. You install and connect Dreamweaver with the software development kits (SDKs) from Android and iOS. Once these SDKs are installed and configured for Dreamweaver, you don’t need to mess with this step again.
- Define your mobile application settings.In this step, you specify the name and other parameters of your app.
- Build and emulate the app. This process is more or less a matter of clicking a button, waiting awhile, and then viewing your new app in a mobile device emulator on your laptop or desktop.
Getting started with jQuery Mobile [Adobe Developer Connection, May 27, 2011]
To support your mobile development needs, jQuery Mobile employs a philosophy called progressive enhancement. At its roots, progressive enhancement means this: Start with static semantic HTML markup, which should work in every browser. Then add your behaviors and enhancements (bells and whistles) on top of that. This ensures that the content of your page and basic HTML functionality is still accessible to less capable browsers.
The challenge with mobile browsers is a real issue. On the one hand you have feature-rich browsers (such as Android web browsers, BlackBerry 6, and iOS Mobile Safari) that are all running variations of WebKit—a rendering engine that powers many web browsers such as Google Chrome and the desktop version of Apple’s Safari. (WebKit knows nothing about loading things off of a network. It knows nothing about native OS events. It knows nothing about scrolling. Every OS, browser, or device vendor, needs to build a browser on top of this engine to provide these things.) Then you have the millions of phones running Nokia’s Symbian or Windows Mobile 6 and earlier that have fragmented support web standards. To add to the challenge is that there are different versions of WebKit used in the different mobile OSes. The bottom line is that progressive enhancement is a model that allows your content to display on any of the supported mobile devices.
The first step to getting started using jQuery Mobile is to set up a web page.
… You will need to use three basic areas of content on your web page when building your first jQuery Mobile site. … [… header … content … footer] …
Creating pages in your mobile site using links
… [as a “first level” content add a menu that links to different pages] …
Test the page on your Android or iOS device. When you load the web page you will get three things:
- The menu loads as its own page (you can try to scroll up and down but you will not see anything else).
- When you select a link, the page will transition with an animation sequenceas it moves to the new section.
- When you move away from the menu page a back button automatically appears in the top header DIV section.
Each of these DIV elements will load inside of the web browser and look like separate web pages. The movement between screens is fluid.
The recommendation of creating multiple screens of content on one page allows you to reduce the page load times that cause many mobile devices to appear slow. You can link to external web pages, however, with the following caveat: Links in jQuery Mobile are treated as Ajax calls. Links within a jQuery Mobile page take advantage of CSS Transitions to change the screens. When you want to link to a page outside of the application you are in you need to create a forcing action that creates a new document and replaces the current jQuery Mobile files. This is demonstrated with the following example:
<a href="http://www.madinc.co" rel="external">madinc.co</a>
You need to include the
rel="external"property and value. This allows you to link to a web page outside of the local page links you have been using up to this point. However, jQuery Mobile goes one extra step. Instead of just treating external links as a link outside of your site, jQuery Mobile will apply the page transition animation. What this gives you is a unique one-up over other popular mobile frameworks. Instead of having all of your website content in one page, you can split up the content over several pages allowing you to build larger solutions.
Working with components
Of course, links and pages are just one part of mobile web design. A second challenge many mobile web developers face is the explosion of apps. Unlike web pages, apps for Android, iOS, and other systems are built with complex technologies such as Objective-C, Java, and C#. These technologies allow developers to easily add menu tools, unique list and other controls, and components not found natively in HTML.
jQuery Mobile is currently shipping with a selection of components. The following components are included in the current alpha version [the components are nominally the same in the RC1]:
- Dialog boxes
- Content formatting
- Form elements
- List views
Adding and changing a component is not too hard. If you know a little HTML, then you are good to go.
Where to go from here
A lot of work has clearly gone into the current alpha version of jQuery Mobile. If you have been waiting to jump into the mobile web design world then your wait is over. jQuery Mobile gives you a framework that would otherwise make mobile web development very difficult.
For more information about using jQuery Mobile, refer to the following:
Explore how to use jQuery to make designing for mobile more efficient [Adobe TV, April 10, 2011]
Using and customizing jQuery Mobile themes [the same author, Adobe Developer Connection, July 11, 2011]
In my earlier article, Getting started with jQuery Mobile, I provided an introduction to using the jQuery Mobile framework to build great web experiences for smartphones and tablets. Out of the box, the websites you build with jQuery Mobile look great. Buttons are glossy, gradients are smooth, and the overall interface is elegant.
Depending on your design requirements, however, you may want to blend colors to match your company colors or brand, or highlight or mute buttons and tabs. In short, you may want control of the look and feel of your jQuery Mobile website. This tutorial demonstrates how you can extend the visual structure and themes in a jQuery Mobile website.
jQuery Mobile themes and swatches
jQuery Mobile uses cascading style sheets (CSS) to control the visual layout of content on the screen. There are two main partsof the main jQuery Mobile CSS document:
- Structure, which controls the position, padding, and margins for elements such as buttons and tabs on the screen.
- Theme, which controls specific visual elements such as fonts, colors, gradients, shadows, and corners. Modifying a theme allows you to control the visual elements of objects such as buttons.
Note:To reduce the use of images (and server requests), jQuery Mobile relies on CSS3 properties to add rounded corners, shadows, and gradients instead of techniques that traditionally required JPEG or PNG images. Buttons, backgrounds, and tab bars are created using CSS. It is possible to use images to control your layout, but this is the exception and not the rule.
Each theme can include one or more swatches. A swatch sets the color values for bars, content blocks, buttons, and list items in a theme. You can use swatches to easily switch among alternative color schemes for the main theme.
The idea behind swatches is to provide quick access to alternate color schemes for a given website. While pages for any website generally apply a consistent color scheme, there are occasions where specific elements on a page need to be highlighted (for example, a Try It button) or de-emphasized (for example, a Not Interested button). Swatches enable you to define and use an alternate color scheme to cover these cases.
The default CSS document that comes with jQuery Mobile has a theme with a set of five swatches that are named a, b, c, d, and e. By convention swatch ais the highest level of visual priority; it is black in the default theme (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. A screen created using the default theme and swatch.
Use of the five default jQuery swatches (see Figure 2) is tied to the following jQuery conventions:
- a(black): high-level visual priority
- b(blue): secondary level
- c (gray): baseline
- d(gray and white): alternate secondary level
- e (yellow): accent
Figure 2. The five default swatches from a (left) to e (right).
Creating jQuery Mobile website themes in Fireworks [Adobe Developer Connection, Oct 03, 2011)
Customizable starter design for multiscreen development [Adobe Developer Connection, Jul 11, 2011)
Getting started with jQuery Mobile [Adobe TV, May 27, 2011]
Getting started with jQuery Mobile and Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5 [Edge Newsletter, May 17, 2011]
Dreamweaver CS5.5 and mobile [Adobe TV, May 3, 2011]
Mobile ThemeRoller [Todd Parker, June 13, 2011]
Initial ideas for the mobile ThemeRoller requirements. Consider making this a simple JS tool that can read and edit the theme CSS and be extensible by developersso it can slot into their tools.
GLOBAL SETTINGS /////////////////////////
Active state = Same as one of swatches below
Box Corner radius [0.6em] Button corner radius [1em]
Icon [black|white] Disc color [hex] Disc opacity [%]
- Default to 5 swatches (A, B, C, D, E), can add up to 26 total (A-Z)
- Each swatch has the following fields for these 5 elements: Bar / Body / Button up / Button hover /Button down
- font-family [input]
- font-weight [normal|bold]
- text-color [hex]
- text-shadow [blur][offset][offset][hex]
- border [hex]
- background-color [hex]
- background-image [hex][hex] = 2 stop gradient, can specify img
- Icon [black|white]
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
When can I use CSS Regions?
Compatibility table for support of CSS Regions in desktop and mobile browsers.
CSS Regions – Working Draft
Method of flowing content into multiple elements.
10 versions back
4.0: Not supported
9 versions back
5.0: Not supported
8 versions back
6.0: Not supported
7 versions back
2.0: Not supported
7.0: Not supported
9.0: Not supported
6 versions back
3.0: Not supported
8.0: Not supported
9.5-9.6: Not supported
5 versions back
3.5: Not supported
9.0: Not supported
10.0-10.1: Not supported
4 versions back
5.5: Not supported
3.6: Not supported
10.0: Not supported
3.1: Not supported
10.5: Not supported
3 versions back
6.0: Not supported
4.0: Not supported
11.0: Not supported
3.2: Not supported
10.6: Not supported
3.2: Not supported
2 versions back
7.0: Not supported
5.0: Not supported
12.0: Not supported
4.0: Not supported
11.0: Not supported
4.0-4.1: Not supported
10.0: Not supported
2.1: Not supported
8.0: Not supported
6.0: Not supported
13.0: Not supported
5.0: Not supported
11.1: Not supported
4.2-4.3: Not supported
11.0: Not supported
2.2: Not supported
9.0: Not supported
7.0: Not supported
14.0: Not supported
5.1: Not supported
11.5: Not supported
5.0: Not supported
5.0-6.0: Not supported
11.1: Not supported
2.3: Not supported
3.0: Not supported
9.0: Not supported
8.0: Support unknown
15.0: Partial support -webkit-
5.1: Not supported
12.0: Support unknown
10.0: Partial support -ms-
9.0: Support unknown
16.0: Partial support -webkit-
6.0: Partial support -webkit-
12.1: Support unknown
Note: Currently supported in WebKit using -webkit-flow: “flow_name”; and content: -webkit-from-flow(“flow_name”); Supported in IE10 using an iframe with -ms-flow-into: flow_name; and -ms-flow-from: flow_name;
Qualcomm is very close to getting the HTML5 web apps performance and feature set to rival that of native OS apps
OnQ: Delivering Better Web Experiences for Snapdragon S3 Mobile Processors [Sy Choudhury, Director of Product Management, Web Technologies, Oct 10, 2011]
Sy Choudhury, Director of Product Management for Qualcomm, demonstrates how our web optimizations can enhance the overall web browsing and web apps experience on Android for Snapdragon S3 mobile processor-based devices.
Heavy Lifting on the Mobile Web – Put It Where It Belongs [Sy Choudhury, Director of Product Management, Web Technologies, July 7, 2011]
I encourage you to take a close look at the Snapdragon™ mobile processor– its architecture, documentation and tools – as you consider developing mobile Web apps for Android. The image above maps the Snapdragon processor to the heavy lifting you face in delivering a good mobile Web experience to your customers.
Let’s go through them individually:
Transport– DNS lookup, page loads, page reloads, image downloads…the browser never lets the modem have any peace. But the browser – not to mention the user –is more forgiving on the desktop than on a mobile device. The Web transport functions need to work intelligently on mobile devices or the user experience will drown in latency and needless reloads from the network.
Layout – Images are almost 2/3 of the payload of the average Web page. Do you want graphics-rich sites like photo galleries and social networks hogging the CPU to decode images? The browser needs to take one look at them and offload them to dedicated hardware for decoding.
Rendering – Whether you need to compose pages in a frame or stream mobile video smoothly, there are better places to do it than the CPU. The work of drawing page objects on separate layers and merging them efficiently belongs on a graphics processing unit (GPU), and the coming onslaught of mobile videofavors chipsets with a dedicated multimedia engine.
That’s one big advantage to pulling all of this functionality into a single chip. Another advantage is that it makes things easier for everybody. We produce the components more efficiently, manufacturers sacrifice less real estate inside the device, and you keep your eye on just one set of rules for writing to hardware.
Also, as part of Qualcomm’s Web Technologiesinitiative, we’ve been developing and implementing optimizations for all of this functionality. Qualcomm has made them available as updates to Adobe® Flash® Player and Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc., our wholly owned subsidiary that focuses on mobile open source contributions, has made them available to the community. You can take advantage of them by developing for the Snapdragon processor, because we also include them as part of the software bundle we ship.
Give your end users mobile web applications that are designed to run like native applications.
Get ready for a few realities about developing for the mobile Web:
- Rich content and complex Web applications also rely on hardware resources deep inside the mobile device.
- You need to give your Web users desktop-quality performance on mobile devices before your competitors do.
To make this easier for you, the Web Technologies initiative from Qualcomm Incorporated and Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc.(QuIC) enables a series of software features and hardware-tuned performance optimizations that give the Web application environment deep reach into the mobile device. The end result–a level of performance from your Web app that users typically expect from native applications and even desktop applications.
- better interactivity with Web apps and pages
- snappier, smoother response to user commands
- the highest quality and resolution multimedia streams
- lower overall power consumption
- Web application functionality and performance on par with native mobile apps
Web Technologies Tools and Resources
Using our runtime software packages, you can begin developing mobile Web apps that perform more like native apps.
Uplinq 2011 Super Session: Is HTML5 the Future of Smartphone Apps?: A Conversation About Web Technologies
Is HTML5 the future of mobile apps? Can web apps ever perform on par with native apps? What do the advances in browser-based experiences bode for mobile operating systems? How can hardware matter in such an abstracted environment? Join Ben Wood, director of research for leading industry analyst firm CCS Insight, as he engages Rob Chandhok, who leads Qualcomm’s software strategy efforts, on these and other questions central to the intersection of web technologies and mobile.
Uplinq 2011 Session: Session: Developing Rich Web Apps for Smartphones
Sy Choudhury, Director of Product Management for Qualcomm, demonstrates Snapdragon’s the in-page web video capability, HD video at 720p in HTML5 and Flash, and full HD video at 1080p for mobile devices
DASH – Toward a Better Mobile Video User Experience [Sy Choudhury, Director of Product Management, Web Technologies, Aug 16, 2011]
Do you like jittery, staccato playback and long buffer times when you watch video on your phone or tablet? Neither do I. Neither does Qualcomm.
Let’s face it, though: the mobile video genie is out of the bottle, and it’s not going back in. Video streaming continues to dominate mobile bandwidth consumption, accounting for 39 percent of data usage in the first half of 2011, according to the H1 2011 Allot MobileTrends Report. Elsewhere, Frost & Sullivan notes that CTIA has called for an additional 800 MHz of bandwidth to cope with the onslaught of mobile video; the U.S. government is trying to provide 500 MHz of that request.
There’s no simple solution that will ensure a good mobile video experience. We’ve identified areas that are ripe for improvement and are working diligently to address them. DASH – Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP – is an important one. We see DASH as the industry’s best approach to streaming mobile video, while preserving the kind of video experience consumers expect.
What is DASH?
DASH is an open standard that addresses what we think are many of the biggest problems in delivering streaming video:
1. File size– In the old days, Web video was easy. You downloaded a 2- or 4- or 10 MB file to your device and then played it. That wasn’t really streaming, and it wasn’t scalable – imagine streaming high-definition movies that way. So DASH is a standard for chopping video streams into smaller segments.
2. Changing network conditions– To keep a stream of video flowing smoothly, servers need to send these smaller segments when the device can accommodate them. With DASH, the video lives on the server in several different bit-rates – for example, 250 kbit/s low quality, 500 kbit/s medium quality and 1000 kbit/s high quality. And here is the key; the device determines and then commands the server to send the best quality given the current network conditions (see diagram).
3. Proprietary formats– Most Web video is encoded in common codec formats like H.264 but stored in various streaming formats, depending on the media player on the device. Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, Netflix and many of the other names you associate with video delivery have their own streaming format and their own approach to streaming. DASH defines openly published profiles and the device’s native player can therefore easily support these various streaming profiles.
4. Digital rights management (DRM)– For premium video like movies and sporting events, content owners want their rights protected. DASH is focused only on the core streaming technology and hence works seamlessly with various DRM solutions.
If you want to know more of the technical details, Thomas Stockhammer, on our team has published a paper on the design principles and standards we’re putting into DASH.
What’s Qualcomm doing?
Qualcomm and Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc. (QuIC) have participated as the work-item lead and helped promote DASH with 3GPP, and were the main authors of the DASH specification in MPEG. In collaboration with companies such as Ericsson, Apple, Netflix and Microsoft, Qualcomm has worked on the standard. Although MPEG-DASH content has yet to be published, we’re working with content owners to help bring this open standard to market.
As a result, we’re building a lot of expertise and we’ve chosen to make it widely available. As a matter of fact, to encourage adoption of the DASH standard, Qualcomm will not seek royalties or license fees for use of its DASH Essential Patents as defined in our DASH Licensing Commitment.
You’re going to see similar announcements from other technology companies who realize that it’s time for an open standard for adaptive, Internet streaming video – one which is also easy to implement and bring to market.
Keep an eye on DASH as the standard evolves, and let me know in the comments what your company is doing about the user experience in mobile video.
Through its collaboration with Microsoft, Qualcomm is proud to show the Windows 8 Developer Preview running on the latest dual-core Snapdragon processor. Shown running on the desktop, Internet Explorer in the Windows 8 Developer Preview features support for the latest web standards as well as the Adobe Flash Player, giving consumers a rich browser experience and developers support for whatever tools that best suit their needs. Flash is an important part of the web browsing experience – and Qualcomm supports the Flash Player today on our dual core Snapdragon processor running Windows 8.
By optimizing the browser to really take advantage of dedicated hardware blocks in our Snapdragon mobile processors, we’re seeing comparable levels of video performance across both web apps and native apps – 30 frames per second. Not only can we play 1080p video files, we can playback 1080p video in Flash and HTML5. In fact, in HTML5 we’re able to get multiple video streams running live on a page at the same time.
We’re also closing the gap on advanced graphics with the help of HTML5 Canvas for 2D graphics and WebGL for the 3D equivalent. We’re seeing sample 3D WebGL content benchmarked at 25fps in a Web App, vs. 50fps in a native, OpenGL-ES equivalent app on the same device. Though the native app offers twice as many fps, anything over 25fps is not very noticeable to the human eye. Though we see this gap steadily closing over time.
I think we will see web apps first in tablets followed by Smart TVs. Once more and more TVs have full HTML5 browsers in them, it’s going to break open a whole new set of exciting user experiences. For example, you will no longer be tied to a limited set of Samsung TV Apps, LG TV Apps or Roku Apps. The whole Web will be at your beck and call via your TV Remote. That’s quite a game changer — one that Google TV has attempted to bring us.
If web apps become mainstream on tablets and TVs, they will have to become mainstream on allmobile devices. Speaking of which, we cannot discount the growth of the hybrid apps that are currently available on smartphones, which leverage a lot of HTML5. These are already mainstream.
Web apps are destined to take off for another simple reason: there are a lot more web developers (familiar with HTML5) out there than native app developers. And there are even fewer developers building tablet apps and TV apps. So the momentum is behind web apps — it’s just a matter of time.
The technology in our Snapdragon chips is always evolving, and we are constantly adding more intelligence and features into the chipset via hardware and software. The more features we add, the more we want to expose to web apps.
For example, we’re pushing the envelope in terms of what the camera can do with things like facial recognition, multi-shot with zero shutter lag, smile detection, blink detection, gaze analyzer, etc. So now, it’s no longer just about exposing a camera API to web apps, its about exposing all these advanced post processing features to web apps, too. Similarly we’re doing some very cool things around proximity-based peer to peer (P2P). Imagine the possibilities when your web app can reach out, discover and connect with other web apps nearby you.
Also, as I touched on earlier, we’re working to bring our Snapdragon processors to TVs, too. We suspect that more people will want to buy connected TVs that have all these cool HTML5 web app capabilities, as opposed to spending thousands of dollars and being locked into just Samsung, LG or Roku TV apps.
… with the Snapdragon chip, your browser doesn’t have to be just another piece of software. It can be optimized to take full advantage of all of Snapdragon’s subsystems. Here are a few examples of how a web browser’s performance can be turbocharged when tuned for the Snapdragon chip:
(Optimizations for the Snapdragon integrated modem and intelligent connectivity engine.)
- Designed to achieve up to 50% faster page and web app downloads1
(Leveraging smarter caching.)
- Improved multi-core utilization
(Leveraging Snapdragon’s GPU and multimedia hardware engines.)
- HTLM5 video performing at full native rate
- Faster and smoother scrolling, zooming and panning
- GPU accelerated HTML5 <canvas>, <video>, WebGL and CSS3D animations
1 Source: Tests performed by Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc. Tested with 30 sites on Wi-Fi and consistent environment on Android 2.3 using HTC Sensation and production OEM device with Dual-CPU A9.
2 Source: Tests performed by Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc. Tested using Android 2.1 through 2.3 on HTC Nexus One).
Crisis Message of Aug 29, 2015 from Hunbiased: Immigration which I very much felt to share here before anything else of my own: “ Immigration is *the* topic in the news in Hungary. It’s what all newscasts lead with and it’s the issue that dominates the front pages. How bad is the situation? I take a look at some basic figures to see whether or not the current EU policies regarding immigration are fair and answer the question, “if Hungary is expected to absorb 140,000 people without batting an eyelid, how many people should Germany and the UK take?” ”
Plane to Line Switching (PLS) screen technology (Samsung)
Microsoft gives Samsung Windows 8 developer PCs to Build attendees, AT&T throws in 3G service [engadget, Sept 13, 2011]
… that PC comes complete with a second-gen Intel Core i5 processor, an 11.6-inch 1,366 x 768 Samsung Super PLS display, a 64GB SSD, 4GB of RAM, and a dock with a USB, HDMI and Ethernet ports.
[PLS-LCD only introduced in North America for the Galaxy 10.1 Tablet:] What Are The Benefits Of Using A PLS-LCD In My Wi-Fi GT-p7510 Galaxy 10.1 Tablet? [Samsung FAQ, Aug 6, 2011]
The GT-p7510 tablet comes with PLS-LCD touchscreen panel technology. The Plane to Line Switching technology is roughly 10% brighter (should help with better visibility in sunlight) and offers about 2x the increase in wide angle viewing compared to certain other LCD technologies. In addition, PLS-LCD offers the following below:
- Higher Contrast
- Decreased Power Consumption
- Response Time Faster
- Lesser Reflection
- Clearer Screen
Due to the cost of Super AMOLED displays, PLS-LCD was used in the GT-p7510 to remain price competitive in the marketplace with the 10.1 inch display.
PLS LCD @ Samsung SA850 [Feb 27, 2011]
New PLS (Plane to Line Switching) LCD technology by Samsung will be used in its professional monitors SA850
See perfect colours from wherever you sitMaximise your viewing experience with Samsung’s superior PLS technology (Plane to Line Switching). Regular screens suffer from what is called Colour Shift, which reduces the picture quality and colour when viewed from an acute angle. The SA850, which can cover an amazing 178° viewing angle both vertically and horizontally, boasts a crisp and detailed picture by maintaining true-to-life colour, even when viewed from extreme angels, so the experience is vivid and brilliant.…
Samsung Electronics is to release three models of new LED monitor (S27A850, S24A650 and S24A350T) applying cutting-edge Super PLS (Plane to Line Switching) technology — which makes it possible for a viewer to watch in much wider viewing angles than models in the market.
The new LED monitors employed LED panels thus realizing Samsung TV’s iconic features like vivid resolution and eco-friendliness. This monitor line-up is said to be best fitting for professional users. The SyncMaster SA850, for example, is a 27-inch monitor, has a screen aspect ratio of 16:9 and a native resolution of 2560×1440 pixels. Such products are highly interesting in my opinion.
Samsung launches Evolutional Central Station and LED Monitor Lineup with Ultra High Quality LED Panels for Enterprises [Samsung press release, June 21, 2011]
Samsung SyncMaster SA850 series deploys Samsung’s own display technology, PLS panel, which covers 100% sRGB color space, providing excellent image output with the highest color accuracy. This is best-designed for industries such as graphic designs, publishing, filming and broadcasting. PLS panel also provides 178° wide viewing angle (both horizontally and vertically), and it enables users to view high quality images from any viewing positions. The Gamma Distortion Index of the PLS is less than 0.15, which meets the high demands of all users for the highest quality and flawless image.
Samsung SyncMaster SA850 is the first to implement Samsung’s own PLS panel. It has a 27″ WQHD screen which covers 100% sRGB color space, fulfilling the high requirements for image quality and color accuracy of professional users, such as photographers, architectures and advertising practitioners. PLS panel also delivers energy saving features. Comparing to conventional LCD monitor, its LED-backlight can save power consumption up to 36%. The 27″ 2048 x 1152 WQHD screen allows 178° wide viewing angle and produces vivid images with richer color.
Samsung to showcase TFT-LCD vs PLS-LCD vs Super-Amoled-Plus [Feb 22, 2011]
http://www.oled-display.net At the MWC-2011 Samsung show a comparison between a ordinary TFT-LCD against PLS-LCD (IPS type) and the brand new Super-Amoled-PLUS Display. More about OLED-Displays at http://www.oled-display.net
Samsung SyncMaster SA850: World’s First Monitor on PLS Matrix [X-bit labs, May 30, 2011]
Over a year ago Samsung made an attempt to introduce an alternative to mainstream TN-based products by releasing monitors with C-PVA matrixes. The SyncMaster F2080 and F2380 were not much of a success, however. Although Samsung claims that corporate users were eager to buy them, these models were not interesting for home users due to their high response time and some color rendering problems. Later on, Dell and some other brands introduced their e-IPS based products which met the mainstream requirements by having a reasonable price and well-balanced specs.
In late 2010 Samsung responded to e-IPS with its PLS technology. The name itself (it spells out as Plane-to-Line Switching) was quite a surprise for specialists because it was not a variant of the proprietary PVA technology but seemed to resemble IPS matrixes which were produced by Samsung’s largest competitor LG.
PLS technology was at first advertized as a solution for tablet PCs and mobile phones (high-quality matrixes are quite popular in these devices thanks to Apple’s backing and LG’s active participation) but then one monitor from the new 8 series, namely SyncMaster SA880, was declared to have a PLS matrix.
Although the Super PLS technology (I will call it simply “PLS” below) was introduced by Samsung back in December 2010, there is still very little information disclosed about it. PLS matrixes were first showcased as displays of mobile devices. It was even rumored that Apple took a fancy to PLS and would use it in its iPad 2 (the rumors were wrong; the iPad 2 comes with IPS matrixes). In February, some scraps of information about the first full-featured PLS-based monitor, specs and photos, emerged.
We could only make guesses as to what the new matrix was like. PLS stands for Plane-to-Line Switching which sounds similar to IPS (In-Plane Switching), so PLS was supposed to be Samsung’s version of IPS. Samsung itself compared PLS with IPS, but that didn’t prove anything. The various versions of PVA matrixes were compared to IPS as well, just because IPS matrixes are manufactured by LG, Samsung’s largest competitor. Anyway, the comparisons put an emphasis on such facts as excellent viewing angles, lack of off-angle color distortions (tonal shift), a higher brightness and a lower cost.
It must be noted that we’ve already got a successor to the IPS technology which features a higher brightness and a lower cost. It is e-IPS which is manufactured by LG and is quickly gaining in popularity. The main downside, and not a very serious one, is that black gets lighter when the screen is viewed from a side.
For you to better understand the numerous types of modern LCD matrixes, I’ll just put down their highs and lows in this brief list:
- TN: low price, low response time (below 5 milliseconds GtG), average contrast ratio (600:1), poor viewing angles (especially vertical ones), significant off-angle color distortions.
- IPS: high price, average response time (5 to 10 milliseconds GtG), average contrast ratio (600:1), excellent viewing angles, minimal off-angle color distortions.
- PVA: high price, high response time (over 10 milliseconds GtG), high contrast ratio (over 1000:1), good viewing angles, noticeable off-angle color distortions.
- C-PVA: average price, high response time (over 10 milliseconds GtG), high contrast ratio (over 1000:1), good viewing angles, noticeable off-angle color distortions.
- E-IPS: average price, average response time (5 to 10 milliseconds GtG), average contrast ratio (600:1), good viewing angles, minimal off-angle color distortions.
As you can see, e-IPS matrixes are not rivaled directly by any other technology. They are comparable in price to C-PVA matrixes but have different properties. C-PVA matrixes boast a high contrast ratio but are limited in their applications due to their imperfect color rendering and high response time. I wouldn’t dismiss them altogether, yet an LCD matrix with a response time as high as 75 milliseconds can hardly be viewed as suitable for a versatile home monitor.
So, what does Samsung offer us under the name of Super PLS? To answer this question I’ve made macro photographs of pixels of different LCD matrixes.
This is the TN matrix of a Samsung SyncMaster SA950 monitor [the senior 3D model of the home-oriented 9 series … based on a TN matrix with a native resolution of 1920×1080 pixels and a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz]. We see subpixels of solid colors with slanted corners. When the monitor’s brightness is reduced, the whole of a subpixel keeps on glowing. The photo lacks sharpness a little due to the antiglare coating of the screen (it’s glossy in the SA950, yet affects the quality of the photo anyway).
Here is the PVA matrix of a Dell 2407WFP at full brightness. We can see intricately shaped subpixels with a “waist” in the middle and diagonal segmentation. It’s hard to mistake this one for anything else.
This is the same PVA matrix at half brightness. Again, this matrix type is absolutely different from other technologies. We can see that only the ends of the subpixels are aglow while the middle is turned off.
That’s the e-IPS matrix of a Dell U2311H. The picture is blurred by its antiglare coating, yet we can see that each subpixel consists of two parts with a black line in the middle. The two halves of each subpixel are slightly segmented diagonally, like with PVA. As opposed to PVA, each subpixel is square and does not split in two parts at reduced brightness but keeps on glowing as a single whole.
And this is the PLS matrix of the Samsung SyncMaster SA850. It is obvious that its subpixels are closest to e-IPS. They have the same rectangular shape with a barely visible black line in the middle. It is hard to discern the details because of the monitor’s antiglare coating which, coupled with the small pixel pitch (0.233 millimeters), hindered my photographing. The subpixels of this matrix keep on glowing as a single whole at reduced brightness.
Thus, PLS matrixes do resemble e-IPS in terms of the subpixel structure as far as we can discern it. Let’s see if they also resemble e-IPS (or IPS) in technical properties.
The monitor’s Brightness and Contrast are set at 100% and 75%, respectively, by default. I achieved my reference point of 100-nit white at 30% Brightness and 48% Contrast.
The monitor regulates its brightness by modulating the power of its LEDs at a frequency of 180 Hz. The SA850 uses a white LED backlight, which helped make its case rather slim and light.
[so the monitor’s brightness is Black 0.58 and White 313 (nits)]
Unfortunately, the contrast ratio isn’t high at below 600:1. This is lower than the typical contrast ratio of e-IPS matrixes (600 to 700:1). The maximum brightness is high but you can easily make the screen as bright as is comfortable to you.
The three available MagicBright modes give you three different levels of brightness. The Cinema mode has a very odd color rendering setup (I’ll talk about them shortly) whereas the Standard and Game modes do not distort colors. For practical purposes, I guess that the monitor should be set up manually for a lower screen brightness than the Standard mode for productivity and Web applications, so you can use Standard for viewing photographs and playing games at night and switch into the Game mode for watching movies and playing games in the daytime.
The low contrast ratio may be due to the poor uniformity of the backlight. The picture based on the results of my measurements shows a bright spot in the center of the screen, just where I measured the contrast ratio. That spot is not as bright as the bottom left corner, though.
Although the extent of the variation in brightness is exaggerated in the picture for illustrative purposes, the monitor is obviously far from ideal, especially with black. Talking about the exact numbers, the average nonuniformity of brightness for black is 8% whereas the maximum deflection from the base level is as high as 45%! For white, the average and maximum are 3.6% and 8.3%, respectively. It’s hard to say why the monitor is so good with white and so poor with black, but the bright spot in the corner of the screen can be considered a defect. It is going to be conspicuous when watching movies, for example.
The viewing angles of the PLS matrix are excellent when the monitor shows a bright colorful image. I could see no color distortion or contrast deterioration even at large viewing angles, both vertically and horizontally.
There was one interesting thing with black. To illustrate it, I made a few photos of the monitor from different angles in a dark room. The monitor works at full brightness and displays a black fill.
It is easy to see that the screen doesn’t get much brighter when viewed from a side, but the areas with backlight irregularities show some more light. Moreover, each such area has its own particular viewing angle at which it becomes the brightest. For example, the bright spot at the top of the screen moves rightwards in the last two photos.
For the comparison’s sake I will show you photos of an e-IPS matrix (Dell U2311H) under the same conditions.
The brightening of black has nothing to do with backlight irregularities (which have a rather typical X-shaped pattern on this monitor). As the viewing angle gets larger, there appear yellow-colored symmetrical spots in the far corners of the screen. These spots get larger along with the viewing angle.
So, it looks like PLS is indeed superior to e-IPS in terms of viewing angles, especially on black, and can compete with the more expensive samples of IPS matrixes. Besides, my sample of SyncMaster SA850 with a PLS matrix is prevented from showing its best in this parameter by its backlight irregularities. When viewed from a side, its screen gets brighter the most in those areas where the backlight is the most irregular.
Samsung claims that PLS matrixes with white LED backlight (that’s the kind of the matrix employed in the SA850) cover the entire range of sRGB colors. And that’s indeed so. The monitor’s color gamut triangle matches the sRGB one along one rib and is larger in the other two ribs. Thus, the SA850 is one of the few monitors that you can get an immaculately accurate sRGB gamut with by creating an appropriate profile with a calibrator and using that profile in your image-editing application.
The Samsung SyncMaster SA850 with its Super PLS matrix is not an ideal monitor, but it’s good.
Samsung has indeed begun to manufacture LCD matrixes which are similar to IPS and capable of competing with e-IPS in price and beating them in specs, especially in terms of viewing angles. PLS matrixes do not have the annoying effect of e-IPS ones which show a brighter black when viewed from a side. Considering the comparable price, PLS makes a more appealing option.
On the other hand, it is yet too early to talk about any competition with e-IPS on the market of desktop monitors. PLS is only going to be available in a single product so far. And while the 27-inch SA850 (S27A850) is interesting due to its high resolution, it can hardly challenge mainstream 21.5- and 23-inch e-IPS based monitors.
It should also be noted that Samsung becomes the only company to produce LCD matrixes of all possible types: TN, VA (C-PVA for the SyncMaster F2380 and S-PVA for TV-sets and large info boards), and now PLS which is functionally similar to IPS technology. This may be due to the company’s ongoing search for the most promising and demanded solutions. Instead of making its decisions in labs and at internal meetings, the company releases products with all technologies available to it in order to check out the reaction of real users. This approach brings about more choices but, on the other hand, the buyer may easily get confused.
As for the SyncMaster SA850, this particular product seems quite competitive to me.
- Serious exterior design, good functionality and handy controls
- High native resolution
- Low response time, good color rendering, excellent viewing angles
- Full coverage of the sRGB color space
- Matte coating of the screen that is free from glares and graininess
- Three digital inputs and a USB 3.0 hub
- Ambient lighting sensor
- Low contrast ratio
- Poor uniformity of backlight for black
Even now, three months prior to its official release, this model has more highs than lows. If the manufacturer gets rid of the backlight irregularities, the SyncMaster SA850 will easily become one of the best products in its class and an indispensible solution for people who need a high resolution and good color rendering but cannot afford a 30-inch monitor. The SA850 will also be good as a versatile home monitor.
I hope that PLS matrixes will go beyond 27-inch monitors and into 23-inch and 24-inch products at prices comparable to those of the same-size e-IPS models. After all, if PLS is planned for such different devices as 10-inch tablet PCs and 27-inch desktop monitors, there must be no technical problems with producing a 23-inch PLS matrix. I’m now waiting for Samsung to release one!
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Review: The Sleekest Honeycomb Tablet [AnandTech, June 13, 2011]
A Beautiful Display
Other than form factor, the 10.1’s display is the only other major advantage Samsung holds over ASUS. While the Eee Pad’s display is quantifiably similar to Apple’s iPad 2, it does fall victim to an incredible amount of glare. There’s a sizable gap between the LCD panel and the outermost glass, which results in more glare than most other tablets we’ve reviewed this generation. The 10.1 however doesn’t suffer this fate and as a result is more directly comparable to the iPad 2.
While both ASUS and Apple use an IPS panel in their tablets, Samsung uses its own technology called Super PLS (plane line switching). Brian Klug, our resident smartphone and display guru did some digging and it turns out that Super PLS is Samsung’s own take on IPS that maintains viewing angle while boosting throughput (brightness). The Samsung supplied photo below shows a comparison of the tradeoff you make with S-IPS and I-IPS, as well as both of those compared to Super PLS:
Traditionally you’d have to trade off viewing angle for brightness or vice versa even within the IPS family. Super PLS lets you have your cake and eat it too, giving you the same side viewing angles as S-IPS but with the light throughput of I-IPS.
Perhaps due to the use of Super PLS, Samsung actually managed to outfit the Galaxy Tab 10.1 with a brighter panel than what we saw with the iPad 2. Black levels aren’t quite as good but peak brightness is measurably better at nearly 500 nits. While the display isn’t what I’d consider bright enough to use in direct sunlight, it is more versatile than the iPad 2’s as a result of its brightness.
The higher black levels balance out the brighter panel and deliver a contrast ratio comparable to that of the iPad 2:
I should mention that the quality of the panel on the retail 10.1 sample is significantly better than what I saw with Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 Limited Edition at Google IO. The sample from IO had noticeably worse black levels, lower peak brightness and as a result lower overall contrast. On top of all of that, the LE suffered light bleed from one of its corners – a problem I haven’t seen on the retail 10.1. With only two Galaxy Tabs to compare this is either an indication of wildly varying quality control, or more likely that Samsung simply repackaged its early samples as LEs and saved the mass production hardware for paying customers a month after Google IO.
As you can see in the shot above the Samsung panel has a considerably cooler white point than the Eee Pad Transformer. A quick measure with our colorimeter shows a white point of 8762 (vs 7805K for the Eee Pad). It does make Samsung’s default wallpaper look very pretty. If you’re wondering, the iPad 2’s panel is calibrated to a 6801K white point – at least with our 16GB CDMA sample here.
Samsung reloaded more possibilities on the go with GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus [Samsung press release, Sept 30, 2011]
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a leading mobile device provider, today announced the launch of the GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus. Offering a portable, rich multimedia experience on a 7-inch display, the GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus packs power and productivity into a chic lightweight design. The GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus runs Google AndroidTM Honeycomb, enabling an easy and intuitive user experience.
“Samsung pioneered the seven-inch tablet market with the launch of the GALAXY Tab, marking an innovation milestone in the mobile industry. Building on the success of the GALAXY Tab, we’re now delighted to introduce the GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus reloaded with enhanced portability, productivity and a richer multimedia experience” said JK Shin, President and Head of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business. He added “GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus is for those who want to stay productive and in touch with work, friends and content anytime, anywhere.”
With 7-inch display, GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus provides enhanced portability, weighing just 345g and measuring at just 9.96mm thin. Enhanced portability ensures that it fits easily into an inside-jacket pocket or a handbag, making it an ideal device for those who need to stay productive and entertained while on-the-move.
GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus delivers a smooth and intuitive user experience with powerful performance powered by 1.2GHz dual core processor. Mini Apps allows seamless multitasking by consolidating 7 applications easily accessed from a bottom-side tray on main screen. Users can launch favorite features such as music player or calendar as pop-ups over full screen applications. Not only that, users can design an individualized up-to-the-minute interface through Live Panel.
Web browsing is also enhanced by Adobe Flash and super-fast HSPA＋ connectivity, providing download speeds up to three times faster than a conventional HSPA connection. On top of that Wi-Fi Channel Bonding bonds two channels into one for improved network connection and data transfer at up to twice the speed.
Furthermore, the GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus offers voice and video call support, with no need for a headset.
Users can see friends and family from anywhere in the world in high quality thanks to the device’s larger screen.
Rich Multimedia on-the-move
Full HD videos can be enjoyed on the 7-inch WSVGA PLS display, with DivX & multi codec support ensuring the device is capable of supporting a variety of different formats. An improved virtual clipboard, which stores text and images enabling easy copy and paste, further adds to these capabilities.
Additionally, the GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus features Social Hub, Readers Hub and Music Hub services. Social Hub aggregates the user’s contacts, calendar and email along with instant messaging and social networking connections all within one easy-to-use interface. Readers Hub provides e-reading content such as e-books, newspapers and magazines. Music Hub enables access to over 13 million songs even when out and about.
GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus will be available starting in Indonesia and Austria from end-October and gradually rolled to globally including Southeast and Southwest Asia, US, Europe, CIS, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, and China.
For multimedia content and more detailed information, please visit www.samsungmobilepress.com/
Samsung GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus Product Specifications
HSPA＋ (HSDPA 21Mbps/HSUPA5.76Mbps) 900/1900/2100EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900
1.2GHz Dual Core
7-inch WSVGA(1024X600) PLS LCD
Android 3.2 (Honeycomb)
Main(Rear) : 3 MP AF with LED Flash
Sub (Front) : 2 MPAction Shot, Panorama Shot, Smile Shot
Codec : MPEG4, Divx, Xvid, H263, H.264, VC-1, WMV7/8, VP8
Format: 3GP,MPEG4, WMV, AVI, MKVPlayback : 1080p Full HD
Recording : 720p HD
Codec : MP3,WMA, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AAC, AAC＋, e-AAC＋, AC-3, Flac Midi(SMF), WAV, OGG
apt-X Bluetooth Codec
Music Player with SoundAlive
Samsung Apps Samsung Kies 2.0
Samsung Kies air (downloadable via Samsung Apps)
Samsung TouchWiz : Live Panel, Mini Apps Social Hub
– Integrated Messaging(Email, SMS, SNS, MMS), Contacts/ Calendar Sync
– POP3/IMAP Email & Exchange Active Sync
Readers Hub/Music Hub
(will be available for download via Samsung Apps after launch)
Google™ Mobile Services
– Gmail™, Google Talk™, Google Search™, YouTube™, Android Market™,
– Google Maps™
Smart Remote Enterprise Solutions Adobe Flash Document Editor
Bluetooth® technology v 3.0
USB 2.0 HS & Host
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz)
Wi-Fi Channel bonding & Wi-Fi Direct
Accelerometer, Gyro, Digital compass, Ambient Light, Proximity
1GB(RAM) ＋ 16/32GB Internal memory ＋ microSD (up to 32GB)
193.65 x 122.37 x 9.96 mm, 345g
Li-on 4,000 mAh