In the Top 10 on the Q1 CY13 Chinese smartphone market Lenovo (w/13.1%), Huawei (w/10.1%) and ZTE (w/6.9%) are well-known brands globally. The #3 Coolpad (w/10.3%) is not, neither the #7 K-Touch/Tianyu (w/4.1%), nor the #8 GiONEE (w/3.8%), nor the #10 OPPO (w/2.9%).
When I looked into these companies I got interested only in GiONEE (金立), as the one with the best chance currently to succeed in the broad global market as well. Not least there is a very strong determination by GiONEE Group President Lu Wei Bing (卢伟冰) / William Lu (see the below picture that was taken on the July 10 launch) to succeed overseas as evidenced by his latest interview with Tencent Digital.
He is absolutely convinced that after doing 10 million unit ODM sales abroad the company is ready to expand under its own brand as well. Moreover he was in 2009 with K-Touch/Tianyu as responsible for mobile GSM and overseas business unit there, so has pretty much experience in overseas efforts from China.
We’re now in the new smartphone era. Meet the New Gionee.
With 100 million users and presence in 40 countries. Wherever you are, Gionee is always easily approachable!
Our motto, “Innovations and advance with the times.” The integration of hardware and software in creating the perfectly balanced ecosystem.
Gionee has the largest Intelligent Manufacturing base in Asia. Over 10 years of experience accumulation. Today, Gionee has 4 R&D Centers and over 1,500 engineers worldwide and an annual investment of USD83 Million in R&D. Over 100 patents of mobile technology.
More than 8000 employees based in the Gionee Industrial Park, built with an investment of USD 125 Million with production capacity of 40 million units/ year which can be upgraded to 80 million units / year. China’s 1st lab developed specifically for supporting product design.
We cooperate with the World’s Top Developors including Google, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sharp who have now become Gionee’s strategic partners.
Technology will continue to change and shape our future. With our world class partners, Gionee will continue to bring innovations into your work and life. We will continue to expand and provide the best user experience in a Smartphone to more users worldwide.
Connect with us:
How the handset newbie Gionee is on the route to take on Apple, Samsung [The Economic Times of India, Jan 17, 2014] “Lu Weibing …the 38-year old … President of the $2.5 billion Gionee” about “the Gionee disruption model”:
Weibing wants the 8,000-people-strong Gionee to be among the top five global brands in the smartphone business and claims that three Chinese brands will be in that bracket in the next five years. By then, he wants to lead the pack in India taking on the likes of Samsung and Apple.
Annually, Gionee sells about 25 million handsets compared to Samsung’s 396.5 million and Apple’s 135.8 million. It may be a long road, but his role model is Apple founder Steve Jobs—”because he was a product manager and back home in China, I’m a product manager involved in every step of the product”.
- Exclusivity with distributors
- Own manufacturing
- Ability to work with multiple partners
- Exit ODM, enter brand
- Own the OS
In the future, for any brand to succeed, it must have its own operating system (OS). We started work on our OS, Amigo, two years back, and it is up and running today with its cloud service, book centre, shopping, app store, browser. The OS is obviously being customized for different geographies.
- Innovate before others
- Straddle all price points
Gionee Elife E7 – specifications, features and review [Gionee India YouTube channel, published on Jan 2, 2014]
Gionee announces the launch of its flagship ELIFE E7 smartphone in India. [Gionee India YouTube channel, published on Dec 29, 2013]
ELIFE E7 powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 processor is an incredible Camera Smartphone.
New Delhi – December 24, 2013: Gionee Smartphones, a global leader in mobile manufacturing, design and R&D, today announced the launch of its new flagship Smartphone ELIFE E7 in India. ELIFE E7 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and android based operating system AMIGO 2.0. Qualcomm Snapdragon processors are a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated. Gionee ELIFE E7 is designed specifically to bring the technology of professional digital cameras to smartphones with a best-in-class lens and a breakthrough image sensor.
ELIFE E7 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor featuring a 2.2GHz quad Krait CPU, designed for 3D gaming, faster processing and a professional photo shooting experience. The ELIFE E7 comes in two variants that support 3G and 4G respectively. The ELIFE E7 4G will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor featuring a 2.5 GHz quad Krait CPU.
The Gionee ELIFE E7 possesses a 16 MP rear camera and a stunning 8 MP front camera. Beside its powerful sensor and stunning resolution, the ELIFE E7 has been developed and customized with a large lens based on professional Largan M8 lens solution. ELIFE E7 features a 13.9 cm (5.5 Inch) FHD (JDI) Display with 1920 x 1080 and 401 PPI for spectacular viewing quality. ELIFE E7 is equipped with the latest 3rd Generation Gorilla Glass which is 20 times more scratch resistance than regular classes and twice as durable as the second generation of Gorilla Glass. The sensitive ELIFE E7 touch screen is also responsive to gloves, wet hands, and keys to ensure photographers can take pictures in any weather and any situation.
ELIFE E7 comes with built in 12 Levels of Auto Beauty feature to ensure that the user will always look flawless in every picture. An innovative SR Auto — Intelligent Scene Recognition Function also eliminates the hassle of changing the settings every time as it automatically changes the settings to automatic, portrait, Micro, night, night portrait, backlight, backlight portrait. ELIFE E7 has a new way for wakeup screen which can be performed by a simple Double Tap. Another interesting feature is the Black Screen Gesture that simply draws the gestures on the black screen and goes directly into the customized corresponding procedures.
“Since its launch in India, Gionee’s ELIFE series has been extremely well received by consumers. ELIFE E7 is sure to create buzz and recreate benchmarks in the industry. Gionee has crafted its unique space in the Indian market in a very short time supported with unmatched quality, distribution and service. ELIFE E7 is sure to set the Indian smartphone market ablaze with its never seen before features and great hardware.” added Mr. Arvind.R.Vohra, Director Syntech Technology Pvt. Ltd.
“We designed ELIFE E7 with the best in class hardware and software that will make it stand out on any parameter. While creating the most powerful camera for ELIFE E7, the idea was to come up with a way to create the perfect combination and balance of image resolution and picture quality. A joint development with OmniVison has enabled the Elife E7 to sport a 16 megapixel sensor with 1.34 μm pixels which enables users with the ability to shoot razor sharp images without compromising the photo’s resolution or image quality”, says Mr. Lu Weibing, President of Gionee Smartphones.
Additional Features of ELIFE E7
· NFC — Share your work anywhere
Share photos, MP3, videos, and anything you want in the blink of an eye, users can define different modes.
Interconnection and freedom to share, connecting a usb to smartphone to instantly view or save documents.
ELIFE E7 sports three-mic noise cancellation for reduced noise and clearer conversation in every situation.
The GIONEE ELIFE E7 will be available in black, white, blue, pink, green, yellow and orange colour and will be available in India starting January 2014.
The Price of Elife E7 32 GB and 16 GB is Rs. 29,999 [US$487] and Rs. 26,999 [US$438] respectively.
Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the US and other countries. Other product and brand names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
End of Update
Then GiONEE has the largest manufacturing facility of its own among those additional players, with 40 million units capacity per year, and with an expansion capability already prepared in its industrial park for another 40 million when the market opportunity will arise. Finally the company was quickly exploiting MediaTek advances towards the high-end in H1 with prompt introductions even on the Indian market (where it is directly represented only since February), and this would bring even better, “Samsung and Apple beating” offerings in H2, especially with the eight-core MT6592:
MediaTek quad-core Cortex A7 CPU (MT6589 @1.2GHz, MT6589T @1.5GHz)
+ PowerVR Series5XT GPU + Dual SIM, Dual Standby + Android OS Jelly Bean:
|July 23: $268+
|1.2 GHz 1GB/4GB 4.65″ HD Super AMOLED Plus 316ppi 8MP/1MP v4.1 Android|
|July 23: $214+ (Rs.12,757+)||
|1.2 GHz 1GB/4GB 5.3″ qHD IPS, 960*540 8MP/1MP v4.1 Android|
|July 23: $251+
|1.2 GHz 1GB/16GB 4.7″ IPS HD, 1280*720 8MP/2MP v4.2 Android|
|July 23: $335
(Rs. 19,999 list)
|1.5 GHz 1GB/16GB 4.8″ AMOLED, 1280*720 8MP/5MP v4.2 Android|
This report will be organised into the following sections:
- Current situation in China:
Consolidation among Chinese mobile phone brands and manufacturers would escalate in the following months
- Considering the well known Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE and HTC situation the most interesting Chinese brand for me quickly became GiONEE. Why?
- Earlier information about GiONEE
– From the company itself
– From my trend-tracking blog, ‘Experiencing the Cloud’
– From current media reports
Sidenote #1: K-Touch/Tianyu (天语) is only trying to regain its lost fame (when sold 17 million K-Touch phones in 2007, emerging as #2 cell-phone maker in the China market, second only to Nokia). Moreover it had also a U-turn in overseas expansion last year, and now concentrating on the domestic market only. In addition it is quite picky in SoC vendor selection: with Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8225Q for a $163 4.5”-er quad-core from April, then with Broadcom for a $98 4”-er dual-core from May, finally with Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8930 for a $163 TD-LTE dual-core from August, as the latest ones. This is all independently from its original, February, 2012 Qualcomm commitment. With this it looks like that it is also trying to avoid MediaTek which made its original success possible, while for others MediaTek has become an even more important partner than Qualcomm.
Sidenote #2: OPPO has a visibly lesser effort to expand abroad, and Coolpad (as a wholly owned subsidiary of China Wireless Technologies Limited), although “has established strong and close strategic cooperation relationships with certain global telecommunications operators” according to its parent, “in the year of 2011, most of the Coolpad smartphones were shipped to the domestic telecommunications operators” according to the chairman of the parent company. For 2012 the parent stated in the Market Share of Coolpad Smartphones Ranks No. 4 in China only these facts: “the Group has started to launch 4G FDD-LTE smartphones in the United States in 2012, a further expansion into overseas markets. … Except for the existing market in India and Taiwan, the Group successfully rolled out its proprietary 4G FDD-LTE smartphone in the American market. The affordable Coolpad smartphones not only enabled more and more American users to enjoy the 4G high-speed network, but also enhanced the brand awareness of Coolpad in the United States. … Meanwhile, the Group continued to partner with the tier-one chipset suppliers to successfully roll out the 4G FDD-LTE smartphone in the United States.” With that Coolpad has a very focused geographical, and even more focused technology segment strategy abroad than GiONEE.
Complementary posts reminder:
Eight-core MT6592 for superphones and big.LITTLE MT8135 for tablets implemented in 28nm HKMG are coming from MediaTek to further disrupt the operations of Qualcomm and Samsung[‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 20, 2013] from which the following excerpts I will include here as the ones directly related to the content given here as well:
… according to Zhu Shangzu (朱尚祖), MediaTek Global Smartphone General Manager in the [Part 2] MediaTek to push 8 small cores, the mystery [ESM 国际电子商情 (International Electronic Business), July 18, 2013] exclusive interview … I think the future of high-end smartphones innovation will focus on the expansion of big screen multimedia applications, and this is our direction. …
Judging from the current situation, customers of high-end flagship phones are still using the products of the competitors, but there is flagship in our quad-core case as well, and OPPO, Vivo and GiONEE and other quad-core phones are also very popular. Our next goal is to get the customers of flagship machines using our platform via helping customers to achieve stronger performance on the big screen multimedia.
Evolution of Indian Handset OEMs – History, Current State and Future Outlook [Convergence Catalyst blog, March 27, 2012]
Many Indian handset brands were started by former national and regional distributors of global OEMs (such as Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, etc). These companies partnered with Mediatek (MTK), a fabless System-on-Chip (SoC) provider and ODMs based in Taiwan and China to source white-labeled devices (with basic Indian market hygiene requirements like long battery life and high audibility)
The Chinese handset market has undergone a similar influx of local vendors in partnership with MTK in 2007. Tianyu (market facing brand of Chinese telecom player K-Touch) was the first Chinese vendor to launch mobile handsets based on MTK’s turnkey solution in early 2007. Tianyu’s key success factors include products with feature set that address local market needs, faster turn-around time, wide spread distribution and high channel margins to distributors. By end of 2008, a number of local vendors such as Bird, Amoi, ChangHong, Gionee, etc had entered the Chinese market using Tianyu’s business model. Increased competition among numerous vendors resulted in ASP (Average Selling Price) reduction, in turn affecting handset margins adversely.
End of complementary posts reminder
Current situation in China:
Consolidation among Chinese mobile phone brands and manufacturers would escalate in the following months
The recent message from China was blunt: Xiaomi (小米), Lenovo (联想), ZTE (中兴) and GiONEE (金立) are pushing new products – Mobile phone industry, welcome to the final competitive play (小米联想中兴金立争推新品 手机业迎来淘汰赛) [IT Business News Network (IT商业新闻网), July 13, 2013]:
From Xiaomi mobile phone, Lenovo K900, HTC devices having depth customization with operators, and then to ZTE Geek phones in recent days, in addition to Meitu Kiss [rooted in a highly popular “picture beautifying software” made in China], the GiONEE mobile phone and a number of domestic brands, there were a number of new product launches in the first half. In the second half the smart phone will probably usher in a decisive knockout.
Then the message continues with an earlier information which I would take here in a little more detail from China’s mobile phone shipment up 36.4% in June [China Knowledge, June 12, 2013]
China saw its shipment of mobile phones in the domestic market surge 36.4% year on year to 42.29 million units in June this year, according to a report released by China Academy of Telecommunication Research of MIIT.
The figure last month was 29.1% lower than the 59.08 million it realized in May 2013.
China’s shipment of domestic brand mobile phones in the country hit 34.31 million units in June, accounting for 81.1% of the total.
A detailed media report is in the 6月份全国手机出货4248.8万部下降近三成，国产机处于“小学生”阶段 [China Industry Inside Network, July 12, 2013] which contains the explanation for the May market contraction as well. I will again include an already available explanation in English: China’s mobile phone shipment dips [ZDNet, July 12, 2013]
Some smaller cellphone manufacturers in China have been cutting production on inventory and funding issues, according to a Sina news report, which cited a report by First Financial Daily. iiMedia CEO Zhang Yi told the Chinese newspaper many Chinese brands also were adjusting their pace to reduce the frequency of new product launches as they aimed for higher profit.
Zhang believed consolidation among Chinese mobile phone brands and manufacturers would escalate in the following months.
Many domestic market players are struggling to stay afloat. Faced with falling margins and profits, smaller handset makers have been forced to close and these have included veteran market players in the market who had been in business for over two decades. OEM cellphone manufacturers are competing for orders, some agreeing to lower their profit to just 1 percent in order to secure the big orders.
A cellphone manufacturer told First Financial Daily that major local telcos, including China Mobile and China Telecom, were promoting mobile handsets priced between 299 and 499 yuan (US$48.7 to US$81.3), which basically cut off sales of other lower-end cellphone brands. The market was now a “playground for [well-known] foreign and domestic cellphone brands”, he added.
As far as the market share split between the leading brands the latest information was China market: Smartphone sales over 75 million units in 1Q13, says Analysys [DIGITIMES, May 22, 2013] and 78% of the market is shared by Top 10 vendors, with Samsung and Apple joint share just 24.1% while the domestic top brands held not less than 53.9%, according to the table below:
There were 90.54 million handsets sold in the China market during first-quarter 2013, growing 23.5% sequentially and 34.8% on year, and 75.28 million units of them were smartphones, increasing 32.2% sequentially and 141.5% on year, according to Analysys International.
Analysys: Main smartphone vendors in China by sales volume, 1Q13
Samsung: 17.3% Lenovo: 13.1% Coolpad: 10.3% Huawei: 10.1% ZTE: 6.9% Apple: 6.4% K-Touch: 4.1% GiONEE: 3.8% HTC: 3.1% OPPO: 2.9%
Considering the well known Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE and HTC situation the most interesting Chinese brand for me quickly became GiONEE. Why?
If you are waiting something new, something that does not only fancy your eye but also touch your heart, wait just with patience and GiONEE is coming…
GiONEE came to the international scene. On September 27, 2012 we were told:
… here unveils the mystic 4.65 inch Android device from GiONEE: Super AMOLED Plus display with QHD resolution (960*540 pixels), 8.0 Mega pixels autofocus camera, 1.0 Mega pixels front-facing camera, dual core 1.2GHz CPU, Android OS v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. …
referring definitely to a previous September 25, 2012 message and related image:
… see more about the Super AMOLED Plus screen. The color contrast ratio and brightness is the best, and it is most power saving. Do you like this?
Finally we unveil the latest flagship product of Elife series– Elife E6. We hope our fans and curious folks will like it.
the 2699 yuan price equals to not less than $440. Isn’t it too steep? GiONEE’s next message of July 10 seems to target that question with:
Full spec for E6
On July 13 we further learned that:
GIONEE E6 manufactured with CNC technology and handcraft [GioneeMobile YouTube channel, July 12, 2013]
and on July 14:
ELIFE E6’s delicate hand-polished sides allow it to standup by itself in order to take handsfree photos. Never again would someone be left out of a group shot!
on July 16:
This is Gionee Elife E6 – the revolutionary smartphone with more than just a smartphone.
the next July 17:
ELIFE E6’s 5-inch LCD includes the latest LTPS Technology with 1080 pixels and ultra Retina Standards of 441 pixels; allowing you to view the the details of every moment
finally on July 18:
ELIFE E6’s Content Adaptive Backlight Control automatically adjusts screen brightness according to display, maximizing power consumption reduction, and allows power saving up to 30%
Next day we got reminded that:
With all the excitement surrounding Elife E6, don’t forget its 7.9mm curvy, colorful, and stylish little brother Elife E3!
Aha, that “little” device which was reported as Gionee’s Slim New Droid Totally Stole Samsung’s Thunder! [Gizmodo India, May 21, 2013]
… Just a day after Samsung flexed its muscles with a mid-range quad core dual-SIM offering – the Galaxy Grand Quattro, they’ve pretty much been left in the dust by, of all people – Gionee. The ELife E3, from the relatively unknown Chinese ODM (which entered India with its own brand earlier this year) seems to have whipped the Quattro in every department – at least on paper. Here’s the score-line of the tech-spec showdown:
ELife E3 vs Galaxy Grand Quattro: A 6-1 whipping!
1-0: 1.2GHz Quad Core A7 (Mediatek) vs 1.2GHz Quad Core A5 (Snapdragon)
2:0 16GB internal memory vs 8 GB
3:0 8MP/2MP rear/front cameras vs 5MP/VGA
4:0 Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1 vs 4.1.2
5:0 4.7″ IPS 1280×720 display vs 4.7″ 800×480
6:0 Priced at Rs. 15,000 [$252] vs Rs. 17,000 [$286]
6:1 1800 mAh battery vs 2000 mAh
Relative to all that above the original press release for E6 appeared as Gionee Launch ELIFE E6 smartphone – Simply Smart For all, the world’s first White OGS phone [Core Sector Communique, July 11, 2013] from which I will include here only those excerpts which provide additional information:
As the world’s first White OGS phone [OGS = One Glass Solution, touchscreen technology, see also the review within this], its 2.54mm narrow edge and 6.18mm thin miniature size allows it to slide comfortably into your pockets. … weighing only 128g …
ELIFE E6’s innovative design features an unibody exterior in Pearl White and Stunning Black. …
The Best Display Technology across the Globe
Powered with a full HD Reality Display Resolution, 441PPI high pixel density and super bright AMOLED, ELIFE E6 automatically reduces 80% of sunlight reflection and increases the brightness of images by 20%, bringing you crispier and clearer razor sharp images. Full Lamination Technology allows 20% reduction in overall thickness and Light Transmittance increased by 10%.
Capturing Pictures Have Never Been Easier
ELIFE E6’s innovative camera technology redefines how photos are meant to be captured. Forget about dragging a camera around for high quality photos and videos. With the goal to make life better through technology, ELIFE E6’s camera sports the second generation of Backside Illumination Technology, antireflection coatings, anti-fingerprint film and finishes off with 5 layers of blue glasses, giving it its powerful 13MP rear-end camera for ease of picture taking and 1080P full HD video recording. Its 5MP front-facing camera comes with 12 levels of auto beauty effects, object tracing focus, instant facial beauty support and more; providing its user with Photoshop-polished photos with just a smile.
The GIONEE ELIFE E6 is available in black, white with matching color cases. ELIFE E6 will be available in China from Mid July 2013 with suggested retail price at CNY2699 and will be available in India, Nigeria, and Vietnam after August 2013.
Established in 2002, Gionee Communication Equipment Co. Ltd is a hi-tech company engaging in mobile device designing, R&D, manufacturing, sales in international markets, and mobile internet application services. Today, Gionee sells over 23 million handsets per year in China mainland alone. With innovation at the core of its R&D, in November 2011, Gionee ranked in as the No.3 brand in the 2G market and in August 2012, Gionee ranked in as the No. 2 in the GSM market. Gionee adheres to the motto “integrity, teamwork, innovation”.
Therefore I had two questions for GiONEE (I will add their answers as I get them):
GiONEE In the global press release – see it e.g. here: http://corecommunique.com/gionee-launch-elife-e6-smartphone-simply-smart-for-all-the-worlds-first-white-ogs-phone/– “White OGS” is indicated without any explanation. Even around the web I found only one explanation, as “OGS in white color”. If that is a right wording than it is still not understood. Could you explain?
Gionee India Is IPS Panel and 7.7 thickness is right for your country? As you published it with this picture: https://twitter.com/GioneeIndia/status/355217623287472128/photo/16.18mm
My problem is that in the global press release – see it e.g. here: http://corecommunique.com/gionee-launch-elife-e6-smartphone-simply-smart-for-all-the-worlds-first-white-ogs-phone/– 6.18mm thickness with OGS, super bright AMOLED and Full Lamination Technology has been stated, which is indeed possible with such things (vs. IPS).
Earlier information about GiONEE
From the company itself:
Gionee Brand Introduction Video– Who we are and what we do? [Gionee India YouTube channel, Feb 2, 2013]
From the content it becomes obvious that this company video was produced well back in 2012, presumably around August 2012 when the ‘About’ was first published as given here: Brand_GiONEE Communication Equipment Co., Ltd ShenZhen [with first content in Aug 15, 2012]
“An international fast growing brand”
Established in 2002, Gionee is a hi-tech company engaged in mobile device designing, R&D, manufacturing, and sales in international markets, and offering mobile internet application service.Gionee started the international branding firstly in China mainland in 2005 which was the gold mine for global investors and enterprises. Now Gionee sells over 23 million handsets per year in China mainland, ranking as No.3 brand in 2G market share after Samsung and Nokia in Nov 2011, and No. 2 in GSM market after Samsung in Aug 2012.
As a brand to be recognized as durable, long standby and easy to use, Gionee now is featured with new tags like fashionable, stylish, and premium user experience. Many Asian super stars have high praise for Gionee products and they are willing to tell people how nice the products are.
Asian super star Mr. Andy Lau, Korean TV play star, all young men’s dream princess, Miss. Yun Enh Huy, Taiwan movie prince Eric Ruan, the most popular music band Phoenix Legend in China mainland, etc, all have acted in Gionee product movies and the beautiful mobile phone stories once moved thousands of people.
Since 2011, Gionee moved rapidly for branding in Nigeria, Vietnam, Taiwan, Myanmar, India, Thailand,
Phillips[Philippines], and so on. And once launched one product, it soon became a best seller in the market, even in some cities and countries customers need to wait for new deliveries. Gionee is a hot word as everyone is talking about where to buy one.
Gionee is working for the No.1 brand which is most welcomed by customers. The praises from Gionee customers is the only precious crown for Gionee.
Gionee Industrial Park Manufacturing Facility Video [Gionee India YouTube channel, March 4, 2013]
described in Manufacture_GiONEE Communication Equipment Co., Ltd ShenZhen [with first content in Aug 3, 2012]
With a total investment of more than 1 billion RMB and an area of 330,000 square meters, Phase 1 of Gionee Industrial Park was completed and went into production in 2006, with an annual production capacity of 40 million units. After the project is completed, the park’s annual production capacity will hit 80 million units as China’s largest and best professional mobile phone manufacturing base.
Gionee products are now selling to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Russia, Middle East and Africa. The export already increased to 1 Million phones per month to the overseas market.
A tight partnership with MediaTek and Qualcomm allows Gionee to offer a wide product portfolio covering both low end feature phone and high end smartphone. As all products are designed and manufactured by Gionee and as the company is only working with tier-1 suppliers, Gionee is awarded the Best Quality Mobile Phone Manufacturer in China.
Welcome to visit our industrial park!
Finally RD_GiONEE Communication Equipment Co., Ltd ShenZhen [with first content in Aug 3, 2012]
The company has over 10,000 employees, out of which 1000 belong to R&D and 8000 belong to the factory.
Technology reflects the strength of an enterprise; R&D is the key to sharpen the competitive edge of mobile phone industry chain roundly, and Gionee always insists on the strategy of independent R&D and innovation. At present, Gionee’s R&D system mainly comprises six professional R&D organs: Application R&D Institute, Smartphone R&D Institute, Overseas BU R&D Institute, CDMA R&D Institute, GOSO R&D Institute and AORA R&D Institute.
Persistence in quality is the impetus for Gionee’s sustained development. With deep R & D as core, lean manufacturing as foundation, outstanding after-sale service as guarantee and high-tech products as core competitiveness, Gionee has kept developing practical and handy products. Gionee has persisted in independent R & D by establishing professional R & D institutions in cities like Shenzhen, Shanghai and Hangzhou, thus ensuring its outstanding R & D performance.
And I will include here the following 3d party information as a very relevant one:
Gionee UX Design Training – PEOPEO [Peopeo UX Training information, Aug 9, 2012]
Peopeo was contracted by Gionee to give their headquarter team in Shenzhen a series of training program around user centered product design and development. Different level of teams, from management, product manager, designer, and engineers, had participated in this training course, to form a consistent acknowledgement.
Nowadays China is at a period of changing from Made in China to Designed by China, all companies have to facing such a challenge. Only through a professional user experience centered product design and development process, through in-depth research and understating on the users, the companies can save tremendous cost, can develop better product which meet users’ demands, fir users’ habits, bring users with great experience, hence win the market.
For companies like Gionee, while they compete with other big phone companies and other big companies in the internet industry, they have to establish a different competitive strategies and form a localized strategic advantage. So they have to have a clear understanding of user experience, to make UCD as the core in the product development process, which need to be implemented in the future work and to be reflected in all aspects of the company operation; they have to have a coherent, consistent user-centric and unified understanding, and put them into specific implementation, to ensure that users’ needs are met, to ensure that the users have expected user experience, and to further help the company to establish the core DNA.
Peopeo senior consultants Tingbin Tang, Sean Wee and Kelly Shi provided Gionee team this training. Courses combined with a large number of classical and forward-looking cases; together with presentations and discussions to improve every training participants’ knowledge and skills for user-centric design and development process. Including: lecture; case studies; interactive games; video playback; Q&A discussion; interactive workshops, etc.
From my trend-tracking blog, ‘Experiencing the Cloud’:
Be aware of ZTE et al. and white-box (Shanzhai) vendors: Wake up call now for Nokia, soon for Microsoft, Intel, RIM and even Apple! [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 21, 2011]
While the mainstream business model for manufacturing and distributing mobile handsets remains leveraging the OBM/ODM/OEM/EMS model, a whole new paradigm has developed within China’s domestic market, according to a new report from Digitimes Research.
The local China-based industry called “Shanzhai,” but translated as “white box,” is based on small-scale or underground factories whose products are seldom sold through regular sales channels, but the scale of the market now rivals that of global top-10 brands or major Chinese brands in the domestic China market, Digitimes Research pointed out. The “white-box” industry currently accounts for more than 100 million handset shipments, and some players in the market, such as K-Touch (Beijing Tianyu Communication Equipment) and Gionee have made the leap to become recognized brands.
According to MediaTek, the upcoming handset solution, codenamed as MT6252, supports serial flash memory and is cost efficient for handset makers as it uses lesser passive devices and smaller printed circuit board than existing solutions. Also, the MediaTek solution supports four-SIM, four-standby mobile phones, convincing the mainland`s home-grown handset makers including Gionee Communications Equipment, Ragentek Communication Technology Co., Ltd. and Leatek Technologies International Co., Ltd. to support it.
Boosting the MediaTek MT6575 success story with the MT6577 announcement – UPDATED with MT6588/83 coming
early 2013 in Q42012 and 8-core MT6599 in 2013 [June 27, July 27, Sept 11-13, Sept 26, Oct 2, 2012]
Digitimes Research believes that market share rankings for the China smartphone market will change significantly during 2012. Samsung and Apple will take the top two places, while the big four China-based brands –Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Coolpad – will take third to sixth places, whileNokia will drop to seventh; these seven firms will collectively account for 85% of shipments.
In other words, the many other brands hoping to seize a share of the market will essentially be confined to competing for a potential market of just 15% of overall shipments or around 21 million handsets. Given such a situation, Digitimes Research projects that many of China’s best known smaller brandssuch as Xiaomi, TCL, Gionee, Tianyu, Oppo and BBK will see shipments of no more than a few million handsets.
Industry sources claim that China’s smartphone prices could drop to RMB 600 in H2 2012 due to increasing availability of low-priced smartphone chips. Smartphones featuring Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company MediaTek’s (MTK) MT6573 processor are available on B2C e-commerce sites such as Taobao and Paipai for RMB 800 and below. MediaTek’s MT6575 chipset, released in March, has already appeared in handsets from domestic handset vendors such as Lenovo (0992.HK), Gionee, ZTE (0763.HK; 000063.SZ), and Yulong (Coolpad), as well as foreign brands such as Motorola. The MT6575 is currently available for between RMB 1,000 to RMB 1,500. Taiwanese chipmaker MStar Semiconductor plans to release its first dual-core chipset solution for RMB 1,000 smartphones next week.
The low priced, Android based smartphones of China will change the global market [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 10, 2012]
Stellar growth sees China take 27% of global smart phone shipments, powered by domestic vendors [Canalys press release, Aug 2, 2012] – Android is the clear platform of choice, accounting for 81% of Chinese shipments … Local tier-one vendors have worked hard in recent quarters to greatly improve their brand resonance among consumers and to expand and enhance their relationships and influence within operators,’ said Canalys Research Director for China, Nicole Peng. ‘But the tier-two vendors — the likes of Oppo, K-Touch and Gionee — have also stamped their mark, boosting smart phone shipments into tier-three and tier-four cities, predominantly through the open channels. As feature phone vendors, they already have established partnerships and strong brand awareness. These domestic vendors are making significant progress transitioning their portfolios and customer bases to be more focused on smart phones.’
Apple Should Take The $199 Chinese Smartphone Seriously [Seeking Alpha, Sept 6, 2012] At a time when China is set to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest smartphone market, little-known Chinese firms are prepared to battle it out for market dominance with the maker of the game-changing iPhone, Apple (AAPL). … There are a number of Chinese brands offering similar capabilities, nominally, as the iPhone at half the price, most of them using a forked version of Google’s (GOOG) Android. The names include ZTE Corp., Lenovo Group, and other small private firms like Xiaomi, Gionee, and Meizu Technology. Even cheaper smartphones are offered by Alibaba Group, Shanda Interactive, and Baidu (BIDU) for fewer than ¥1,000 (~$150 U.S.).
MediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 12, 2012]
Currently Oppo, ZTE, Huawei, Lenovo, Gionee and even Sony have confirmed to be working on phones using the new quad-core CPU, with prices from some smaller brands expected to start at around $200.
Eight-core MT6592 for superphones and big.LITTLE MT8135 for tablets implemented in 28nm HKMG are coming from MediaTek to further disrupt the operations of Qualcomm and Samsung [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 20, 2013]
[Part 2] MediaTek to push 8 small cores, the mystery [ESM 国际电子商情 (International Electronic Business), July 18, 2013] exclusive interview … [with] Zhu Shangzu (朱尚祖), MediaTek Global Smartphone General Manager … Judging from the current situation, customers of high-end flagship phones are still using the products of the competitors, but there is flagship in our quad-core case as well, and OPPO, Vivo and GiONEE and other quad-core phones are also very popular. Our next goal is to get the customers of flagship machines using our platform via helping customers to achieve stronger performance on the big screen multimedia.
From current media reports:
Gionee and Opera get more people connected [Opera press release, Jan 24, 2013]
Opera Software and Gionee, one of the TOP 3 mobile phone brand in China and famous global smartphone solution supplier, are working together to get more people connected with the Opera Mini mobile phone browser.
Opera Mini will be pre-installed in Gionee’s Android-based smartphones to give Gionee users quick access to the internet. These handsets are already available in Vietnam and Nigeria.
Gionee always highlights innovation and makes continuous efforts to bring new features to its users, and is known as a leading provider of mobile phone solutions, products and services to global market.
“The trend that smartphones are replacing feature phones requires more of our inputs in high-end mobile platforms such as Android,” said William Lu, vice president, Gionee. “With a better browser for Android, Opera Mini, in the mix, we can bring better user experience to our customers.”
Opera is one of the most used mobile browsers with 229 million users worldwide. Opera Mini is designed for fast browsing on both 2G and 3G networks.
“The best possible user experience on any device and any network is what Opera works toward,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “With Opera Mini, Gionee will provide its users with all the advantages that Opera Mini users benefit from, including its speed and ease of use.”
Gionee has also launched Opera Mini in its Java and MRE based feature phones.
Lenovo, Huawei, Coolpad, Gionee, Xiaomi: 5 Chinese ‘Underdog’ Smartphone Brands Taking Your Sales [International Business Times, Feb 25, 2013]
Apple has been at the top of the smartphone industry since it came out with the iPhone. Five iterations later, it still holds a pretty big share of the industry. But lately, Chinese brands are making a name for themselves, starting in their own country.
Gionee’s flagship phone, Dream D1 features a 4.65-inch display with super AMOLED, a 1.2GHz Cortex A7 Processor, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS, 1 GB RAM, 4 GB of Rom with microSD card, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and a 1-megapixel front camera, reports GoTechMax.
Aside from the lower-than-normal pixel count of the camera, Gionee’s Dream D1 also has an HD 720p display, so you can’t expect full HD. Otherwise, it gives a pretty solid run for a phone that’s rumored to be sold at Rs 10,000 in India (approximately $185 USD), reports Droidify.
Cornucopia of Choices Spurs Smartphone Market to Double by End of 2017 [IHS iSuppli press release, July 17, 2013]
Apple’s iPhone franchise appears to be stalling as first-quarter shipments of 37.4 million fell below expectations. With the next iPhone model not expected until the second half of the year, there is a real possibility that the full-year 2013 sales volume of the iPhone may be essentially flat at around 150 million units, compared to 134 million units in 2012.
“The possible slowing growth of the iPhone and the rapid pace of competitive smartphones releases speak to the ferocious nature of the handset business, especially now as the market continues to pivot from a market dominated by lower-end handsets known as feature phones to one that is increasingly smartphone-centric,” Lam said.
The trend of deeper smartphone penetration continued in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter this year, as smartphones outshipped feature phones in the overall branded cellphone market.
After a seasonally high fourth quarter, which saw total mobile handset shipments topping 400 million units for the first time, handset shipments in the first quarter of 2013 contracted by nearly 50 million units quarter-over-quarter, keeping with seasonal sales trends.
Samsung continued its strong growth in the first quarter with a sequential increase of 9 million units, while brands such as Coolpad and Gionee outshipping the likes of HTC and Motorola in the first quarter.
Chinese smartphone OEMs were able to accomplish such growth on the back of a catalog of largely affordable smartphones, while Samsung rolled out a number of low-cost variants to its high-end flagship products.
These competitive forces, as well as changing consumer demand, will place pressures not only on Apple but also on other OEMs, IHS believes, forcing players to innovate and diversify smartphone offerings in order to continue growing.
Gionee To Launch Series Of Smart Phones In India [EFYTimes.com portal, Feb 19, 2013]
Established in 2002, Gionee is a specialized mobile device design company from China. Gionee over the years has believed in keeping Innovation as its Core Value Proposition which has helped the company’s growth over the last decade. Research & Development is an institution with over 2000 employees. A state of the art In house Manufacturing Unit ensures Gionee products deliver more than the best to its customers, creating new benchmarks of quality each time.
Gionee currently sells over 23 million handsets per year in China mainland and has been ranked No. 2 brand in the GSM market. With an investment of over 160 Million Dollars and 8000 employees, Gionee has a current annual production capacity of 40 million units. The company is already in the process of expansion with an area of 330,000 square meters, the Gionee Industrial Park is China’s largest and best managed mobile phone manufacturing facility unit on completion will have an annual production to hit 80 million units. Gionee’s export is in access of a million units monthly catering to well established brands overseas as an ODM.
Gionee will be launching its entire range of mobile devices in India, from feature phones to smart phones with a special focus on the smart phones. Gionee promises to offer its Indian customers the best in class experience, every time and would be available with its entire range of products for Indian customers by the end of Feb 2013. Gionee has also tied up 4 leading import and distribution and import partners including based out of Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kolkata & Bangaluru.
To support the India Operations Gionee has already set up an office in New Delhi and is in the process of building the core team. The India Office will help strengthen its brand presence by providing Marketing / Sales Support / Service Support to its Indian Partners & Consumers. The office will be playing a key role in product testing / validation and customization for the India Market. The India Office has already appointed Goosebumps as their Advertising agency and Intellect Digest as its Digital Media Partner.
Gionee has always believed in an integrated business approach and has therefore based its biz on its 3 pillars of strength being Own Design/ Own Manufacturing/ Own R&D. A close association with MediaTek and Qualcomm allows Gionee to offer a wide product portfolio covering both feature and smart phones. Living up to its name Gionee Meaning “Golden Quality” the brand has always kept quality and experience at the top. Tight partnerships with key Tier 1 suppliers and an innovative Sales & Marketing Approach have developed Brand Gionee.
Gionee started international branding in 2005 from mainland China and is now in the process of setting up its Brand business globally and having a strong presence in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Vietnam, Taiwan, Myanmar, Thailand and NOW India.
Gionee Dream D1 launched in India for Rs 17,999, features a 4.65-inch screen, quad-core processor and runs on Android Jelly Bean [BGR India, March 12, 2013]
Following UMI which recently launched the X2, Gionee, another Chinese mobile maker, has launched the Dream D1 in India. This 4.65-inch smartphone will be available by the end of this month at retail stores across the country for Rs 17,999 [$302].
The Dual-SIM Dream D1 sports a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED Plus HD (1280×720 pixels) display and is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Cortex A7 processor, PowerVR Series5XT GPU and 1GB RAM. The phone also includes features like 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and support for 720p video recording, VGA front camera, 4GB of internal memory which can be expanded up to 32GB and a 2,100mAH battery. On the software side of things the Dream D1 has a built-in Digital Theatre System (DTS) Sound for enhanced audio and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
The phone is priced at a slightly higher price than the UMI X2, LAVA Q800 and the Micromax Canvas HD that offer similar features.
Gionee Elife E6 with 5-inch 1080p display announced, coming soon to India [Fone Arena, July 10, 2013]
Gionee has finally announced the most expected Elife E6 at an event in China just now. The Elife E6 packs a 5-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) display based on one-glass solution (OGS+) technology, powered by a 1.5 GHz quad-core Mediatek MT6589T processor and runs on Amigo ROM Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean). It packs a 13-megapixel rear camera with f2.2 wide angle lens, BSI sensor, LED flash and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with f2.4 wide angle lens. The phone is 7.9mm thick and has just 2.54mm thin bezel around the display. It weighs just 128 grams. It has DTS surround sound technology and has dedicated Yamaha audio chip for enhanced audio experience.
The phone has CABC screen brightness regulation technology that automatically reduces screen brightness automatically and the synchronization heartbeat technology that reduces application wake up time) to save power. The phone packs a 2000 mAh battery with intelligent power meter that minimizes charging and discharging errors.
Eight-core MT6592 for superphones and big.LITTLE MT8135 for tablets implemented in 28nm HKMG are coming from MediaTek to further disrupt the operations of Qualcomm and Samsung
Update: The Power of 8: MediaTek True Octa-Core [mediateklab YouTube channel, July 29, 2013]
Update: MT6592—The world’s first true octa-core SOC with scalable eight-core processing [product page, March 13, 2014]
MediaTek MT6592 is the world’s first heterogeneous computing SOC with scalable eight-core processing for superior multi-tasking, industry-leading multimedia features and excellent performance-per-watt. Based on 28nm HPM (High-Performance Mobile) process technology, MT6592 has eight CPU cores, each capable of clock speeds up to 2GHz.
- ARM® Cortex®-A7 processor (1.7GHz or 2GHz)
- 28nm HPM process technology
- MAGE 3D graphics engine
- UMTS / HSPA+ R8 / TD-SCDMA / EDGE / LTE
- 801.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS, FM tuner
- 16MP camera image signal processor
- Full HD H.265 / VP9 and Ultra HD H.264 video playback
- ARM Mali™ GPU (700MHz)
- MediaTek ClearMotion™ video enhancement
Update: [€147.18] Cubot X6 OctaCore MT6592 Phone Ultimate Slim Design 5″ OGS HD Retina [arif rachman YouTube channel, March 1, 2014]
Cubot X6 OctaCore MT6592 Ultimate Slim Design
Please follow the link below to see the full specification
This is the latest phone from Cubot. Well.. the phone has the latest MT6592 1.7GHz processor. 28nm process, with quad core mali 450 GPU. Frequency is up to 700MHz. It supports full HD video with wide screen decoding format.
The true eight core processor can run simultaneously through advanced scheduling algorithm, dynamic temperature control and power management technology to optimize workload distribution to each core. When handling multiple tasks and heavy duty needs, achieve the peak performance of full eight core. At light load, you can turn off the core, the ultimate energy saving idle. It means substantial increase in cell phone battery life.
The Mali 450 graphics processor, overall performance is up to twice of the previous Mali 400. It supports full-HD 60fps. The triangles per second and render is 152M 2.8G pixels. Should be easy to run 3D games, smooth playback of 1080 HD videos. It also has a built in powerful MAGE 3D engine.
The front camera is 5 mega pixels while the back camera is 8 mega pixels. The camera is equipped with five pieces of high precision glass structure, which can effectively filter infrared blue glass. This is to achieve the level of professional SLR camera. Far better than ordinary lenses. The phone uses Sony sensor with latest 13Mega-Pixel CMOS Image Sensor.
In a week, the phone will be available at banggood for only $184.99 with free shipping worldwide! That’s an octa core phone below 200$ price tag! Not cheap enough?
Leave your email to get referred and get 10$ discount! Cheapest price out there!
Please follow the link below to see the full specification
IllusionMage [Wikipedia, excerpted on March 15, 2014]
IllusionMage is a paid for 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software packages comprising the core engine of Blender, an open-source, 3D software suite, and bundled with materials related to Blender.
Other names this bundle has gone under are IllusionMage3D, 3DMagix, and 3DMagixPro.
All materials and software included are freely available from other sources. The marketing of this program includes images that were stolen from other sources, often created with competing 3D applications. The image of the alleged creator of the software, Seth Avery, is a random stock photo.
“Illusion Mage & 3D Magix Pro (affiliate) domain names” Topic: Illusion Mage & 3D Magix Pro *is* a scam. KatsBits Forum. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
“Handsome young man isolated over white”. Laflor Photography via iStockPhoto. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
“3DMagix and IllusionMage, scam or open source leeches?”. BlenderNation. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
Update: 联发科平板四核心MT8135 官方成绩曝光 (MediaTek MT8135 quad-core tablet exposure Official Results) [ 驱动之家 (MyDrivers.com), July 29, 2013]
Update: MediaTek’s Quad-core Tablet SoC MT8135 : Performance Benchmark [mediateklab YouTube channel, July 19, 2013]
Update: MediaTek Introduces Industry Leading Tablet SoC, MT8135 [press release, July 29, 2013]
TAIWAN, Hsinchu – July 29, 2013 – MediaTek Inc., (2454: TT), a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced its breakthrough MT8135 system-on-chip (SoC) for high-end tablets. The quad-core solution incorporates two high-performance ARM Cortex™-A15 and two ultra-efficient ARM Cortex™-A7 processors, and the latest GPU from Imagination Technologies, the PowerVR™ Series6. Complemented by a highly optimized ARM® big.LITTLE™ processing subsystem that allows for heterogeneous multi-processing, the resulting solution is primed to deliver premium user experiences. This includes the ability to seamlessly engage in a range of processor-intensive applications, including heavy web-downloading, hardcore gaming, high-quality video viewing and rigorous multitasking – all while maintaining the utmost power efficiency.
In line with its reputation for creating innovative, market-leading platform solutions, MediaTek has deployed an advanced scheduler algorithm, combined with adaptive thermal and interactive power management to maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture. This technology enables application software to access all of the processors in the big.LITTLE cluster simultaneously for a true heterogeneous experience. As the first company to enable heterogeneous multi-processing on a mobile SoC, MediaTek has uniquely positioned the MT8135 to support the next generation of tablet and mobile device designs.
“ARM big.LITTLE™ technology reduces processor energy consumption by up to 70 percent on common workloads, which is critical in the drive towards all-day battery life for mobile platforms,” said Noel Hurley, vice president, Strategy and Marketing, Processor Division, ARM. “We are pleased to see MediaTek’s MT8135 seizing on the opportunity offered by the big.LITTLE architecture to enable new services on a heterogeneous processing platform.”
“The move towards multi-tasking devices requires increased performance while creating greater power efficiency that can only be achieved through an optimized multi-core system approach. This means that multi-core processing capability is fast becoming a vital feature of mobile SoC solutions. The MT8135 is the first implementation of ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture to offer simultaneous heterogeneous multi-processing. As such, MediaTek is taking the lead to improve battery life in next-generation tablet and mobile device designs by providing more flexibility to match tasks with the right-size core for better computational, graphical and multimedia performance,” said Mike Demler, Senior Analyst with The Linley Group.
The MT8135 features a MediaTek-developed four-in-one connectivity combination that includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM, designed to bring highly integrated wireless technologies and expanded functionality to market-leading multimedia tablets. The MT8135 also supports Wi-Fi certified Miracast™ which makes multimedia content sharing between devices remarkably easier.
In addition, the tablet SoC boasts unprecedented graphics performance enabled by its PowerVR™ Series6 GPU from Imagination Technologies. “We are proud to have partnered with MediaTek on their latest generation of tablet SoCs” says Tony King-Smith, EVP of marketing, Imagination. “PowerVR™ Series6 GPUs build on Imagination’s success in mobile and embedded markets to deliver the industry’s highest performance and efficient solutions for graphics-and-compute GPUs. MediaTek is a key lead partner for Imagination and its PowerVR™ Series6 GPU cores, so we expect the MT8135 to set an important benchmark for high-end gaming, smooth UIs and advanced browser-based graphics-rich applications in smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Thanks to our PowerVR™ Series6 GPU, we believe the MT8135 will deliver five-times or more the GPU-compute-performance of the previous generation of tablet processors.”
“At MediaTek, our goal is to enable each user to take maximum advantage of his or her mobile device. The implementation and availability of the MT8135 brings an enjoyable multitasking experience to life without requiring users to sacrifice on quality or energy. As the leader in multi-core processing solutions, we are constantly optimizing these capabilities to bring them into the mainstream, so as to make them accessible to every user around the world,” said Joe Chen, GM of the Home Entertainment Business Unit at MediaTek.
The MT8135 is the latest SoC in MediaTek’s highly successful line of quad-core processors, which since its launch last December has given rise to more than 350 projects and over 150 mobile device models across the world. This latest solution, along with its comprehensive accompanying Reference Design, will like their predecessors fast become industry standards, particularly in the high-end tablet space.
Update: Optimized big. LITTLE – MediaTek [MediaTek, July 29, 2013]
Multi-core system-on-chip (SoC) design has brought tremendous benefits to mobile device users by offering seamless engagement in rigorous multitasking. To overcome the issue with high energy consumption and thermal readings, MediaTek is deploying an advanced scheduler algorithm, combined with adaptive thermal and interactive power management to maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture. The technology will allow applications software to simultaneously access all the processors in the big.LITTLE™ cluster for a true heterogeneous experience, activating both of its CPU clusters concurrently for extreme performance.
Optimized big. LITTLE™
ARM big.LITTLE™ processing is designed to address the energy and thermal issues associated with multi-core system-on-chip (SoC) solutions. It allows for the creation of dual-cluster SoCs, with one more powerful (big) cluster for processing intensive tasks and a less powerful (LITTLE) cluster for executing routine functions. MediaTek is among the first SoC designers to have adopted this ground-breaking technology. Unlike its counterparts, however, the company has done so in a manner that affords device users the utmost energy and thermal efficiency rates.
Enabling Heterogeneous Multi-Processing
Of the three big.LITTLE™ software models that can be integrated, for example, MediaTek chose the Heterogeneous Multi-Processing [developed and named by ARM as Global Task Scheduling (GTS), also known earlier as big.LITTLE MP, see in the last section of this post in detail] approach, which unlike the other two methods – Cluster- [as was implemented in Galaxy S4 by Samsung with Exynos 5 SoC having 4xA7+4xA15 configuration] and CPU-Migration [IKS (In Kernel Switcher) developed by Linaro, see in the last section of this post in detail] – allows for individual cores to be activated as and when needed for maximum efficiency.
However, use of the most versatile model isn’t MediaTek’s only advantage. In line with its reputation for creating innovative, market-leading platform solutions, MediaTek has deployed an advanced scheduler algorithm, combined with adaptive thermal and interactive power management to maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture.
The technology will allow applications software to simultaneously access all the processors in the big.LITTLE™ cluster for a true heterogeneous experience, activating both of its CPU clusters concurrently for extreme performance.
In comparison, the current octa-core SoC solution, utilizes one of the more inferior big.LITTLE™ software models. As a result, the processor is not as efficient as it otherwise might be.
As the first company to enable Heterogeneous Multi-Processing on a mobile SoC in the form of its MT8135 Reference Design, MediaTek is uniquely positioned to support the next wave of tablet and mobile devices.
Update: Optimized ARM big.LITTLETM – MediaTek Enables ARM big.LITTLETM Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology in Mobile SoCs [MediaTek Position Paper in PDF, July 29, 2013]
MediaTek MT8135 brings PowerVR Series6 GPUs to a mobile device near you [With Imagination Blog, July 29, 2013]
Over the years, our close partnership with MediaTek has resulted in the release of some very innovative platforms that have set important benchmarks for high-end gaming, smooth UIs and advanced browser-based graphics-rich applications in smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Two recent examples include:
- MT8125/MT8389, an extension of MediaTek’s highly successful quad-core portfolio which integrates power-efficient PowerVR Series5XT graphics that deliver compelling multimedia features and sophisticated user experiences
- MT8135, the first in a series of PowerVR Series6-based mobile chipsets that are due to be announced in the second half of this year
MediaTek has been steadily establishing itself as an important global player for consumer products like smartphones, tablets and smart TVs, with a strong foothold in Latin America and Asia, and a rapidly growing presence in Europe and North America. Earlier this year, MediaTek introduced MT8125, one of their most successful tablet chipsets for high-end multimedia capabilities.
While MT8125 has been extremely popular with OEMs including Asus, Acer or Lenovo, MT8135 has the potential to consolidate Mediatek’s existing customer base and open up exciting new opportunities thanks to the advanced feature set provided by Imagination’s PowerVR ‘Rogue’ architecture.
MT8135 is a quad-core SoC that aims for the middle- to high-end tier of the tablet OEM market. It supports a 4-in-1 connectivity package that includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM radio, all developed in-house by MediaTek. Miracast is another important addition to the multimedia package, enabling devices using MT8135 to stream high-resolution content more easily to compatible displays, over wireless networks.
MT8135 incorporates a PowerVR G6200 GPU [from the block diagram corresponds to the PowerVR G6230] from Imagination that enables advanced mobile graphics and compute applications for the mainstream consumer market, including fast gaming, 3D navigation and location-based services, camera vision, image processing, augmented reality applications, and smooth, high-resolution user interfaces.
As MT8135-powered mobile devices start appearing in the market, developers will have access to new technologies and features introduced by our PowerVR Series6 family such as:
- our latest-generation tile based deferred rendering (TBDR) architecture implemented on universal scalable clusters (USC)
- high-efficiency compression technologies that reduce memory bandwidth requirements, including lossless geometry compression and PVRTC/PVRTC2 texture compression
- scalar processing to guarantee highest ALU utilization and easy programming
Thanks to the PowerVR G6200 GPU inside the MT8135 application processor, MediaTek brings high-quality, low-power graphics to unprecedented levels by delivering up to four times more ALU horsepower compared to MT8125, its PowerVR Series5XT-based predecessor. PowerVR G6200 fully supports a wide range of graphics APIs including OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0 and 3.0, OpenGL 3.x, 4.x and DirectX 10_1, along with compute programming interfaces such as OpenCL 1.x, Renderscript and Filterscript.
By partnering up with Imagination, MediaTek has access to our industry-leading PowerVR graphics, worldwide technical support, and a strong ecosystem of Android developers capable of making the most of our technology. We look forward to shortly seeing our brand-new PowerVR Series6 GPUs in the hands of millions of consumers, and see MediaTek as one of our strategic partners for our latest generation PowerVR GPUs moving forward.
End of Updates
This report consists of the following parts:
- The latest MediaTek roadmap, high-end and OS strategy
- News reports about MT6592 and its first application
Update: MediaTek True Octa [MediaTek, July 23, 2013] Efficient video playback:
When on decoding mode, the battery used for decoding HEVC (H.265) FHD video
can be reduced by up to 18 percent compared to current quad-core solutions
(from MediaTek True Octa-Core Position Paper [MediaTek, July 23, 2013])
- What is new vs. my earlier The state of big.LITTLE processing [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 7, 2013] report
For the preceding smartphone SoC in the current roadmap see MediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery [‘Experiencing the cloud’, Dec 12, 2012]. For smartphone SoCs before that see Boosting the MediaTek MT6575 success story with the MT6577 announcement – UPDATED with MT6588/83 coming
early 2013 in Q42012 and 8-core MT6599 in 2013 [‘Experiencing the cloud’, June 27, July 27, Sept 11-13, Sept 26, Oct 2, 2012]. Note that MT6588 was renamed MT6589 when was launched, as MT6599 would be renamed MT6592 now.
The latest MediaTek roadmap, high-end and OS strategy
GPU for MT6592 smartphone SoCs (and presumably for MT6588 as well) will be Mali according to Zhu Shangzu (朱尚祖), MediaTek Global Smartphone General Manager in the [Part 2] MediaTek to push 8 small cores, the mystery [ESM 国际电子商情 (International Electronic Business), July 18, 2013] exclusive interview.
According to 28nm Technology [TSMC, June 21, 2011] description: The 28nm technology node of the TSMC foundry (which is used for manufacturing by MediaTek) has a high performance (HP) process as the first option to use high-k metal gate (HKMG) process technology. The 28nm low power with high-k metal gates (HPL) technology, as the second option, adopts the same gate stack as HP technology while meeting more stringent low leakage requirements with a trade of performance speed. Explanation: From about 10 µm (1971) to below 0.1 µm (100 nm) conventional silicon oxynitride as the gate insulator with polysilicon gate, so called poly/SiON gate stack, was used for CMOS technology. It was typically possible to scale down to 45 nm (2008), only TSMC was able to scale it down further to 28 nm in which most of the current 28nm SoCs from TSMC are produced. While Intel (and IBM) had to introduce high-K dielectric as the gate insulator with metal gate, so called High-k / Metal Gate stack, for the performance of their 45 nm products in 2008 (in order to continue with the Moore’s law in their realm) as you could see on the right (taken from Life With “Penryn” [DailyTech, Jan 27, 2007] interview with Mark Bohr, Intel Senior Fellow, and Steve Smith, Intel Vice President DEG Group Operations), TMSC could introduce that only on the 28nm node as described above. The HKMG based 28nm SoCs are much higher performance (or higher performance still with low power by HPL) as you could see from the 2GHz clockrate of the MT6592 (above) or MT8315 (below) vs. that of the convential poly/SiON counterparts, MT6589 and MT8389 with 1.2GHz.
Complementary post reminder: H2CY13: Upcoming next-gen Nexus 7, the ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 “re-incarnation” at reduced by $50 price, dual/quad-core mid-range tablets from white-box vendors starting from $65 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 5, 2013] in which there is plenty of information regarding the non high-end tablet SoCs, from MediaTek (MediaTek MT8125, MediaTek MT8377 and MediaTek MT8389) as well as competition from Allwinner and Rockchip. The pre-eminent ASUS MeMO Pad™ HD 7 described in detail there is using the MT8125 SoC, while the new Nexus 7 (to be announced before the ending of July) the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Quad Core SoC. In that sense we got with that post not only a complete H2 competitive tablet market picture for mid-range but some information regarding the new Qualcomm high-end as well.
For the upcoming MT8135 tablet SoC it is known from the part 3 of the Zhu Shangzu interview that the quad-core configuration will be 2xA15+2xA7, which means a big.LITTLE architecture and
quite probably the already mature ‘In Kernel Switcher’ (IKS) scheduler initially GTS with MediaTek’s “advanced scheduler algorithm, combined with adaptive thermal and interactive power management” and called Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) by MediaTek (see in the updates in front of the original post). But as As ARM already decided on the architecture of the other, more general ‘Global Task Scheduling’ (GTS) solution (see much below) I would assume that the proper hardware underpinnings for GTS will already be built in (unlike in the Samsung’s Exynos 5 SoC released before), so when the scheduler software will be mature enough it will run well on MT8135. The inclusion of just two cores of each (unlike in Exynos 5) is a very strong proof-point of that. As far as the GPU is concerned we know from Zhu Shangzu interview that an Imagination GPU will be used, therefore I will leave the next-generation SGX6XX (PowerVR Series6 or ‘Rogue’) indication in the above table. Update: It is the PowerVR G6200 GPU [from the block diagram corresponds to the PowerVR G6230] as you could see from Imagination block post published on the MT8135 announcement (July 29), and included here in front of the original post.
with the following commentary:
Strong fundamentals intact. Having exceeded its 2Q13 guidance so significantly, we believe MTK will continue to ride the strong momentum in 3Q13, perhaps growing its revenue by low-to-mid-teens QoQ or 30% YoY to chalk up another record high of TWD36-38b [US$1.2-1.27B]. Importantly, a better product mix and cost structure would help lift its profitability to ±44%. We expect MTK to ship 70-72m units of smart devices, up 25-30% QoQ, with quad-core APs and tablets making up nearly 50% of total shipment. The benefits of operating leverage should drive OPM past 20%, the highest since 3Q10. MTK is set to report its 2Q13 results in late July or early August and we forecast net profit of TWD6.8b [US$227M] (EPS: TWD5.02; Street: TWD6.3b), up over 80% QoQ and 100% YoY. GM is also likely to meet the high end of its guidance, ie, 43.5%, on richer mix and improved cost structure. Reported revenue of TWD33.3b, up almost 40% QoQ and 42%YoY, is already well ahead of guidance (TWD30-32b). However, we cut our FY13/14 earnings forecasts by 3% each to factor in the delay in merger with MStar and potential inventory correction in 4Q13/1Q14. MTK remains a key BUY in our tech space.
Closing in fast on QCOM. MTK has spared no efforts to enhance its smart device portfolio since 2H12 and further signs of acceleration are evident. It is introducing two high-end APs in 4Q13 – MT6588 and MT6592 – using 28nm HKMG and advanced graphic features. While the former is a quad-core AP operating at 1.7GHz, the latter is capable of running at 2GHz (when all eight core engines are turned on). In the absence of full details, we estimate MT6592 may perform closer to Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 AP (used in Galaxy S4 and HTC One), while MT6588 should outshine Snapdragon 400. MTK has won several international OEMs with MT6589 and with MT6588/6592, its chances of penetrating tier-1 OEMs have increased significantly. In addition, it will sample its high-end 4G/LTE/LTE-TDSCDMA modem chipset in anticipation of the launch of 4G network in China later this year. As for tablets, MTK’s latest APs MT8125/8389 were well-received and it is set to deliver the high-end MT8135 (big.Little design) in 3Q13. We expect its smartphone/tablet shipments to reach 200-225m/25m units in 2013.
In the same part of the interview Zhu Shangzu explained MediaTek’s high-end strategy as follows (as translated by Google and Bing with manual edits):
… I think the future of high-end smartphones innovation will focus on the expansion of big screen multimedia applications, and this is our direction. …
Judging from the current situation, customers of high-end flagship phones are still using the products of the competitors, but there is flagship in our quad-core case as well, and OPPO, Vivo and GiONEE and other quad-core phones are also very popular. Our next goal is to get the customers of flagship machines using our platform via helping customers to achieve stronger performance on the big screen multimedia.
Therefore, the 8-core MT6592 can be regarded as our first bugle call for moving towards the high-end market. Our mission is that one day customers can also recognize MediaTek as doing high-end flagship products. MT6592 is the first step, strictly speaking, it is not the most high-end platform, next we will move step by step towards the higher end.
Q: Why will MediaTek use eight small A7 cores as a generation of high-end platform, but did not choose to use four large A15 cores or four big and four small ones as a way to achieve the goal? This is also a question for the industry as there are many controversial issues with this.
For power, or performance per watt, we did a lot of investigation. Eight A7 cores is currently the best solution, and as through a process we designed to boost peak frequency of the A7 to 1.9-2Ghz, performance is also very strong.
Currently we chose a small core, because under the existing process, the larger the chip die size, the larger is the standby leakage, resulting in higher standby power consumption. For example, the A15 is the strongest core currently, but not in run-time power cosumption. Even if its frequency is pushed down to very low levels, there is still a larger leakage. Therefore, the larger is the area of a single-core, the larger is the overhead energy efficiency, and as long as the poweris on, there will be a greater leakage.
In addition, the 8-core CPU is just one aspect of improving the mobile multimedia experience. In fact, as we have been doing MediaTek digital TV for a long time, we will extend that digital TV competency here – some strong move for the smartphones. This is what other platform vendors can not do. In the 6592, for example, the latest HEVC codec will be integrated. [HEVC is a video compression standard, a successor to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC]
Although our MT6592 GPU is also using a ‘Deluxe’ Mali quad-core GPU, but in order for content developers to achieve better compatibility, our HEVC is a software solution via the 8-core CPU, it is not using a GPU- based software solution. Because there are some strong content developers who will use their own HEVC decode. Currently the ‘Deluxe’ quad-core GPU on 6592 is mainly used to perform large-scale games and to do some advanced UI.
Q: I do note that the MT6592 is now using a quad-core Mali GPU, while before the MediaTek mainstream used Imagination GPU. How would you rate these two companies’ products?
The Imagination company has been doing GPUs long time in its history, the architecture design is beautiful, more artistic. The initial architecture of Mali [from ARM] would be more rough, and therefore area and power consumption will be worse. But after nearly three years of time, Mali has made a lot of progress, both are learning from each other, and by now the levels of these two are equal. The future perspective is that ARM’s overall resources are somewhat more fully available.
Q: This year we have seen MediaTek to attack the tablet market, what is the plan for the future in the tablet market?
A: Our current strategy is to carry out a mobile phone product line extension.
At the end of July the launch of a tablet chip is expected: the MT8135, with 2xA15 +2xA7, still using an Imagination GPU [Update: It is the PowerVR G6200 GPU (from the block diagram corresponds to the PowerVR G6230) as you could see from Imagination block post published on the MT8135 announcement (July 29), and included here in front of the original post], and mainly targeting the high-end tablet market. A small reminder, our MT6572 is not suitable for tablet computers as the original definition did not take into account the application of flat-screen.
Q: There is also a very large concern, as the industry is worried that after doing their own hardware next year (e.g. Xphone, watches, glasses, etc.) whether Google will close the Android OS, i.e. to do a Pure Android later on, and don’t let OEMs to change it? MTK will also have a very big impact, what do you think? What is the MTK attitude on other free OS’s?
A: If Google OS will be closed and converged that will have a huge impact on us. But from what we observe and communicate with Google, they will not close the OS or converge it. Google’s profitability does not depend on OS, he is relying on the service for profit. By doing hardware Google also aims to promote his services, he is very happy to use someone else’s machine on their home services.
Of course, we will also be prepared, as we comprehesively examine and take into account the prevailing factors. We will use Windows as a second priority, while using Firefox [OS] and HTML5 as a secondary backup, by keeping track of them. Because we judge that the [Android] OS convergence from Google profitability point of view is very low, therefore our vote for these two emerging open OS’s is in the ‘not so urgent’ category, in addition to and outside of Android. The other focus is again on Windows Phone 8. For the moment, however, WP8 hardware configuration requirements are still higher (mainly memory), power consumption – after optimizing the gap with Android – is not too large.
News reports about MT6592 and its first application
Update: MediaTek True Octa [MediaTek, July 23, 2013]
Efficient video playback:
When on decoding mode, the battery used for decoding HEVC (H.265) FHD video
can be reduced by up to 18 percent compared to current quad-core solutions
(from MediaTek True Octa-Core Position Paper [MediaTek, July 23, 2013])
July 18 this information appeared on the English http://en.v5zn.com/ website of the related smartphone vendor as well: MediaTek MT6592’s first eight-core mobile phone exposure makes you believe [July 15, 2013] as translated by Google and Bing with manual edits
MediaTek so-called true eight-core processor MT6592 was announced not long ago, it is expected the first models equipped with processors to surface. It broke the news, that the domestic mobile phone manufacturer brand named after the 19th-century French writer Jules Verne [凡尔纳] has been determined to launch a flagship model “V8” quipped with the MT6592 processor.
Verne’s current main product is the “V5” model, equipped with a quad-core MediaTek MT6589, and a 5-inch 720p OGS full lamination screen, 1GB of RAM, 4GB storage, 8-megapixel back-illuminated camera, 2400 mAh Battery, with a list price of 999 yuan [$166].
V8 has not yet announced the exact configuration bit it is estimated to have about 5.5 inch 1080p screen, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, 13 million pixels Sony stacked camera, higher capacity battery, etc., without these natural shot himself embarrassed flagship.
It looks like that cooperation between MediaTek and the domestic Shanzhai vendors remains close. As MT6589 has rocked the Main Street, MT6592 will soon become a standard, and “an eight-core” promotion will be overwhelming.
Incidentally recap: MT6592 uses eight Cortex-A7 architecture cores, clocked at up to 2.0GHz, with TSMC 28nm manufacturing, Antutu run is known as close to 30,000, but the graphics core has not been confirmed,
PowerVR SGX 544MP4/554MP4 are likely[it will be Mali, as communicated by MediaTek, see above].
The marketing of the processor has begun to customers, but mass production will be in November, so if recent high profile publicity is to be fulfilled, certainly we will have a large sale early next year.
Company introduction [Jules Verne mobile phone, January 16, 2013] as translated by Google and Bing with manual edits
Shenzhen MINDRAY Platinum Communication Technology Ltd. is is specialized in products development, production, sales and service of intelligent mobile terminals of high-tech companies. Under the “Jules Verne VOWNEY” brand the company is to create a mobile intelligent terminal brand.
MINDRAY Platinum company with “intelligent life” as the brand mission, is to “enhance the user experience, to help people grasp the development opportunities” as the goal, trying to make Jules Verne a trustworthy, continuous innovation and smart moves life guide. Every effort, just as long as you!
Jules Verne mobile phone network direct sales, stripping agents layers, increases direct benefits to consumers. We are committed to allow more consumers to have a better quality of life with an intelligent terminal.
The “Jules Verne VOWNEY ” brand aspires to be able to improve the quality of life for mobile users intelligent terminal INITIATIVE persons.
is to become quality of life can improve the user moves Smart The Terminal Guide. Lead you into “Slide 5.0”.
“Verne VOWNEY “brand aspires to be able to improve the quality of life for mobile users intelligent terminal INITIATIVE persons. I lead you into the “Slide 5.0″era.
Jules Verne: a derivative of intelligent life???
English explanation ： VOWNEY
V ： value— Value
O ： opportunity— Opportunity
W ： worth— It is worth
N ： new— New
E ： e— Mobile Internet
Y ： you— You
Jules Verne is to ” create a new life guided smart” as the goal, and strive to become a trusted, sustainable and innovative mobile phone brand, all efforts, just because of you!
Mediatek MT6592 8 core processors coming by the end of July! [Gizchina.com]
Reports out of Taiwan state that Mediatek will launch the MT6592 8-core processor by the end of July.
There was word that Mediatek were working on an 8 core chipset late last year, but like many we believed it had been placed on the back burner while they prepared their LTE chip. This seems to be wrong though as sources in Taiwan claim that Mediatek’s 8-core processor will arrive before the end of this month!
The MT6592 chip will be made up of 8 Cortex-A7, 28nm processor clocked at a frequency of up to 2Ghz! Early tests have the 8 core MT6592 scoring up to 30,000 points in Antutu which is more than Samsung’s 8 core Exynos 5410 processor.
The first batch of these new processors will be ready for manufacturers to begin development by the end of July, while Mediatek are preparing full-scale manufacture for November!
If everything goes to plan we can expect powerful 8 core phones from Tier 1 Chinese phone manufacturers by December!
MediaTek to launch true 8-core, 2GHz MT6592 chipset in November? [Engadget, July 2, 2013]
Samsung may already have its 8-core Exynos 5 Octa offering, but the original “big.LITTLE” implementation means only up to four cores work together at any time — either the Cortex-A15 quartet or its lesser Cortex-A7 counterpart. In other words, we’d rather rename the chipset range to something like “Exynos 5 Quad Dual.” But according to recent intel coming from Taipei and Shenzhen, it looks like Taiwan’s MediaTek is well on its way to ship a true 8-core mobile chipset in Q4 this year.
The first mention of this 2GHz, Cortex-A7 MT6592 chip came from UDN earlier today. The Taiwanese publication claims MediaTek started introducing its first octa-core product to clients last week, and it’s expected to enter mass production using TSMC’s 28nm process in November. The first mobile devices to carry this hot piece of silicon may hit the market in early 2014 — hopefully just in time for the Chinese New Year shopping rush.
UDN adds that the MT6592 scored close to 30,000 on AnTuTu, which is pretty high but still some distance behind Qualcomm’s 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800. Of course, chances are MediaTek’s offering will be much cheaper, as evidenced by all the affordable MediaTek-powered devices in China these days.
In a separate article from last week, UDN pointed out that judging by over a hundred job openings released by MediaTek last month, the company is clearly putting an emphasis on 4G LTE technology, alongside GPU and Android development. The publication also quoted chairman Tsai Ming-kai saying he will launch an LTE solution in Q4 this year, by which point MediaTek will only be one or two years behind its competitors.
The second piece of info came from HQ Research analyst Pan Jiutang, who posted an alleged spy shot of MediaTek’s upcoming roadmap (pictured left). There the octa-core MT6592 is listed with a clock speed of 1.7GHz to 2GHz, along with 1080p 30fps video decoding support. There’s also a quad-core 1.7GHz MT6588 accompanying its octa-core sibling in the same period on the timeline, though it appears to be just a faster version of the current 1.2GHz MT6589.
For the sake of phone manufacturers, both new chipsets will apparently be pin-to-pin compatible with the quad-core 1.3GHz MT6582 due Q3 this year, thus lowering R&D costs. Better yet, the roadmap also states that the MT6290 LTE modem — as teased by Tsai above — will be compatible with these three chipsets.
Update: It’s worth noting that ARM’s eventual “big.LITTLE MP” implementation will allow all eight cores to run simultaneously, but the Exynos 5 Octa currently doesn’t support this. Thanks, UncleAlbert!
What is new vs. my earlier
The state of big.LITTLE processing [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 7, 2013] report
Power scheduler design proposal [by Morten Rasmussen from ARM on Linux kernel mailing list, July 9, 2013]
This patch set is an initial prototype aiming at the overall power-aware scheduler design proposal that I previously described <http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel/1508480>.
The patch set introduces a cpu capacity managing ‘power scheduler’ which lives by the side of the existing (process) scheduler. Its role is to monitor the system load and decide which cpus that should be available to the process scheduler. Long term the power scheduler is intended to replace the currently distributed uncoordinated power management policies and will interface a unified platform specific power driver obtain power topology information and handle idle and P-states. The power driver interface should be made flexible enough to support multiple platforms including Intel and ARM.
This prototype supports very simple task packing and adds cpufreq wrapper governor that allows the power scheduler to drive P-state selection. The prototype policy is absolutely untuned, but this will be addressed in the future. Scalability improvements, such as avoid iterating over all cpus, will also be addressed in the future.
…+-----------------+ | | +----------+ current load | Power scheduler |<----+ cpufreq | +--------->| sched/power.c +---->| driver | | | | +----------+ | +-------+---------+ | ^ | +-----+---------+ | | | | | | available capacity | Scheduler |<--+----+ (e.g. cpu_power) | sched/fair.c | | | +--+| +---------------+ || ^ || | v| +---------+--------+ +----------+ | task load metric | | cpuidle | | arch/* | | driver | +------------------+ +----------+
Linux Kernel News – June 2013 [by Shuah Khan in Linux Journal , July 9, 2013]
As always the Linux kernel community has been busy moving the Linux mainline to another finish line and the stable and extended releases to the next bump in their revisions to fix security and bug fixes. It is a steady and methodical evolution process which is intriguing to follow. Here is my take on the happenings in the Linux kernel world during June 2013.
Mainline Release (Linus’s tree) News
Linus Torvalds released Linux 3.10. You can read what Linus Torvalds had to say about this release in his release announcement athttp://lkml.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/1306.3/04336.html
Two notable features in this release are improved SSD caching and better Radeon graphics driver Power Management.
Power efficient scheduling design
Ingo Molnar (Red Hat, x86 maintainer), Morten Rasmussen (ARM, power mgmt.), Priti Murthy (IBM, scheduler), Rafael Wysocki (Intel, Linux PM, and Linux ACPI maintainer) and Arjan van de Ven discussed the proposed power-aware or power-efficient scheduler design and what’s the best way to integrate it into the kernel.
Power management and the ability to balance performance and power efficiency is important and complex. It is not just about scheduler or cpus. It spans I/O devices that transition into lower-power states and how costly it is to bring them back to fully active state when needed. There is latency involved in these transitions. As always, Linux developers reach consensus to solve complex problems such as these and come up with path to get to the goal taking small steps towards that goal. Here is another example of that process at work.
Power-efficient scheduler work has been active for a few months now. Several RFC patches have been floated and discussed. This work is being pursued very actively in x86 space by IBM and in ARM space by ARM. The premise is that, if scheduler could pack tasks on a few cores and keep these cores fully utilized and, transition other cores to low power states, when the scheduling goal is power savings over performance. In other words, instead of keeping all the cores active, scheduler could consolidate tasks on a few cores and transition other cores to low-power states for better power efficiency.
It is easier said than done. Scheduler is at a higher level and would not be the best judge of making decisions on transitioning CPUs to idle states and deciding on the ideal frequency they should be running at. These decisions are better left to platform drivers that have the specific knowledge of the platform and architecture as they are complex and very hardware specific. In other words, power aware scheduler tuned to run well on x86 platforms will not work as well or could fail miserably on ARM platforms.
Scheduler has to accomplish load balancing as well as power balancing in a way to meet performance and power goals and do it well on all platforms. A generic scheduler doesn’t have to control and drive low-power state decisions on a platform. However, the goal of power-efficient scheduler is to set higher level abstracted policies that would work on all platforms. After a long and productive discussion, there is a consensus and here is the summary:
- A new kernel configuration option CONFIG_SCHED_POWER to enable/disable the power scheduler feature. Power scheduler is totally inactive, when CONFIG_SCHED_POWER is disabled, and fully active when CONFIG_SCHED_POWER is enabled. The important goal is evolving the power scheduler feature without disrupting and destabilizing the current scheduler.
- Work on a generic power scheduler with hardware and platform abstractions that will work well on big little ARM, x86, and other platforms. Avoid platform specific power policies that could lead to duplication of functionality in platform specific power drivers.
Please check the Linux Foundation site for presentations made at the Linux Collaboration Summit back in April 2013 on this topic. Here is the link to Jonathan Corbet’s blog on this topic.
From: big.LITTLE Software Update [by George Grey on Linaro Blog, July 10, 2013]
There are also two software models now available, that ARM and Linaro have developed to enable control of workloads, performance, and power management on big.LITTLE SoCs.
The first is the IKS [In Kernel Switcher, also known as CPU Migration]software, developed by Linaro, that treats each pair of Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A15 cores as a single ‘virtual’ core. On a multicore SoC each pair is treated as 1 of n virtual symmetric cores by the Linux kernel.
Core Software Configuration for IKS (4+4)
Using existing mechanisms in the Linux kernel for each pair the cpufreq driver controls whether the Cortex-A7 is active (for low power) or the Cortex-A15 is active (for maximum performance). Overall maximum performance and throughput on a 4+4 core SoC is from 4 Cortex-A15s. The key attribute of IKS is that it relies on existing well-understood mechanisms in the Linux kernel and it is easy to implement, test and characterize in a production environment.
The second is the Global Task Scheduling (GTS) [also known as big.LITTLE MP or Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP)] software developed (and now named) by ARM. This is known in Linaro as big.LITTLE MP. Using GTS all of the big and LITTLE cores are available to the Linux kernel for scheduling tasks. We are very proud that Linaro has contributed to ARM’s development of the GTS software, and that it is now publicly available in Linaro builds. ARM and Linaro recommend GTS for new products, and Linaro members are actively planning product deployments using this solution.
Core Software Configuration for GTS (4+4)
The big.LITTLE MP patch set creates a list of Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 cores that is used to pick the target core for a particular task. Then, using runnable load average statistics, the Linux scheduler is modified to track the average load of each task, and to migrate tasks to the best core. High intensity tasks are migrated to the Cortex-A15 core(s) and are also marked as high intensity tasks for more efficient future allocations. Low intensity tasks remain resident on the Cortex-A7 core(s).
IKS and GTS are now publicly available in Linaro monthly engineering releases for the ARM TC2 Versatile Express hardware, and in Linaro’s interim Long Term Supported Kernel (LSK) build. Both will also be incorporated into the first full Linaro LSK, which will be based on the next Linux Foundation, Greg Kroah-Hartman designated, Long Term Supported (LTS) kernel.
Until GTS functionality is fully upstream, ARM is supporting the big.LITTLE MP patch set for its licensees, leveraging Linaro’s public monthly and Linaro LSK builds, so that it is available to all ARM licensees for product integration and deployment. Linaro also expect to provide a topic branch for the latest work available on the upstream GTS implementation for interested developers.
… ARM and Linaro now recommend product development and deployment to be based on the GTS solution. However, there are some cases where hardware limitations or a requirement for the traditional Linux scheduler (for example in some embedded applications) may lead to IKS still being required.
Power management software in Linaro is worked on by the Power Management Working Group. Other activities within the Group will enable additional power savings on ARM multi-core devices. One current project worth highlighting is the work being done by Vincent Guittot on small-task packing. Normally the Linux kernel will spread running tasks over all the available CPU cores. On a handset in standby, or even when being used with low activity, there may be a number of housekeeping and other small tasks that run in the background or relatively infrequently and therefore keep cores active unnecessarily. If “small” tasks can be migrated to one core, then the other cores could be made idle or even turned off completely, potentially resulting in significant power savings. This feature is expected to offer improved power management to systems based on symmetric multi-core SoCs (for example dual or quad-core Cortex-A7 or Cortex-A15 parts), as well as big.LITTLE SoCs.
While the current big.LITTLE efforts are focused on Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7, the techniques being implemented today for 32-bit systems are already being run on 64-bit models. We therefore expect to see the GTS software running on 64-bit Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 based big.LITTLE SoCs as soon as they become available.
Real Life Results
The first commercial products based on big.LITTLE are certain international versions of the latest Galaxy S4 phone from Linaro member, Samsung. Samsung-LSI provide an ‘Octa-core’ 4+4 big.LITTLE chip for this phone. As has been publicly noted, the current generation of hardware cannot yet take full advantage of the IKS or the GTS designs because the hardware power-saving core switching feature is implemented on a cluster basis rather than on a per-core or a per-pair basis. Even so, the first big.LITTLE implementation produces performance and power consumption on a par with the latest Qualcomm multi-core Snapdragon processor according to reviews from Engadget, PocketNow and others. Often first implementations of new technology never see the light of day – it is a tribute to Samsung’s engineers that the Exynos 5 is already seeing the Cortex-A15 level of performance with the power saving of the Cortex-A7s in a mass market handset in the very first big.LITTLE iteration.
We look forward to seeing what improvements full use of GTS will bring when used on future production devices from Samsung and others.
More information: Power Management with big.LITTLE: A technical overview [by Steven Willis in SoC blog of ARM, June 20, 2013]
Why all this sudden attention on the Linux Scheduler? [LCE13, Linaro Connect Europe]
12:00 PM – 13:00 PM on Monday, Jul 8, 2013 (IST)
The Linux scheduler is getting a lot of attention in the ARM ecosystem these days. Come to this discussion to find out why.
Several people working on the scheduler or interested in changes to the scheduler will be invited to talk about their requirements, what is the state of their work, who will benefit from it, etc.
Minutes of the above discussion
* Preemption: interrupts, locking
* Scheduling overhead
* Realtime processing
Most of the requirements are coming from LEG/LNG.
– Adaptive NO_HZ (merged in 3.10)
Came out of high-performance computing. When there is just one
task, the scheduler is switched off for that CPU. Results in
zero scheduler overhead. When the only task finishes – the CPU
will get into scheduling/idle again.
There is still once-per-second tick for scheduling. There
is a patch removing that last remaining bit to make it fully
We’re not sure yet if all the possible limitations are found –
there still might be some scheduler overhead left.
If interrupt handling is offloaded to other cores, caching
related issues will still affect performance (e.g. serving IO
interrupts for the task on a different core will require the
dedicated core to cache the date once again).
Physical process isolation: none addresses
– Needed for KVM.
Temporal isolation: all three (with some limitations)
No scheduling overhead: ADAPTIVE NO_HZ only.
Firm/Hard Real-time PREEMPT_RT only
high for PREEMPT_RT
low for the rest
all of the above
Power efficiency: history
* sched-mc (got removed)
* big.LITTLE MP patches implementing GTS (ARM)
* Packing Small Tasks (Linaro/ARM)
Pack all small background tasks on as little number of small cores
as possible to conserve power.
Intel approach does not care about which core is selected as the
best one (Turbo Mode is effectively converting the core into a BIG
core, while all the other cores are becoming little ones). Task
migration is expensive – this approach helps avoiding it.
* Power aware scheduling (Intel)
Discussions were lasting for a while and then Ingo Molnar requested
an integral solution (not a set of independent bits).
He made a good point. What we have an SMP legacy implementation.
Are we starting from scratch because of that?
It is going to be a significal change. We need to re-think as it’s
not SMP case anymore. b.L is not a new architecture – Intel already
does that but differently.
The task is to find the most efficient way of performing the work
needed. The best place to make those decisions is the scheduler.
Power officiency – proposal (from ARM)
Separate process and power scheduler (ARM). This is the first step
to get to the fully integral scheduler in the future. Helps fighting
with the complexity at hand. In this case there are certain
limitations – one of the schedulers will be leading while the second
one will be limited.
That doesn’t work well for Intel CPUs (no pre-configured small/BIG
– Frequency domains, which CPUs are affected. That would be
useful for the scheduler.
– Idle + DVFS
– information about the cost of using a certain core at certain
DVFS operation point to perform a certain amount of work.
The idea is to keep an eye on the temperature trend to avoid
cases when whole cores are needed to be temporarily shut down to
cool them down.
GPU contribution into the thermal budget should also be
Trying to control DVFS from the scheduler. Patches are expected very
Q: How much of the improvements are we looking for (power wise)?
A: Something that will get upstream. 😀
Linux 3.10 [by Linus Torvalds on Linux kernel mailing list, June 30, 2013]
Linux kernel 3.10 arrives with ARM big.LITTLE support [Engadget, July 1, 2013]
Thanks to Linus Torvalds’ figurative stroke of the pen, the Linux kernel 3.10 is now final — paving the way for its inclusion in a bevy of Linux distributions, and even offshoots such as Android and Chrome OS. The fresh kernel brings a good number of changes, such as timerless multitasking, a new caching implementation and support for the ARM big.LITTLE architecture. In simplistic terms, the new multitasking method should help improve performance and latency by firing the system timer only once per second — rather than 1,000 times — when tasks are running. Meanwhile, users with both traditional hard drives and SSDs will find performance benefits from bcache, which brings writeback caching and a filesystem agnostic approach to leveraging the SSD for caching operations. Also of significance, Linux kernel 3.10 enhances ARM supportby including the big.LITTLE architecture, which combines multiple cores of different types — commonly the Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A15 — that focus on either power savings or performance. The full list of improvements is rather lengthy, but if you feel like nerding out with the changelog, just grab a caffeinated beverage and get to it.
Linaro 13.06 Released! [by Amber Graner on Linaro Blog, June 27, 2013]
The Linaro 13.06 release is now available for download!
It’s been a very active cycle for the Builds and Baselines team, reporting that the Continuous Integration (CI) loop for the Linaro Stable Kernel (LSK) Android proof of concept which is based on 3.9.6 kernel version was set up and includes the big.LITTLE IKS and MP patches (also called beta patchset). Support for Kernel CI loop with Android filesystem was added to android-build and CI loop was set up to track the ARM Landing Team (LT) integration tree. The HiSilicon member build with complete CI loop was set up and now tracks the LT kernel tree.
After the Microsoft reorg for delivering/supporting high-value experiences/activities the Devices and Studios Engineering Group lead by Julie Larson-Green will have undoubtable the far biggest challenge of all hardware development and supply chain from the smallest to the largest devices Microsoft builds. What I found below is that the conceptual structure developed by Microsoft might have much greater chance of success in general, and Julie Larson-Green is much better in meeting that challenge, in particular, than what I thought previously about her.
In Steve Ballmer and Microsoft Senior Leadership Team: One Microsoft Conference Call [Microsoft News Center, July 11, 2013] the internal part of the challenge was briefly described as:
ADRIANNE JEFFRIES, The Verge: Hi, thanks so much. My question is, Steve, with Julie and Terry leading separate software and hardware teams, how do you feel you can bring devices to the market in a way that Apple and other competitors do? Will they work closely enough and collaboratively enough to compete with Apple?
JULIE LARSON-GREEN: I think it’s a perfect way for us to approach it. Terry [Myerson leading the Operating Systems Engineering Group] and I have worked together for a long time. We both have worked on the operating system side. I’ve worked on the hardware side [as well since joined the Windows division in H2 2006 as CVP of program management for the Windows Experience], and it’s a good blending of our skills and our teams to deliver things together.
So the structure that we’re putting in place for the whole company is about working across the different disciplines and having product champions.
So Terry and I will be working to lead delivery to market of our first-party and third-party devices.
STEVE BALLMER: Yes, and maybe just also have Tony Bates [leading Business Development and Evangelism Group with dotted line management of the OEM business in the COO/SMSG] add a little bit. Tony is going to have a critical role running business development evangelism, our role with our hardware innovation partners, our OEMs.
TONY BATES: Yes, I would just add to that. Julie alluded to this — first party, there’s also a third party — and I think having a single interface to our key innovation partners [which is one of the roles of his group], but two bringing together the way we think about offers with our partners is going to be absolutely critical. So when we think about how we work together, I think of going back to one strategy, one team. So we’re all going to be part of that. It’s going to be critical that we have that interface going forward.
ADRIANNE JEFFRIES: And is Terry there?
TERRY MYERSON: Yes. I thought Julie and Tony had it very well said. We’ve got innovative ideas coming from our OEM partners, and Julie’s team has some very innovative ideas. And the platform [engineered by his group] needs to span from the PPI whiteboard that Tony talked about to Xbox, to our phone, and beyond. So it’s exciting to have all these hardware partners in the Windows ecosystem, or in the Microsoft ecosystem, and all the innovative ideas and to bring it to market together.
Regarding the product and high-value scenario champions’ role:
One Strategy, One Microsoft
We are rallying behind a single strategy as one company — not a collection of divisional strategies. Although we will deliver multiple devices and services to execute and monetize the strategy, the single core strategy will drive us to set shared goals for everything we do. We will see our product line holistically, not as a set of islands. We will allocate resources and build devices and services that provide compelling, integrated experiences across the many screens in our lives, with maximum return to shareholders. All parts of the company will share and contribute to the success of core offerings, like Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, Surface, Office 365 and our EA offer, Bing, Skype, Dynamics, Azure and our servers. All parts of the company will contribute to activating high-value experiences for our customers.
We will reshape how we interact with our customers, developers and key innovation partners, delivering a more coherent message and family of product offerings. The evangelism and business development team will drive partners across our integrated strategy and its execution. Our marketing, advertising and all our customer interaction will be designed to reflect one company with integrated approaches to our consumer and business marketplaces.
How we organize our engineering efforts will also change to reflect this strategy. We will pull together disparate engineering efforts today into a coherent set of our high-value activities. This will enable us to deliver the most capability — and be most efficient in development and operations — with the greatest coherence to all our key customers. We will plan across the company, so we can better deliver compelling integrated devices and services for the high-value experiences and core technologies around which we organize. This new planning approach will look at both the short-term deliverables and long-term initiatives needed to meet the shipment cadences of both Microsoft and third-party devices and our services.
How We Work
The final piece of the puzzle is how we work together and what characteristics this new Microsoft must embody. There is a process element and a culture element to discuss.
Process wise, each major initiative of the company (product or high-value scenario) will have a team that spans groups to ensure we succeed against our goals. Our strategy will drive what initiatives we agree and commit to at my staff meetings. Most disciplines and product groups will have a core that delivers key technology or services and then a piece that lines up with the initiatives. Each major initiative will have a champion who will be a direct report to me or one of my direct reports. The champion will organize to drive a cross-company team for success, but my whole staff will have commitment to the initiative’s success. We will also have outgrowths on those major initiatives that may involve only a single product group. Certainly, succeeding with mobile devices, Windows, Office 365 and Azure will be foundational. Xbox and Bing will also be key future contributors to financial success. Our focus on high-value activities — serious fun, meetings, tasks, research, information assurance and IT/Dev workloads — also will get top-level championship.
Culturally, our core values don’t change, but how we express them and act day to day must evolve so we work together to win. The keys are the following:
In a world of continuous services, the timeframe for product releases, customer interaction and competitive response is dramatically shorter. As a company, we need to make the right decisions, and make them more quickly, balancing all the customer and business imperatives. Each employee must be able to solve problems more quickly and with more real-time data than in the past.
In the new, rapid-turn world, we need to communicate in ways that don’t just exchange information but drive agility, action, ownership and accountability.
Collaborative doesn’t just mean “easy to get along with.” Collaboration means the ability to coordinate effectively, within and among teams, to get results, build better products faster, and drive customer and shareholder value.
As a global company with literally billions of diverse customers in an accelerating business environment, we must have a clear strategic direction but also empower employees closest to the customer to make decisions in service of the larger mission. This is tricky in a big company, but it is the key to higher levels of productivity, growth and customer satisfaction.
In our industry, every day brings more challenges and more opportunities than the day before. But we have a unique chance to make the lives of billions of people better in fundamental ways. This should inspire all of us — those who love making products and services, those who love engaging with customers, and those who love planning and running our company in the most effective way possible. We want people who get up each morning excited to make Microsoft better — that’s how we come closer to fulfilling the potential of all people around the globe.
Our leadership team has discussed these cultural aspects a lot and is committed. In my own staff meetings, we are modeling these new characteristics yet also find ourselves occasionally slipping back. One strategy, united together, with great communication, decisiveness and positive energy is the only way to fly.
From Steve Ballmer and Microsoft Senior Leadership Team: One Microsoft Conference Call [Microsoft News Center, July 11, 2013]
In order to execute then on this one Microsoft strategy, we’re organizing by discipline and by engineering area.
Of course, at the end of the day, we have to deliver great products, a great family of devices and services and experiences that help people realize high-value activities.
So we will have teams that function across the company and across engineering areas to deliver on a high-value experience or device type like Windows, which literally has engineering content already today from our entire company, and involvement from a variety of innovation partners.
So we have the notion today that teams work across the company. That’s fundamental. But we’ll formalize, we’ll organize by discipline, and we’ll have product champions who bring together our cross-company teams to deliver our core products and high-value scenarios.
RICHARD WATERS, Financial Times: Thank you. Hello. Does this mean that senior managers won’t have direct profit/loss account responsibility that they might have had before? And, if so, how are you going to hold people accountable, and what kind of measures are you going to use; what kind of incentives and measures are actually going to make this new senior management team work?
STEVE BALLMER: Suffice it to say, the level of accountability we all feel for the success of the company rises when we all have to look at the company’s integrated profitability. I’ll let Amy talk a little bit about sort of the concepts. I don’t know that we’ll go into the specifics, but the concepts in terms of how we’re thinking. And there are pieces, obviously, that will have to have attention.
When it comes time to how we’re doing with our consulting business, which is a multibillion dollar business that doesn’t get discussed much, I think we’re all pretty clear. Kevin is on point. He thinks about it. He lives it. He eats it. He breathes it. He sleeps it every day. And I sleep well knowing that. There will be pieces, but I think the problem we’ve had in a sense — not the problem, but the opportunity we have — is if you subdivide the thing into too fine a set of parts you don’t think about your R&D investments as a general corporate resource that should be repurposed and used very broadly. It’s my resources, my business, and so this notion even from a P&L and resourcing perspective of getting to a one Microsoft strategy is very important, and yet we need to have strong financial accountability, and maybe Amy can talk about that.
AMY HOOD: Yes, I would not say that I wouldn’t necessarily associate this new org chart to any reduction in accountability from a financial perspective. I think we have always thought about personal accountability around this table to product success. And I think that will not change in the new organizational structure. Steve’s used words like that already. I think whether we call it accountability or a P&L or financial accountability, it will still remain just as it has in the past.
In such a setup Julie Larson-Green’s group will have an absolutely critical place to succeed with Microsoft powered or pure Microsoft devices on the market. Would Larsen-Green up to that task? What follows below is all the necessary evidence to judge for yourself:
Interview: Windows President Julie Larson-Green [ABC News, Nov 13, 2012]
From Operating Segments of the 2012 [FY12] Annual Report:
Windows & Windows Live Division (“Windows Division”) develops and markets PC operating systems, related software and online services, and PC hardware products. … approximately 75% of total Windows Division revenue comes from Windows operating system software purchased by original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), which they pre-install on equipment they sell. In addition to PC market volume changes …
Principal Products and Services: Windows 7 operating system; Windows Live suite of applications and web services; and PC hardware products. …
From Note 21 – Segment Information and Geographic Data of the Notes to Financial Statements of the 2012 Annual Report:
(In millions) FY12 FY11 FY10 Revenue: $ 18,818 $ 18,787 $ 18,789 Operating Income: $ 11,908 $ 11,971 $ 12,193
Windows 8 Charms Developers with New Touch Experiences [WindowsVideos YouTube channel, Sept 13, 2011]
More to view from Julie Larson-Green: Microsoft Reimagines Windows, Presents Windows 8 Developer Preview [WindowsVideos YouTube channel, Sept 13, 2011]
Interview with Julie Larson-Green about Office 2007 and Windows 7 [BryZad YouTube channel, Nov 21, 2009]
D6 Conference Windows 7 Multi Touch Keynote Demo [AllTingsD, May 28, 2008]
Julie Larson-Green [Microsoft TCN –Awards and Recognitions, Feb 28, 2010]
2008 Outstanding Technical Leadership
In revamping the interface of Microsoft Office 2007, Larson-Green effected a paradigm shift in one of the company’s most successful products.
“At first, no one wanted to change Office dramatically,” says Julie Larson-Green, who was tasked with overseeing a reimagining of the product’s end-user interaction and overall experience in the fall of 2003. Larson-Green’s leadership of Microsoft Office 2007’s redesign, the most radical revamp in the product’s history, required immense courage and conviction, to which this award attests.
A specialist in user-interface design, Larson-Green began working with Office in 1997, when she program-managed FrontPage. She subsequently helmed UI design for Office XP and Office 2003, which had evolved into a large organization of carefully negotiated compromises among the application suite’s various programs. Although Office’s great success was based on customer familiarity, the Customer Experience Improvement Program was indicating that users, while basically happy with the product, were increasingly either unaware of (possibly redundant) functions among Office’s different programs or frustrated by the amount of training necessary to use an astonishingly complex set of commands, dialogs, and interaction modes.
After deciding that Office needed to be made easier to use, Larson-Green’s team arrived at the elegant solution of the browsable Ribbon (or Office Fluent user interface) and its contextual cousins that united the product’s common capabilities and ease of experimentation. “The breakthrough,” Larson-Green says, “arrived with contextualizing the user interface and realizing that all of the product’s features didn’t have to be present all the time.”
SELLING THE REDESIGN
As development of Office 2007 proceeded, Larson-Green was confronted with the equally formidable task of selling the redesign across Office’s various programs. “Our biggest challenge,” she says, “was convincing people that we had an idea that would work.” Heavily invested in the earlier version, the Word, Excel, Outlook, and other organizations were initially reluctant to relegate control to an umbrella design team. Even more significant, Larson-Green had decided not to compromise the integrity of Office 2007 with the safety net of a “classic mode.”
It’s difficult to change the direction of a large organization at the best of times. It’s even more difficult when the goal is still incomplete. Larson-Green’s ability to argue her vision without necessarily being able to address myriad objections in detail is a remarkable trait in a data-driven culture such as Microsoft’s. One by one, however, the suite’s principals bought into the design as it was being tested and fleshed out.
Office 2007 shipped to nearly universal critical acclaim in January 2007, and Larson-Green was promoted to corporate vice president of program management for the Windows Experience. As with Office 2007, she plans to identify and solve customer problems, which will in turn drive a new design and its subsequent engineering. “In the old world,” she notes, “coding would start and design would kind of evolve with the coding.”
Flattered by her nomination for the Outstanding Technical Leadership Award, Larson-Green admits to shock at winning. “I was very pleased,” she says, “but also kind of embarrassed. I may have been the ringleader, but I couldn’t have done it without a lot of help from a lot of people.” She cites principal Office User Experience Team Program Manager Jensen Harris, Product Design Manager Brad Weed, General Manager Dave Barthol, and Test Manager Sean Adridge as key collaborators.
As for the prize, Larson-Green will treat its dispensation as a family affair. “Unless we all agree on one, we’re going to split the award and each pick a charity,” she says. “My seven-year-old son has already decided he wants to do something with animals. My fifteen-year-old daughter wants to do something with children. And my economist husband is doing all the research on how much money goes to programs versus administration.”
The Ribbon in Microsoft Office 2007 New Features & Upgrades [mydigitalworks YouTube channel, March 18, 2008]
- Q&A: Microsoft Showcases New User Interface for Office “12” Core Applications [Microsoft feature story, Sept 13, 2005] PressPass spoke with Julie Larson-Green, group program manager for the Office User Experience at Microsoft.
- HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Microsoft Office 2007: The Story of the Ribbon [10 videos, each 10” long on the creativecrewchannel YouTube channel, Jan 11, 2009]
From Julie Larson Green BIO [Microsoft, Oct 25, 2012]
Larson-Green joined Microsoft in 1993 and has focused on technical design and development throughout her career. As a program manager in Development Tools and Languages, she was instrumental in several releases of Visual C++ for 32-bit operating systems and led the development of Microsoft’s first customizable integrated development environment for Windows. Moving to the Windows team, she was responsible for the Internet Explorer 3.0 and Internet Explorer 4.0 user experiences, including features related to the Web-integrated Windows desktop.
Continuing her focus on end-user software, Larson-Green joined the Office team in 1997 and led program management for Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft FrontPage, including the early work in information worker servers. More recently, she has been responsible for leading the user interface design for Microsoft Office XP, Microsoft Office 2003 and the 2007 Microsoft Office system, which was lauded for its innovative reinvention of the user experience for productivity software.
Before joining Microsoft, Larson-Green was a senior development engineer at a Seattle-based company [Aldus] that created leading desktop publishing software. She has a master’s degree in software engineering from Seattle University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western Washington University. A native of Washington state, she lives there with her husband, who is a university professor, and her two children.
From The Rise of Julie Larson-Green, the Heir Apparent at Microsoft [Wired, July 11, 2013]
Today’s promotion is just the latest leap for Larson-Green. Most recently, she replaced her longtime boss and mentor, Steven Sinofsky, to become engineering head of Windows this past November, jumping two rungs up the ladder. Unlike the notoriously prickly Sinofsky, Larson-Green is known for her communication skills and ability to work well with others, uniting people, including those outside her own purview, around a common goal.
But if you step back a bit, her biography has been a story of tenacity and persistence in pursuit of a closely-held personal mission to reshape how the world uses computers, according to various press reports, public appearances by Larson-Green, and Microsoft in-house media.
[When applying for a Microsoft position in 1993, being a development lead in Aldus] Larson-Green found herself in the potentially embarrassing situation of giving a frank assessment of the weaknesses and strengths of software code compilers made by Microsoft, along with those made by Microsoft rival Borland, to a room that turned out to be dotted with Microsoft staffers. But the Microsofties were impressed, and soon roped Larson-Green into a gig helping to oversee the development of Microsoft’s Visual C++ — just the sort of software development tool she had critiqued.
It’s hard not to wonder whether Larson-Green will end up replacing a controversial boss once again, if and when Ballmer leaves the company. The longtime Microsoft sales executive has been rightly criticized for allowing once-catatonic rival Apple to surpass Microsoft in driving the growth of personal computing, first through music players and now via smartphones and tablets.
And it’s interesting that when asked about replacing Ballmer at Wired’s business conference this past May (see video below), Larson-Green was uncharacteristically blunt. “I wouldn’t rule it out, but I’m not in a hurry,” Larson Green said. “Give me a year and ask me again.”
[you can reach the video here]
From Bodyslams at Microsoft Prepared Larson-Green for Overhaul [Bloomberg, July 12, 2013]
Julie Larson-Green body-slammed a 6-foot-6 colleague who was blocking her exit one day in 2001 when the largest earthquake to hit Washington state in a half century rattled her office.
“When I have a direction I want to go, it doesn’t matter who’s in my way,” said Larson-Green, 51, who started at Microsoft 20 years ago and is the company’s highest-ranking female engineering executive.
Jensen Harris, the Microsoft software designer who Larson-Green shoved out of the way during the 2001 earthquake — even though she’s about a foot shorter than he is — said she makes quick work of any obstacle. The temblor “was my first experience with Julie,” said Harris, who has worked for her for the past 10 years overhauling Office and Windows. “Julie has this immediate ability to cut through things.”
Rene Haas, vice president and general manager of computing products at Nvidia Corp. (NVDA), which makes the chip for one of the Surface tablet’s two models, said while Larson-Green is capable, “It’s not a small task for anybody.”
Maria Klawe, a Microsoft board member and president of Harvey Mudd College, said Larson-Green will do fine. “Software-hardware integration is one of the really exciting things going on in the world right now and you really need people who can cross that boundary,” said Klawe.
Ballmer praised Larson-Green’s ability to play well with others, a skill he said was critical to Microsoft’s future success.
Larson-Green put that skill into practice last fall when she convened design and program management executives from various products and plied them with pricey wine. Then she pitched teams like those overseeing the Bing search engine on putting their other priorities on hold to build for Windows.
With a 15-minute conversation, she won over Derrick Connell, a Bing vice president who had never met her before. He gave Larson-Green 20 percent of his staff for six months to build the new search app in Windows 8.1. It was a big project on a short time frame.
“I trust that you will do it,” Connell said she told him. “We’ve worked harder to make sure we delivered on that trust.”
Microsoft will now have to move even faster and get things right the first time, Larson-Green said. She said she “hates that stereotype” that has trailed Microsoft for decades — that the company only gets it right on version 3.0.
“You really only get to sell something one time,” she said. “We shouldn’t do it unless we think it’s great.”
Then the functionally separate COO/SMSG under Kevin Turner will play a crucial role in the devices success, and not only because of its internal OEM part. Here is the background information on that functional organization in order to assess its importance for yourself:
Sales, Marketing and Services Group (SMSG): – SMSG employs more than 45,000 people and is responsible for Microsoft sales, marketing, and service initiatives; customer and partner programs; and product support and consulting services worldwide 
– SMSG is one of the core groups at Microsoft and stands for “Sales, Marketing, Services, IT & Operations Group”. Shortened you can get Sales Marketing and Services Group (IT & Operations are actually part of the Services division). 
– As Microsoft’s chief operating officer (COO), Kevin Turner leads the company’s global sales, marketing and services organization of more than 47,000 employees in more than 190 countries. Under his leadership, the sales and marketing group delivered more than $77 billion in revenue in fiscal 2012. Turner oversees worldwide sales, field marketing, services, support and partner channels as well Microsoft Stores and corporate support functions including Information Technology, Worldwide Licensing & Pricing and [Commercial] Operations. The sales and marketing organization is focused on delivering Microsoft’s family of devices and services to customers and partners all over the world. 
- Enterprise and Partner Group (EPG)
- Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners (SMS&P), see also Microsoft Small and Midsize Business Pressroom
- Public Sector Groups (PSG): Education, Public Safety & National Security, Government, Health, International Organizations see also Worldwide Public Sector Virtual Presskit
- Communications Sector
- Enterprise Services (Services)
- Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)
- Worldwide Licensing and Pricing (WWLP)
- Marketing and Operation (M&O)
- Consumer & Online (C&O)
According to [Microsoft] Worldwide Marketing & Operations as of July 14, 2013: How exciting would it be to have a global view of the largest software company in the world, and help optimize go-to-market strategy and operations execution? The WW M&O organization does just that by integrating business, marketing, and operational leadership globally. We combine our consumer and commercial marketing into a single organization, and serve as the center of gravity for subsidiary marketing and operations. We align our corporate assets and talent to spark innovation, drive growth, win share and improve the customer and partner experience.
According to Sales Jobs at Microsoft as of July 14, 2013, with added overall/marketing descriptions when available:
- Microsoft Enterprise [and] Partner Group (EPG), Sales: Our enterprise customers call our Worldwide Enterprise and Partner Group their trusted advisors. We help these customers strengthen their own customer relationships, lower their costs, and build a strategic advantage.
- Microsoft Enterprise Services, Sales: We solve problems. What could be better than helping a customer discover a technology or service that solves a pressing business problem? Or that makes a life easier, richer, or more rewarding? Those are a winning scenarios for everyone—for the customer you satisfy, for our company, and for you—the person who solves the problem and makes the sale. That’s Enterprise Services Sales at Microsoft.
- Microsoft Enterprise Services, Overall: We are the consulting and enterprise support division of Microsoft. We help businesses around the world get a maximized return on their investment in Microsoft products and technologies. This means not only helping with deploying and optimizing IT, but also helping businesses move forward with IT initiatives that deliver the most business value. We have a global team of more than 9,720 professionals in 88 countries, we help a large number of customers worldwide achieve their business objectives each year. Why do so many businesses and individuals trust us to help them save money and improve their profitability? Because we are the experts at accelerating the adoption and productive use of Microsoft products and technologies. Our goal is to empower our customers to succeed. We help our customers get the most out of existing IT assets, saving them money and delivering real business results. We are committed to the transfer of knowledge so that our customers can drive the success of projects through best practices, intellectual property, and key insights from thousands of Microsoft Services engagements worldwide. When it comes to support, we never forget that our customers’ business and their success comes first.
- Microsoft Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Sales: We solve problems and engage with strategic Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to identify and drive efficiencies, best practices, product improvements and consumer loyalty.
- Microsoft Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), Overall: Tablets, Smartphones, Laptops, Netbooks, Desktops, Smart TVs…the device business is exciting, fast-paced & rapidly changing. We help Microsoft partners to design & sell the latest hardware solutions featuring Win7, Win8, Windows Phone, Server, Office & Bing. If you’re passionate about impacting the global ecosystem of partners, and influencing the experience on the 100’s of millions of devices that ship every year, then this is the team for you. Check out exciting opportunities in engineering, marketing, business development and policy.
- Microsoft Public Sector, Sales1: The Worldwide Public Sector team focuses on truly partnering with customers and partners in Government, Health and Education industries in new and innovative ways. This effort includes not only working on projects and programs important to them, but also staying focused on establishing Framework Agreements that are all-encompassing.
- Microsoft Public Sector, Sales2: For more than 30 years Microsoft has provided technology solutions for Public Sector organizations globally. Microsoft, along with our partner ecosystem, addresses the most complex, mission-critical technology issues for the government (federal, state and local), education (K-12 and universities) and healthcare (hospitals, physicians’ offices and other Health & Life Sciences organizations). The global Public Sector has made huge investments in our products to create practical, cost-effective solutions.
- Microsoft Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners (SMSP / SMS&P), Sales: Our Small & Mid-market Solutions and Partners team ensures that we and our ecosystem of partners deliver technology solutions that meet the unique needs of small and medium businesses and home consumers.
- Microsoft Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners (SMSP / SMS&P), Overall: Small & Mid-market Solutions and Partners works with our ecosystem of partners, including system integrators, resellers, distributors, hosters, managed service providers and readiness partners, to deliver technology solutions that meet the unique needs of our customers. The SMS&P team is responsible for selling the broad spectrum of Microsoft products and cloud services, an exciting growth area for both Microsoft.
- Microsoft Worldwide Licensing and Pricing (WWLP), Sales and Overall: World Wide Licensing and Pricing Group (WWLP) is accountable for leading and orchestrating the business groups, segments and field in global development and implementation of licensing business models that make it easy for customers to acquire, use, and manage Volume Licensing products while maximizing synergy among all business groups across Microsoft.
- Microsoft Communications Sector, Sales: The Communications Sector is responsible for driving the sales and marketing of Microsoft services and innovative software-based solutions to telecommunications, hosting, media and entertainment companies.
- Microsoft Consumer & Online (C&O), Sales = Marketing: Each day, more people are spending more time online—always connected, using multiple devices. The goal of Consumer & Online (C&O) is to build consumer loyalty and enable a seamless consumer experience across Windows, mobile devices, and online properties. We couldn’t do this without close cooperation of a broad network of retail and online partners, PC and device manufacturers, advertisers, and publishers. You’ll find all kinds of talent in C&O: content development, marketing, advertising sales, business development, operations, and technical. We offer world-class advertising sales, consumer marketing, and creative services to our partners and advertisers. We help them build consumer loyalty by targeting their unique styles and needs. Our consumer marketing team is also responsible for evangelizing the breadth and value of Microsoft’s consumer offerings including Windows, Windows Mobile, MSN, Windows Live (which includes Hotmail and Messenger), Bing, and other advertising-supported services. Our business is to help consumers experience a “Life without Walls,” and we hire outstanding people to do so.
To me not only Nokia Lumia 1020: an excellent case of Nokia’s contribution to Microsoft as a key innovation partner [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 12, 2013] made a great impression but the extraordinary performance of Stephen Elop (CEO of Nokia) at that event. I found a couple of videos demonstrating my point:
The Engadget Interview: Nokia’s Stephen Elop on the Lumia 1020 [Engadget YouTube channel, July 11, 2013]
Stephen Elop Takes A Very Awkward Question & Aces It [TheHandheldBlog YouTube channel, July 11, 2013]
Nokia Lumia 1020 Press Conference Live Streaming: Nokia’s ‘zoom reinvented event July 11, 2013 [lifechannelable YouTube channel, July 11, 2013]
Compare this to the performance of other Nokia executives at the Nokia Lumia 925 Press Conference May 14, 2013 [lifechannelable YouTube channel, May 14, 2013] which is kind of average coporate executive performance
Nokia Lumia 1020: an excellent case of Nokia’s contribution to Microsoft as a key innovation partner
Update: An excellent infographic from All you need to know about the world’s coolest Nokia Lumia 1020 infographic [Nokia Conversations, July 26, 2013]
From the video presentations these two are worth to embed here:
Interview with Nokia’s Stephen Elop: the Lumia 1020 will take customers ‘over the goal line’ [TheVerge YouTube channel, July 11, 2013]
Note that Elop is emphasizing here the experience what is delivered as much via software as hardware. In the Q&A: How Nokia and Microsoft collaborated to create the groundbreaking new Lumia 1020 with Windows Phone 8 [Windows Phone Blog, July 11, 2013] there is even a talk about the whole set of “camera / imaging / navigation / personal experiences”. By reading my Microsoft reorg for delivering/supporting high-value experiences/activities [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 11, 2013] post you will understand even more this whole experiences stuff, both for Nokia and Microsoft, also as an excellent case of key innovation partnership.
From the first 24 hours media reports only the ones given below (only four) are worth to be excerpted here, as all others are emphasizing the 41MP camera:
Nokia Lumia 1020 Hands On: This Actually Might Be Amazing [Gizmodo, July 11, 2013], indeed. You should read this article to understand why I agree wholeheartedly with that.
Nokia’s strategy for selling the Lumia 1020 makes zero sense [BGR, July 11, 2013], what?
… Nokia’s obvious pride in its work on the Lumia 1020 is undermined by the company’s bizarre strategy for selling the device … what really baffles me about Nokia’s strategy for selling the Lumia 1020 is its decision to make the device an AT&T exclusive. … When a Forbes reporter pointedly asked Nokia CEO Stephen Elop on Thursday why he was sticking with his strategy of promoting carrier exclusivity despite the fact that AT&T has allegedly been a “dreadful” partner, he drew loud cheers from the crowd. Whether AT&T has been good or bad when it comes to promoting Nokia devices is really beside the point, however. What has become clear is that keeping your best devices exclusively on one carrier is a self-defeating strategy.
For Nokia, 41MP Hype Of Lumia 1020 Is Both Blessing And A Curse [Forbes, July 12, 2013], why?
… the problem with emphasizing the Lumia 1020′s pixel count is that no consumer wakes up thinking, “What I really need is larger images from my phone.” … when was the last time you walked into a retail cellular provider’s store and got information from sales staff beyond the bullet points on the display signage? … They have a product that is stylish, delivers great-looking photos and, all things considered, is reasonably priced. But none of that will mean much if the Lumia 1020 becomes defined as the “41MP phone” sitting in the back of your local AT&T retail shop, with a salesperson who can only tell you it takes big pictures.
Lumia 1020: A flash point for Nokia? [CNET, July 11, 2013], is it?
… “The device is about re-establishing Nokia as an innovator in the devices market,” said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi. … Unlike most phone launches, which often delve into specifications such processor speeds, [Nokia CEO Stephen] Elop kept the presentation focused on all the tricks and features enabled by the monster camera. “We’re all looking forward to bringing people the next chapter in smartphone imaging,” he said. … “You can see how much software innovation is going on inside this product — that also positions Nokia in a better place than many of its competitors who still do technology for the sake of it, but are unable to package it in a way that improves the users experience,” Milanesi said. “At a time when macro-level innovation has seemed to be lacking in smartphones, Nokia’s Lumia 1020 demonstrates that there is still considerable scope to drive forward the user experience in core smartphone capabilities,” said Ovum analyst Tony Cripps.
While the 41-megapixel camera may wow shutterbugs and tech enthusiasts, the Windows Phone operating system gives some consumers pause when considering the Lumia 1020. The operating system, which employs live tiles, is wholly different from the standard grid of icons found on Apple’s iPhone or Android devices. Some critics have called it a fresh take on a smartphone, but consumers have been slow to embrace it. “It’s a Windows Phone challenge,” Elop conceded when asked about less-than-stellar sales. “There’s tremendous responsiblity to help everyone understand what that third alternative stands for.”
One of the challenges that Nokia faces is getting the phone in people’s hands to try out. Elop said he is working to get more carrier sales representatives trained and using a Lumia device, which he said will help convince consumers to give the operating system a shot. Elop touted the Lumia line’s higher net promoter score, or a measure of how willing a person is to recommend a product. He believes the score will help Nokia build its momentum. …
Finally, the related Nokia communications:
- Lumia 1020 whitepaper [23 pages PDF document, July 10, 2013]
Best of both worlds: Sharpness and low light
– Sharpness is more than just megapixels
—Oversampling results in 5MP photos with amazing detail
—High resolution zoom
—Getting rid of hand-shake
– Photos in the dark
—Back side illuminated sensor
– Real life sharpness measurement
Nokia Pro Camera
– Zoom reinvented and reframing
– Photography tools and creative control
—Manual controls: EV, shutter speed, ISO, focus, WB
—Nokia Pro Camera Video
—Nokia Rich Recording
Key technologies and specs
- Nokia Rich Recording Technology – Technical overall description [6 pages PDF document, June 14, 2013]
- Nokia Rich Recording – Video that brings back the moment [Nokia Lumia 1020] [nokia YouTube channel, July 11, 2013]
- Get creative and win with Nokia Lumia 1020 [Nokia Developer, July 11, 2013]
- Nokia Imaging SDK [Nokia Developer, July 11, 2013]
- Create great imaging apps with the Nokia Imaging SDK [nokiadevforum YouTube channel, July 11, 2013]
- Nokia Lumia 1020: the smartphone camera revolution begins! [Nokia Conversations, July 11, 2013]
- Professional camera power to the people with Nokia Pro Camera [Nokia Conversations, July 11, 2013]
- Nokia Lumia 1020 picture gallery: zoom in [Nokia Conversations, July 11, 2013]
- Nokia Lumia 1020 – product gallery [Nokia Conversations, July 11, 2013]
- What the world’s saying about the Nokia Lumia 1020 [Nokia Conversations, July 11, 2013]
- Nokia Lumia 1020: hands on video [Nokia Conversations, July 12, 2013]
- 10 reasons to get excited about the Nokia Lumia 1020 [Nokia Conversations, July 12, 2013]
- Camera Grip for the Nokia Lumia 1020 [Nokia Conversations, July 12, 2013]
- Changing the game again: From Nokia 808 PureView to Nokia Lumia 1020 [Nokia Conversations, July 12, 2013], see also The 41 MP Nokia 808 PureView meeting the vanishing world challenge [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 4, 2012]
- Zoom. Reinvented. Nokia Lumia 1020 arrives [press release, July 11, 2013]
Espoo, Finland and New York, NY – Today, Nokia established a new benchmark in smartphone imaging with the arrival of the Nokia Lumia 1020, boasting a second generation 41 megapixel sensor. Unlike any smartphone in the market today the Nokia Lumia 1020 reinvents zoom, enabling people to discover more detail than the eye can see. With Nokia’s innovative PureView technology, including optical image stabilization, the device is able to produce some of the sharpest images possible by any digital camera.
This is made possible by leading hardware technology combined with a new application called Nokia Pro Camera, which makes it easy for anyone to take professional quality images. Either before a picture is taken or after it has been shot, the zoom capability enables people to discover and then rediscover the personal stories each image can tell. With a beautiful interface that visually demonstrates how settings will affect the final photo or video, Nokia Pro Camera makes it easier than ever to capture, edit and share photos and videos with unrivaled clarity.
Using a new feature called dual capture, the Nokia Lumia 1020 simultaneously takes a high resolution 38 megapixel image for endless editing opportunities, and creates a 5 megapixel picture that is easy to share to social networks with Windows Phone 8.
The Nokia Lumia 1020’s 41 megapixel sensor features leading ZEISS optics with six physical lenses, plus optical image stabilization, delivering crystal clear pictures even in low light conditions. It also captures blur free videos with stereo sound even at the loudest concerts thanks to Nokia Rich Recording, which handles sound pressure levels six times louder than conventional smartphone microphones.
“We want to take people on a journey from capturing pictures to recording and sharing their lives,” said Stephen Elop, President and CEO, Nokia. “The Nokia Lumia 1020 will bring new meaning to pictures and continues to strengthen Nokia’s leadership in imaging.”
Nokia also released a new imaging software development kit (SDK) that provides key image editing features of the Nokia Lumia 1020 to developers. The SDK is available today at developer.nokia.com with a number of developers including Vyclone, Yelp and CNN integrating these features into future releases.
Hipstamatic showcased Oggl PRO, an exclusive application for the Nokia Lumia 1020 offering the most advanced smartphone camera controls for their creative community. It was also announced that popular applications Vine, Path and Flipboard will soon be available on Windows Phone.
Adding further professional capabilities and additional battery life, Nokia announced the new Nokia Camera Grip. This is an accessory that complements device features usually reserved for stand-alone cameras, like the Nokia Lumia 1020’s built-in xenon flash and mechanical shutter. The Nokia Camera Grip also has a tripod mount, and is expected to be available this month for an estimated retail price of USD 79.
The personal nature of Windows Phone makes it the perfect platform for the Nokia Lumia 1020, showcasing live images on the Start screen with the Photos tile, quick sharing to social networks, and easy access to files across a number of devices with SkyDrive. With the dedicated camera button, Windows Phone is designed with imaging in mind.
To help people see what’s around them and discover new places to take photos, the latest developments in LiveSight will available in HERE Maps soon. The Nokia Lumia 1020 also comes with ad and subscription free Nokia Music streaming.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 will arrive first on U.S. shores exclusively with AT&T, with sales expected to start on July 26 at a price of USD 299.99 on a two-year contract.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 is then expected to arrive in China and key European markets this quarter. Nokia plans to ship an exclusive variant of the device with Telefonica to select European and Latin American markets. The Nokia Lumia 1020 will be available in yellow, white and black.
Nokia Lumia 1020
Windows Phone 8
HERE location services
Free global HERE Maps and HERE Drive+; Free HERE Transit available in the Store
4.5″ AMOLED WXGA (1280×768), 2.5 D sculpted Corning Gorilla Glass 3, PureMotion HD+, ClearBlack, high brightness mode, sunlight readability, super sensitive touch, Nokia Glance Screen
2000 mAh battery, wireless charging supported via cover
1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4
PureView 41 MP with optical image stabilization, Resolution: 7712 x 5360. Includes Nokia Pro Camera. Xenon flash for still images, LED flash for video
Front facing camera
HD 1.2 MP wide angle
2 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory; 7 GB free SkyDrive cloud storage
Too elevated and abstract formulation? Not at all, as just 3 days ago we’ve seen a really great example of such an experience/activity at the WPC 2013:
Power BI Demo [msPartner YouTube channel, July 8, 2013]
Even the title of the post reporting on the WPC 2013 was Microsoft partners empowered with ‘cloud first’, high-value and next-gen experiences for big data, enterprise social, and mobility on wide variety of Windows devices and Windows Server + Windows Azure + Visual Studio as the platform [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 10, 2013]
Still find too elevated and abstract the high-value experiences/activities formulation now put into the center of what Microsoft does? Watch this Nokia’s Lumia 1020 event recap in 5 minutes [TheVerge YouTube channel, July 11, 2013] video from Nokia showing how a major innovation partner could join Microsoft in all that (in this case with incredible camera experience):
It is not by chance that the Lumia 1020 event was synchonized with Microsoft reorg announcement of July 11.
Have doubts how such high-value experiences/activities could be presented to everyday customers? Watch this video:
This is a month-old ad for Dell Tablet vs. iPad [WindowsVideos YouTube channel, June 13, 2013] showing how much it is possible, and more importantly it is possible exactly because of such value focus:
Now it is time to show the scope of such high values Microsoft found it could and should focus on. In Transforming Our Company [Microsoft memo, July 11, 2013] the following high-value activities based on devices and services delivery were defined:
Reinventing expression and documents. People love and need to express themselves in new ways. Documents are going from being printed to being experienced. There are many high-value needs for personal creative expression — some just for fun, others at work or at school. We will reinvent the tools and form of expressing oneself (and expressing things as a group) from paper and slides to online. We will ensure that the tools handle multimedia (photos, videos, text, charts and slides) in an integrated way and natively online. These documents/websites will be easily sharable and easily included in meetings. They will offer complex options such as imbedded logic and yet be easy to author, search and view. These documents will be readable from a browser, but the experience will be infinitely better if read, annotated or presented with our tools.
Next-generation decision-making and task completion. Our machine learning infrastructure will understand people’s needs and what is available in the world, and will provide information and assistance. We will be great at anticipating needs in people’s daily routines and providing insight and assistance when they need it. When it comes to life’s most important tasks and events, we will pay extra attention. The research done, the data collected and analyzed, the meetings and discussions had, and the money spent are all amplified for people during life’s big moments. We will provide the tools people need to capture their own data and organize and analyze it in conjunction with the massive amount of data available over the Web. Bing, Excel and our InfoNav innovations are all important here. Decision-making and tasks mean different things in personal versus professional lives, yet they are important in both places.
Social communication (meetings, events, gathering, sharing and communicating). Social communications are time-intensive, high-value scenarios that are ripe for digital re-imagination. Such innovation will include new ways to participate in work meetings, PTA and nonprofit activities, family and social gatherings, and more. We can reimagine email and other communication vehicles as the lines between these vehicles grow fuzzy, and the amount of people’s digital or digitally assisted interaction continues to grow. We can create new ways to interact through hardware, software and new services. Next-gen documents and expression are an important part of online social communications. We will not focus on becoming another social network for people to participate in casually, though some may use these products and services that way.
Serious fun. This expression may sound like an oxymoron, yet it encapsulates an important point of differentiation for us. There are many things people do for light fun, for example play solitaire, spend three minutes on a word game or surf the TV. Although we will enable these activities effectively, our biggest opportunity is in creating the fun people feel most intensely, such as playing a game that lasts hours and takes real concentration, or immersing them in live events and entertainment (including sports, concerts, education and fitness) while allowing interactive participation. Interactivity takes engagement and makes things serious; it really requires differentiated hardware, apps and services. People want to participate at home and on the go, and in gatherings with others. We see a unique opportunity to make experiencing events with others more exciting with interactivity. We also see opportunity in fitness and health because, for many, this is serious fun much more than it is a task.
The rationale behind is best represented by following excerpts from:
 One Microsoft: Company realigns to enable innovation at greater speed, efficiency
 Transforming Our Company
 we realized our strengths are in high-value activities, powering devices and enterprise services.
 The bedrock of our new strategy is innovation in deep, rich, high-value experiences and activities. It’s the starting point for differentiated devices integrated with services. It’s at the core of how we will inspire ourselves all to do our best work and bring to our customers the very things that will make a difference in their lives.
 We will plan across the company, so we can better deliver compelling integrated devices and services for the high-value experiences and core technologies around which we organize. This new planning approach will look at both the short-term deliverables and long-term initiatives needed to meet the shipment cadences of both Microsoft and third-party devices and our services.
 services core technologies in productivity, communication, search and other information categories [within Applications and Services Engineering Group]
 We will see our product line holistically, not as a set of islands. We will allocate resources and build devices and services that provide compelling, integrated experiences across the many screens in our lives, with maximum return to shareholders. All parts of the company will share and contribute to the success of core offerings, like Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, Surface, Office 365 and our EA offer, Bing, Skype, Dynamics, Azure and our servers. All parts of the company will contribute to activating high-value experiences for our customers.
 We will pull together disparate engineering efforts today into a coherent set of our high-value activities.
 Our focus on high-value activities — serious fun, meetings, tasks, research, information assurance and IT/Dev workloads — also will get top-level championship.
 people also turn to technology for more important tasks in their lives — and we will focus our energies on creating new, memorable and even extraordinary experiences across our family of devices and services. Think of the student stuck on that term paper looking to display all his creativity in ways that will get him an A+; the family that’s getting together for a reunion and wants the delightful memories to last forever online; the gamer who is taking his fantasy team to the playoffs; or any of us who could be faced with a tough medical decision and needs to plan care and finances.
Such high-value activities include the full breadth and depth of areas like personal expression, decision-making and tasks, social communication, and serious fun — and we have both the drive and the capacity to reinvent these experiences for people across the globe.
 Our devices must support the same high-value activities in ways that are meaningful across different device types.
 We will be on a new path centered around delivering high-value activities on a family of devices with integrated services.
 We will engage enterprise on all sides — investing in more high-value activities for enterprise users to do their jobs; empowering people to be productive independent of their enterprise; and building new and innovative solutions for IT professionals and developers.
 Building upon Windows, Xbox and our growing suite of consumer and enterprise services, we will design, create and deliver through us and through third parties a complete family of Windows-powered devices — devices that can help people just as much in their work life as they do after hours. Devices that help people do more and play harder.
 The evangelism and business development team will drive partners across our integrated strategy and its execution.
 Our marketing, advertising and all our customer interaction will be designed to reflect one company with integrated approaches to our consumer and business marketplaces.
 As devices become further integrated into everyday life, we will have to create new and extraordinary experiences for our customers on these devices. We are going to focus on completely reinventing experiences like creating or viewing a creative document and what it means to communicate socially at home or in meetings at work. We are going to immerse people in deep entertainment experiences that let them have serious fun in ways so intense and delightful that they will blur the line between reality and fantasy. And as we develop these new experiences, we will also support our developers with the simplest ways to develop apps or cloud services and integrate with our products. We will help businesses that find themselves in a new world of ever-mounting information to manage that information through greater enterprise information assurance. We will make these high-value activities priorities in our strategy.
from such a prestigous source. Absolutely amazing how much they miss the whole point of this reorg.
Whether you come from the understanding of the overall change of attitude towards a complete high-value focus, or you see this as a kind of catch-up play in terms of the devices and services approach announced a year ago, you will arrive at talking about the following functional organization as per  which is replacing the previous divisional organization:
Business Development and Evangelism Group. Tony Bates will focus on key partnerships especially our innovation partners (OEMs, silicon vendors, key developers, Yahoo, Nokia, etc.) and our broad work on evangelism and developer outreach. DPE, Corporate Strategy and the business development efforts formerly in the BGs will become part of this new group. OEM will remain in SMSG with Kevin Turner with a dotted line to Tony who will work closely with Nick Parker on key OEM relationships.
Operating Systems Engineering Group. Terry Myerson will lead this group, and it will span all our OS work for console, to mobile device, to PC, to back-end systems. The core cloud services for the operating system will be in this group.
Devices and Studios Engineering Group. Julie Larson-Green will lead this group and will have all hardware development and supply chain from the smallest to the largest devices we build. Julie will also take responsibility for our studios experiences including all games, music, video and other entertainment.
Applications and Services Engineering Group. Qi Lu will lead broad applications and services core technologies in productivity, communication, search and other information categories.
Cloud and Enterprise Engineering Group. Satya Nadella will lead development of our back-end technologies like datacenter, database and our specific technologies for enterprise IT scenarios and development tools. He will lead datacenter development, construction and operation.
Dynamics. Kirill Tatarinov will continue to run Dynamics as is, but his product leaders will dotted line report to Qi Lu, his marketing leader will dotted line report to Tami Reller and his sales leader will dotted line report to the COO group.
Advanced Strategy and Research Group. Eric Rudder will lead Research, Trustworthy Computing, teams focused on the intersection of technology and policy, and will drive our cross-company looks at key new technology trends.
COO. Kevin Turner will continue leading our worldwide sales, field marketing, services, support, and stores as well as IT, licensing and commercial operations.
Marketing Group. Tami Reller will lead all marketing with the field relationship as is today. Mark Penn will take a broad view of marketing strategy and will lead with Tami the newly centralized advertising and media functions.
HR Group. Lisa Brummel will lead Human Resources and map her team to the new organization.
Finance Group. Amy Hood will centralize all product group finance organizations. SMSG finance, which is geographically diffuse, will report to Kevin Turner with a dotted line to Amy.
Legal and Corporate Affairs Group. Brad Smith will continue as General Counsel with responsibility for the company’s legal and corporate affairs and will map his team to the new organization.
From Steve Ballmer and Microsoft Senior Leadership Team: One Microsoft Conference Call [Microsoft News Center, July 11, 2013]
ADRIANNE JEFFRIES, The Verge: Hi, thanks so much. My question is, Steve, with Julie and Terry leading separate software and hardware teams, how do you feel you can bring devices to the market in a way that Apple and other competitors do? Will they work closely enough and collaboratively enough to compete with Apple?
JULIE LARSON-GREEN: I think it’s a perfect way for us to approach it. Terry and I have worked together for a long time. We both have worked on the operating system side. I’ve worked on the hardware side, and it’s a good blending of our skills and our teams to deliver things together. So the structure that we’re putting in place for the whole company is about working across the different disciplines and having product champions. So Terry and I will be working to lead delivery to market of our first-party and third-party devices.
STEVE BALLMER: Yes, and maybe just also have Tony Bates add a little bit. Tony is going to have a critical role running business development evangelism, our role with our hardware innovation partners, our OEMs.
TONY BATES: Yes, I would just add to that. Julie alluded to this — first party, there’s also a third party — and I think having a single interface to our key innovation partners, but two bringing together the way we think about offers with our partners is going to be absolutely critical. So when we think about how we work together, I think of going back to one strategy, one team. So we’re all going to be part of that. It’s going to be critical that we have that interface going forward.
ADRIANNE JEFFRIES: And is Terry there?
TERRY MYERSON: Yes. I thought Julie and Tony had it very well said. We’ve got innovative ideas coming from our OEM partners, and Julie’s team has some very innovative ideas. And the platform needs to span from the PPI whiteboard that Tony talked about to Xbox, to our phone, and beyond. So it’s exciting to have all these hardware partners in the Windows ecosystem, or in the Microsoft ecosystem, and all the innovative ideas and to bring it to market together.