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What is behind the ARM Holding’s acquisition by SoftBank Group?

The quick answer is that “ARM is the driver of the IoT era” when every thing is interconnected. Another reason is that they have been steadily working in an early investment mode from very beginning, and quite successfully.

SoftBank CEO and Founder Masayoshi Son has been referring back to the PC and Internet era when his company invested into Yahoo US which had only 16 employees then. In the beginning of PC broadband they have invested into mobile internet. And now is one of the biggest paradigm shifts is coming BIG TIME, that is IoT — he says. Some of his quotes shed light on what kind of perspective he is thinking of:

I truly believe Singularity [*] is coming and that computers will one day become smarter than mankind.

Every street light will be interconnected to the internet because we can save when car is not passing.

Automobile will all be connected so driverless car much safer.

All the things will be connected and what is biggest common denominator, that is Arm.

Technological singularity (Wikipedia): “is a hypothetical event in which an upgradable intelligent agent (such as a computer running software-based artificial general intelligence) enters a ‘runaway reaction’ of self-improvement cycles, with each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly, causing an intelligence explosion and resulting in a powerful superintelligence that would, qualitatively, far surpass all human intelligence.[1][2] This would signal the end of the human era, as the new superintelligence would continue to upgrade itself and would advance technologically at an incomprehensible rate.[3]
For more information see the rest of the Wikipedia article.

And about the automobile opportunity alone he said:

I would say automobile is becoming smarter and smarter so when automobile becomes so smart it is required to have more and more chips integrated inside the car, especially when it becomes a driverless car. Automotive itself will become a super computer which consists of a bunch of multiple chips so ARM will be going into that market very aggressively.

More information along these lines see in the SoftBank CEO: the average person will have 1,000 internet-connected devices by 2040 article by Tech in Asia.

July 18, 2016: ARM CEO Simon Segars about SoftBank acquisition 

Official video released at https://www.acceleratingtech.com/ a site to explain the SoftBank acquisition of ARM, they claim:
– SoftBank’s £17 offer price gives ARM shareholders a 43% premium on Friday’s closing share price and a 41.1% premium on the all-time high share price
– Assurance to double ARM’s UK headcount in the next five years and increase headcount outside the UK
– Leaves ARM’s successful partnership business model, culture and brand unchanged
– Great endorsement of UK tech

July 18, 2016: Acquisition of ARM Holdings plc
Background and Rationale by SoftBank Group Corp.
(from Recommended Acquisition of ARM by SoftBank)

The acquisition of ARM by SBG will deliver the following benefits:

  • Support and accelerate ARM’s position as the global leader in intellectual property licensing and R&D outsourcing for semiconductor companies

SBG’s deep industry expertise and global network of relationships will accelerate adoption of ARM’s intellectual property across existing and new markets.

  • Maintain ARM’s dedication to innovation

SBG intends to sustain ARM’s long-term focus on generating more value per device, and driving licensing wins and future royalty streams in new growth categories, specifically “Enterprise and Embedded Intelligence.”

  • Increased investment to drive the next wave of innovation

SBG intends to support ARM’s multiple growth initiatives by investing in engineering talent and complementary acquisitions with the aim of ensuring ARM maintains a R&D edge over existing and emerging competitors. SBG believes such an investment strategy in long-term growth will be easier to execute as a non-listed company.

  • Shared culture and long-term vision

SBG believes the two companies share the same technology-oriented culture, long-term vision, focus on innovation and commitment to attracting, developing and retaining top talent. These common values will be the foundation for the strong strategic partnership necessary to capture the significant opportunities ahead.

  • Maintain and grow the UK’s leadership in science and technology

SBG is investing in the UK as a world leader in science and technology development and innovation and, as evidence of this, intends to invest in multiple ARM growth initiatives, at least doubling the number of ARM employees in the UK over the next five years.

July 18, 2016: Our Business Model (from Presentation material (English) (PDF) )

SoftBank Group Corp. Business Model -- 18 July 2016

Everything in violet color has been added by myself to the slide.

July 2015, from CEO Message:

Transformation into “SoftBank 2.0”

Thirty-four years have now passed since the foundation of SoftBank, and so far, our position has been one of SoftBank holding assets in overseas companies as a company in Japan. Now, however, we are going to the second stage of SoftBank—“SoftBank 2.0”—in which we will transform SoftBank into a truly global company that can ensure sustained business growth over the long term. We are now in a major transition period.

As the founder, I have set out to create a business model that can deliver continued business growth for centuries. However, many technology companies face the common challenge of a 30-year life cycle where growth is followed by decline. This decline stems from factors such as the increasing obsolescence of technologies and business models, and an over-reliance on founders.

What is the solution? Not only do we need to transform our existing businesses, we also need to have a comprehensive structure in place for supporting disruptive entrepreneurs and facilitating continued development with them.

… [the rest is to see at the place of original]

July 18, 2016Press Conference: ARM to be acquired by SoftBank

Japanese SoftBank CEO and Founder Masayoshi Son (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Masayoshi+Son), the richest person in Japan, speaks at the SoftBank Press Conference to announce the acquisition of ARM Holdings for $31.4 Billion, SoftBank promises to keep the same business model for ARM, to increase the employee count in the UK by 2x within the next 5 years, to increase ARM’s employee count around the world. You can read the official presentation materials here:
http://www.softbank.jp/corp/d/sbg_press_en/list/pdf/pressconference_01/material_en.pdf
[i.e. Presentation material (English) (PDF)]

July 2015, Major Subsidiaries

Company Name Voting Rights (%) Principal Business Activities

Mobile Communications Segment

SoftBank Mobile Corp.*1                         100 Mobile communications services, sale of mobile devices
BB Mobile Corp.                         100 Holding company
Ymobile Corporation*1*2                        99,7 Mobile broadband services, development and sale of communications devices, ADSL services, PHS-based mobile communications services
GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc.*3 40.2
[18.6]*
Production and distribution of online games for smartphones and other devices
Wireless City Planning Inc.                        33,3 Planning and provision of mobile broadband services
SoftBank Commerce & Service Corp.*5                         100 Manufacture, distribution, and sale of IT-related products, IT-related services
Brightstar Global Group Inc.                         100 Holding company
Brightstar Corp.                         100 Mobile device distribution, supply chain solutions, handset protection and insurance, buy-back and trade-in, omnichannel solutions and financial services
GRAVITY Co., Ltd.*6                        59,3 Planning, development, and operations of online games
Supercell Oy*7                        53,7 Production and distribution of mobile game applications

Sprint Segment

Sprint Corporation                        79,5 Holding company
Sprint Communications, Inc.                         100 Mobile communications services, sale of mobile devices and accessories, fixed-line telecommunications services

Fixed-line Telecommunications Segment

SoftBank BB Corp.*1                         100 ADSL services, IP telephony services
SoftBank Telecom Corp.*1                         100 Fixed-line telephone services, data transmission and leased-line services

Internet Segment

Yahoo Japan Corporation                        43,0 Operation of the Yahoo ! JAPAN portal, sale of Internet advertising, operation of e-commerce sites, membership services
IDC Frontier Inc.                         100 Data center business
ValueCommerce Co., Ltd.                        50,6 Ad affiliate marketing service, StoreMatch online advertising distribution service

Others

Mobiletech Corporation                         100 Holding company
SB Energy Corp.                         100 Generation of electricity from renewable energy sources, supply and sale of electricity
SoftBank Payment Service Corp.                         100 Settlement services, card services and related services
Fukuoka SoftBank HAWKS Corp.                         100 Ownership of professional baseball team, operation of baseball games, management and maintenance of baseball stadium and other sports facilities, distribution of video, voice and data content via media
SoftBank Robotics Holdings Corp.                         100 Planning, development, and sale of robots
SBBM Corporation                         100 Holding company
ITmedia Inc.                        57,9 Operation of comprehensive IT information site ITmedia, etc.
SoftBank Technology Corp.                        55,4 Solutions and services for online businesses
Vector Inc.                        52,4 Operation, sales, and marketing of online games, software downloads, advertising
SFJ Capital Limited                         100 Procurement of funds by issuing preferred (restricted voting) securities
SB Group US, Inc.                         100 Holding company
SB CHINA HOLDINGS PTE LTD                         100 Holding company
SoftBank Ventures Korea Corp.                         100 Holding company
SoftBank Korea Corp.                         100 Holding company
Starburst I, Inc.                         100 Holding company
SoftBank Holdings Inc.                         100 Holding company
SoftBank America Inc.                         100 Holding company
STARFISH I PTE. LTD.                         100 Holding company
SB Pan Pacific Corporation                         100 Holding company
Hayate Corporation                         100 Holding company
*1   On April 1, 2015 SoftBank BB, SoftBank Telecom, and Ymobile, merged into SoftBank Mobile.  On July 1, 2015, SoftBank Mobile changed its company name to SoftBank Corp.
*2   eAccess merged with WILLCOM on June 1, 2014 and changed its company name to Ymobile on July 1, 2014.
*3   As a result of the completion of a tender offer by GungHo for its shares on June 1, 2015, and other factors, GungHo became an equity method associate of SoftBank Corp. (currently SoftBank Group Corp.).  Please refer to page 190 for details.
*4   Holdings by parties in close relationships, etc., with SoftBank Corp. (currently SoftBank Group Corp.)
*5   SoftBank BB Corp., divided its commerce and service business and newly established SoftBank C&S on April 1, 2014.  All shares of SoftBank C&S held by SoftBank Corp. (currently SoftBank Group Corp.) were transferred to a wholly owned subsidiary of Brightstar.
*6   Since GRAVITY Co., Ltd.’s parent company GungHo is an equity method associate, as noted in *3, as of the publication of this annual report, GRAVITY is not a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. (currently SoftBank Group Corp.).
*7   The Company purchased additional shares of Supercell from existing shareholders on May 29, 2015.  After this transaction, the Company’s share of voting rights stands at 77.8%.

July 2015, Major Associates

Company Name Voting Rights (%) Principal Business Activities

Internet Segment

ASKUL Corporation                    41,9 Mail order sales of stationary, office products, services, etc.
The Japan Net Bank, Limited                    41,2 Banking business
BOOKOFF CORPORATION LIMITED                    15,0 Auction service and reuse business

Others

Scigineer Inc.                    33,2 Provision of Internet marketing support services using the personalized engine “deqwas” for e-commerce business operators and retailers
Bharti SoftBank Holdings Pte. Ltd.                    50,0 Holding company
Renren Inc.                    43,0 Investor company of company operating Renren.com SNS site in China
Alibaba Group Holding Limited                    31,9 Investor company of companies operating e-commerce sites Alibaba.com, Taobao. com, and Tmall.com
InMobi Pte. Ltd.                    35,2 Mobile advertising services

Main Overseas Fund Data

Fund Name
Subsidiaries
SoftBank Ranger Venture Investment Partnership
SoftBank Capital Fund ’10 L.P.
Associates
SoftBank US Ventures VI L.P.
SoftBank Capital Technology Fund III L.P.

 

Amazon’s move into overall leadership: Kindle Fire HDX with Snapdragon 800, “revolutionary on-device tech support” (Mayday), enterprise and productivity capable Fire OS 3.0 forked from Android 4.2.2 etc. PLUS a significantly enhanced, new Kindle Fire HD for a much lower, $139 price

Update about the overall strategy of Amazon:
image
From: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Is Like King Midas in Reverse [Slate, Oct 25, 2013]
Which is—nevertheless—missing the major point of Amazon strategy: smart investors continue to accelerate buying Amazon shares (from not so smart investors), and thus increasing the share price, because they recognize that Amazon is investing all of its profits into buying market share in commerce (generally) in a maximally possible way:

image
Source: https://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ:AMZN

Regarding Amazon’s devices only strategy (as a part of the overall one) there is a great quote on another picture there:

We want to make money when people use our devices,
not when they buy our devices.

End of the update.

Note that the previous (2nd gen) high-end has been available in more than 170 countries since June 13 this year! This also coincided with opening the curated Amazon Appstore for Android to 193 countries/territories! So Amazon is a global leader now in all respects, and the more it moves its overall e-commerce business to more countries/territories the more dominant it becomes against a whole range of current players! The “devices and services” players as well as all other e-commerce players!

Quite a progress even in hardware and platform terms (source: Amazon, click to enlarge)
image

1st gen announcement: Sept 28, 2011 …. 2nd gen announcement: Sept 6, 2012. See also:
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Product Brief [May 16, 2013]
OMAP4430, OMAP4460 and OMAP4470 Application Processors [Texas Instruments]
TI’s OMAP4460 in Samsung GALAXY Nexus with Android 4.0 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 21, 2011]

Important notes regarding pricing and global availability (including Amazon Appstore for Android):
  1. On March 13, 2013 there was a Kindle Fire HD 8.9” availability announcement for UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan. At the same time the U.S. price for Kindle Fire HD 8.9” was reduced to $269 (not shown in the above table).  Then there was a Kindle Fire HD availability announcement to over 170 countries and territories through Amazon.com on May 23, 2013 with new prices there: $284 for 8.9” and $214 for 7” (this was shown in the above table). ??? Also the price of the 2nd gen Kindle Fire HD 8.9” was reduced to $269  when the 3d gen was announced this week. ???
  2. As of Sept 27, 2013 there are 159 countries/territories (with additional 34 countries/territories not available, or available via country/language-specific Amazon sites) where you can buy Kindle Fire HD 8.9” on Amazon.com and get shipped to your country, PLUS  a curated* Amazon Appstore for Android with over 100,000 apps (up 187 percent year over year) is available in 193 countries/territories. You can see the list for both towards the end of this post. And BTW this is only available since June 13, 2013 in over 170 new countries.
    *Apps are tested for the Amazon Appstore and Kindle Fire.
  3. As of Sept 27, 2013 the All-New Kindle Fire HDX 7″ Tablet, All-New Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ Tablet and the All-New Kindle Fire HD 7″ Tablet seem to be not available globally (?because pre-order?)

Major messages from Amazon: The New Kindle Fires in 14 Tweets [Sept 25, 2013]

imagewww.amazon.com/maydaytvwww.amazon.com/fireoswww.amazon.com/origamiwww.amazon.com/quickpic 
i.e. the links from the above slide (created by me) in order to be able to click from here as well

But this is “just” part of a much broader strategy and approach:
Amazon CEO: Focus on customer is key [CNN YouTube channel, Sept 25, 2013]

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says the key to success for Amazon and The Washington Post is putting their customers first.

Competitive messages from Amazon:

imageSource: Compare Kindle Fire tablets on the Amazon site
SourceimageSource: Amazon Announces new Kindle Fire Tablets and Fire OS 3.0 [Amazon Mobile App Distribution Blog, Sept 24, 2013]
NOTE THAT FOR Fire HDX THE PROCESSOR IS QUAD-CORE KRAIT 400 AND NOT A15. See  Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Product Brief [May 16, 2013].
imageSource: Compare Small Tablets on the Amazon site
imageSource: Compare Large Tablets on the Amazon site

First an independent review of the announcements from The Verge on Sept 24, 2013:

Amazon has announced a host of new tablets; a 7- and 8.9-inch Kindle HDX and a refreshed Kindle HD. The devices are also running Fire 3.0, an updated version of Amazon’s tablet OS. Read more about Amazon’s new Kindles on The Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/25/4767538/amazon-kindle-fire-hdx-tablets-preview

And an interview by the same 3d party source Jeff Bezos wants to delight you [The Verge, Sept 25, 2013] from which I will quote here:

Back up in the room, Jeff Bezos sits in front of a blank whiteboard. After pleasantries are exchanged, he leaps to his feet and begins writing. He starts in on the mantras of Amazon’s e-reader and tablet business. Mantra one: premium products at non-premium prices. Mantra two: “We make money when people use our devices.” Jeff jots them down quickly on the board. “Some of this you knew already because you’ve been following us, but I’m going to lay out what a third part of our vision and strategy.”

Bezos draws a Venn diagram on the board. On the left side it reads “customer delight,” on the right, “deep integration throughout entire stack.” “This intersection, here, is some of the hardest to do,” he smiles, “and [where the] coolest customer delight features live.”

Jaw-dropping isn’t exactly how I would describe Mayday, the halo feature of the new Fire HDX — but it is impressive in many ways, particularly because of how much energy has been put into simply helping people use the device. Remember, Amazon makes money when people use the devices. But Bezos seems genuinely bummed at the idea that people wouldn’t be able to get the most out of their Fire.
“The context for this is that there’s a degree to which for many, many people these devices have become complex enough that sometimes we get them set up the way we want and then we don’t mess with them.” He swings the device around so that I can see the screen. “The settings, even features you only use once every couple of months, you forget how to. So tech support for these devices is important.” Bezos taps a Mayday button which is now part of the Quick Settings menu on the Fire. A small window pops over screen, and an Amazon-shirted tech support staffer named Dylan appears in a tiny video box. “Thanks for using Amazon Assist, I see you’ve hit the Mayday button. I’ll be your tech advisor.”

“This is one of the things that I think Amazon is uniquely suited for, which is that marriage of high-tech and heavy lifting. So throughout our entire corporate history, we’ve happily lived by marrying those two things together. It’s in service of customer delight, but you can only do it if you integrate that entire stack.” Okay, yes. But, should I be worried about my privacy here?
Bezos doesn’t get into details on the technical aspects of the security for Mayday, but tells me you can disable the service if it makes you uncomfortable. “Yeah, you can say you don’t want it, and set a setting to take it off your device, but you’d be disabling the greatest feature we’ve ever made!” But Mayday gives an Amazon rep unfettered access to my device, no? “It’s not unfettered,” he says, “it has to be initiated by the customer.” And it’s true. This isn’t an open node just sitting there — you have to want to use it. Needless to say, the company doesn’t sound worried about privacy and security — and maybe I’m being paranoid — but in the cold light of PRISM revelations, complete control over your tablet by a third-party may not be something every consumer feels bullish about.
Bezos has a different view — a long view. “Everything we’ve ever done people have said this. People said customer reviews were a bad idea, third-party selling is a bad idea, personalization is a bad idea,” and he does have a point. “In 1994, typing your credit card [info] on the internet is a bad idea. Every single thing that’s new is a bad idea.” And then Bezos repeats one his best rehearsed and most convincing soundbites. “Willingness to be misunderstood is one of our greatest strengths.”

Now decide for yourself regarding this Mayday innovation Jeff Bezos is so keen on:

Introducing the Mayday button, available exclusively on the new Kindle Fire HDX tablets. With a single tap, an Amazon expert will appear on your Fire HDX and can co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you—whatever works best. Mayday is available 24×7, 365 days a year, and it’s free. See how the Mayday button works in this sneak preview of our upcoming TV commercials. http://www.amazon.com/firehdx
The Mayday button on the new Kindle Fire HDX brings your own personal tech advisor directly to your sofa or desk
Free, 24×7, 365 days a year
imageThe National Retail Federation rated Amazon #1 in its Customer’s Choice Awards, JD Power and Associatesnamed Amazon a Customer Service Champion, and MSN Money has ranked Amazon #1 in its Customer Service Hall of Fame for four years running. Now, Amazon introduces the Mayday button, extending this world-class customer service to live, on-device tech support, right from your Kindle Fire HDX. The Mayday button is available exclusively on the new Kindle Fire HDX tablets, available for pre-order at: www.amazon.com/hdx.
“With the Mayday button, our goal is to revolutionize tech support,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “With a single tap, an Amazon expert will appear on your Fire HDX and can co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you—whatever works best. Mayday is available 24×7, 365 days a year, and it’s free. See it for yourself—preview our upcoming TV commercials: www.amazon.com/maydaytv.”
Details of the Mayday button:
– It’s free.
– Available 24×7, 365 days a year.
– 15 seconds or less is the Mayday response time goal.
– You can see the tech advisor, they can’t see you.
– Simple and deeply integrated—the Mayday button lives in the Quick Settings menu, one tap away.
    Some customers got a sneak peek—here’s what they had to say:
    – “It’s so easy, you just press connect and boom you get hooked right up with a representative. I’ve never had a customer experience be so painless and so easy to do. I’ve never had an experience like this before. I wish all customer service experiences could be like that.” –Travis
    – “With the agent on the video feed, it’s like having a teacher right in front of you. It makes a big difference.” – Ron
    – “That was smooth and comfortable rather than calling on the phone or typing something in. I really was impressed with how well that went. I remember setting up my first e-mail account and always having to call friends or tech support and it would take so much longer, where this was comfortable and directed me to the right place immediately.” – Pete
    “[This] is more personable…it is nice to see his face, for him to actually be there talking to you one-on-one, it seems like you are getting personal treatment.” – Rose
    “I really hate when you have to talk to a computer for like 10 minutes before you get to a human being. So the fact that you just click and there’s a human being is much preferable.” – Nicole
    “The fact that he [Tech Advisor] can control the screen made the process very simple and I wasn’t struggling to find what he was talking about. The one-on-one experience is very positive!” – Tracy
      The Mayday button is available exclusively on the new Fire HDX tablets—read the press release: www.amazon.com/kindle-pr.

      And the whole high-end tablet value proposition according to:

      All-new Kindle Fire HDX—stunning new 7″ or 8.9″ HDX display, quad-core 2.2 GHz processor with 3x the processing power, 2x more memory, 11 hours of battery life, and dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio
      New HDX display goes beyond HD—exceptional pixel density, perfect 100% sRGB color accuracy, reduced glare, dynamic image contrast, and improved brightness for the best viewing experience indoors or out
      Lightest large-screen tablet—Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ is startlingly light at 13.2 ounces, 34% lighter than the previous generation
      Introducing the Mayday Button—revolutionary on-device tech support—free, 24×7, 365 days a year
      Prime Instant Video movies and TV shows now available for downloading—watch anywhere, even when offline—available exclusively on Kindle Fire HDX
      Stay connected and productive with updated email, calendar and Silk browser, plus seamless integration with Facebook and Twitter
      Enterprise-ready with support for encryption, Kerberos Intranet, secure Wi-Fi connections and VPN integration
      SEATTLE—September 25, 2013—(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today introduced the third generation of Kindle Fire—the all-new Kindle Fire HDX. The new Kindle Fire HDX tablets combine groundbreaking hardware, the latest version of Fire OS, and exclusive new features and services like X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, Prime Instant Video downloads, and the revolutionary new Mayday button. Learn more about the new Kindle Fire HDX family at www.amazon.com/hdx
      The new Kindle Fire HDX family features:
      • Stunning exclusive HDX display—beyond HD with exceptional pixel density ([1920×1200 resolution at] 323 ppi for 7″, [2560×1600 resolution at] 339 ppi for 8.9″), perfect 100% sRGB color accuracy, reduced glare, dynamic image contrast,and improved brightness for better viewing in any lighting conditions.
      • Powerful quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.2 GHz provides over 3x the processing power compared to the previous generation, plus the latest graphics engine and 2x more memory for fast and fluid performance. These are the only tablets with a processor over 2 GHz.
      • Startlingly light design—at just 13.2 ounces [374g], the 8.9″ Kindle Fire HDX is the lightest large-screen tablet, 34% lighter than the previous generation.
      • Powered by the latest version of Fire OS—Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito”—with hundreds of new and upgraded features, platform updates, and Amazon-exclusive services like X-Ray for Music, Cloud Collections, Goodreads, and more.
      • New Mayday button delivers revolutionary live tech support—one touch connects you to an Amazon expert who can guide you remotely through any feature—24×7, 365 days a year, and it’s free. 15 seconds or less is the Mayday response time goal.
      • All-day battery life—up to 11 hours of mixed use and 17 hours of reading.
      • Updated email, calendar, and Silk browser to stay connected and productive.
      • New enterprise features including hardware and software-encryption, Kerberos Intranet, secure Wi-Fi connections, VPN integration, and wireless printing.
      • Both HDX 7″ and 8.9″ available with ultra-fast 4G LTE wireless. Available on the AT&T network, and for the first time on the Verizon Wireless network.
      • Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio and virtual 5.1 multi-channel surround sound—the standard in high-end audio.
      • Front-facing HD camera makes it easy to stay in touch with Skype, plus a new 8 megapixel wide- aperture rear-facing camera on the 8.9″ Fire HDX offers crisp photos and 1080p HD video.
      • Best video experience on a tablet with new Amazon-exclusive features like Prime Instant Video downloads, Second Screen, and expanded X-Ray for Movies and TV.
      • Deep integration with the world’s best content ecosystem—over 27 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books, audiobooks and magazines.
      • New Origami covers feature an innovative design that allows you to position Fire HDX in both portrait and landscape.
      “It’s been just two years since we introduced the first Kindle Fire, and the team is innovating at an unbelievable speed,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “2.2 GHz processor, 339 ppi display, new 34% lighter design, Fire OS 3.0, and new exclusive features like the Mayday button, X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, and Prime Instant Video downloads. We’ve worked hard to pack this much hardware, innovation, and customer obsession into these prices.”
      World-Class Hardware
      • First-Ever, Exclusive HDX Display—Beyond HD
        Amazon’s exclusive HDX display brings together exceptional pixel density (1920×1200 at 323 ppi for 7″, 2560×1600 at 339 ppi for 8.9″) and perfect color accuracy (100% sRGB), resulting in images and videos that display as the photographer or videographer intended. The new display also features dynamic image contrast, a unique algorithm that adjusts the color of each pixel depending on the ambient brightness in order to maximize contrast. This makes images and videos even easier to see in any lighting conditions, including outdoors. See a video: www.amazon.com/display.
      • 2.2 GHz, Quad-Core Processor and 2x the RAM
        Kindle Fire HDX tablets are the first tablets powered by the most advanced quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor. These are the only tablets with a processor over 2 GHz—the four cores can each run at 2.2GHz, providing 28 billion instructions per second—over 3x the processing power of the previous generation Kindle Fire HD. Fire HDX also doubles the RAM to 2GB, resulting in faster app launch times, faster website load times, smoother multi-tasking, and better overall performance.
      • New Graphics Engine Perfect for Gaming
        The new Adreno 330 graphics engine on Kindle Fire HDX delivers 4x the graphics performance of the previous generation Kindle Fire HD. This combination of a new graphics engine, HDX display, quad-core processor, and 2x the memory creates a more immersive, high-frame rate HD gaming experience.
      • Lightest Large-Screen Tablet—13.2 ounces, 34% Lighter
        Amazon integrated the capacitive touch layer directly into the glass display on Fire HDX, leaving a lighter single layer instead of the typical 2-layer display stack. The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ frame is a single-piece of machined magnesium with a blend of glass and nylon molded onto the unibody to create openings for the antennas and maximize signal strength without sacrificing sturdiness. The result is the lightest large-screen tablet—at just 13.2 ounces, it is 34% lighter than the previous generation large-screen Fire HD tablet.
      • 11 Hours of Battery, Up to 17 Hours for Reading
        Even with all this additional power, Fire HDX still delivers 11 hours of mixed use battery life. When you are reading, Fire HDX automatically powers down the CPU and any unnecessary system components and stores the displayed text in dedicated, low-power memory—the result is up to 17 hours of battery life for reading.
      • 8MP Rear-Facing Camera for Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″
        Both the 7″ and 8.9″ Kindle Fire HDX feature a front-facing HD camera to help you stay in touch with friends and family with Skype. Fire HDX 8.9″ features an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera that allows for high-resolution photos and 1080p HD video, plus an LED flash, Electronic Image Stabilization, and a wide-aperture 5P f2.2 lens that lets in more light, reducing exposure times and producing sharper images. See a video: www.amazon.com/fire-camera.
      • New Origami Covers
        New origami-style cover design provides a simple stand for both portrait and landscape positions, and attaches magnetically so it’s easy to take on and off. The cover for the 8.9″ Fire HDX features a custom slide feature that quickly exposes the rear-facing camera and automatically launches the camera application so you won’t miss a great photo opportunity. See a video: www.amazon.com/quickpic.
      The Mayday Button
      • Revolutionary On-Device Tech Support from Amazon’s Tech Advisors
        Having trouble or want to learn how to use a new feature? Simply tap the Mayday button in Quick Settings, and an Amazon expert will appear on your Fire HDX and can co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you—whatever works best. 15 seconds or less is the Mayday response time goal. Mayday is available 24×7, 365 days a year, and it’s free. See the separate press release on the Mayday button and preview three upcoming TV ads that show how the Mayday button works: www.amazon.com/mayday.    
      New Amazon-Exclusive Features and Services
      • Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito”
        Kindle Fire HDX is powered by the newest version of Fire OS – Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito”, which introduces hundreds of new and upgraded features, Amazon-exclusive services, platform updates and more. Fire OS starts with Android and adds cloud services, a content-first user interface, built-in media libraries, productivity apps and low-level platform enhancements to integrate Amazon’s digital content and improve performance for Kindle Fire tablets. If an app runs on Android, it can run on Fire OS. Read more: www.amazon.com/fireos.
      • Download Prime Instant Videos on Kindle Fire HDX to Watch Anywhere
        Prime Instant Video is the only U.S. online subscription streaming service that enables offline viewing—on a plane, on vacation, and anywhere else where you may not have Wi-Fi. Tens of thousands of Prime Instant Videos are now available for download on Fire HDX. If you are new to Prime, you get one free month of Amazon Prime when you purchase Fire HDX.
      • All-New X-Ray for Music
        Amazon is expanding X-Ray to music by adding lyrics that let you follow along with songs. Lyrics display and scroll automatically line-by-line as the song plays. See a screenshot: www.amazon.com/x-ray.
      • X-Ray for Movies and TV—Now Even Better
        Customer-favorite X-Ray for Movies and TV now shows the names of songs as they play as well as a list of all music in the movie or TV show, and lets you jump to the scene in which a particular song is playing. X-Ray also shows trivia items in context with the action on the screen. For example, in The Godfather when Clemenza tells his henchman to “leave the gun, take the cannoli”, X-Ray alerts you that actor Richard Castellano ad-libbed that famous line of dialog. X-Ray for TV also provides character backstories so you can easily remind yourself of the character’s history. X-Ray is offered only by Amazon and is powered by IMDb.
      • Second Screen Lets Others Join In
        Fling TV shows and movies from your tablet to your big-screen TV using Second Screen, which turns your TV into the primary screen and frees up your Fire HDX to provide playback controls, a customized display for X-Ray, or simply a place to email, browse the web, and more while you watch a movie. Second Screen will be available starting next month for PlayStation 3 and Samsung TVs, and later this year for PlayStation 4. You can also wirelessly mirror movies, TV shows and photos from your tablets to your big-screen TV with Miracast-enabled accessories or TVs.
      • Stay Connected with Expanded Email, Docs, and Printing
        With the new email on Fire HDX, it is easier than ever to set up your accounts, group conversations by subject, sync your email and more. Reading and managing documents on Fire HDX is simple: email them, sync them from a computer with Cloud Drive, clip them from the web with Send to Kindle, or transfer them via USB. Coming mid-November as part of the free, over-the-air Fire OS 3.1 update—print documents, photos, emails, and calendar events directly from Kindle Fire to compatible wireless printers.
      • Complete Enterprise Support
        Fire HDX is ready for work, with support for encryption of the user partition of the device to secure data; support for Kerberos authentication so corporate users can browse secure intranet websites; the ability to connect to secure enterprise Wi-Fi networks as well as corporate networks via a native or a 3rd party VPN client; and Mobile Device Management solutions ranging from Amazon’s Whispercast service to 3rd party vendors like AirWatch, Citrix, Fiberlink, Good Technology, and SOTI. Some of these features will be delivered as part of the Fire OS 3.1 update. See the separate press release on enterprise features: www.amazon.com/kindle-enterprise.
      • Cloud Collections
        Organize your books, newspapers, magazines, and apps in customized collections for easy reference, and Amazon’s Whispersync technology synchronizes the collections across your Kindle devices and reading apps so they’re available on all of your devices. Cloud Collections will be available as part of the Fire OS 3.1 update.
      • Goodreads on Kindle Fire
        Join over 20 million other readers and see what your friends are reading, share highlights, and rate the books you read with Goodreads on Kindle, available exclusively from Amazon. Goodreads will be available as part of the Fire OS 3.1 update. See screenshots:www.amazon.com/goodreads.
      • Accessibility Features
        Blind and visually impaired customers will discover new and improved accessibility tools such as Screen Reader, Explore by Touch, and Screen Magnifier, enabling access to the vast majority of Kindle Fire features. Screen Reader features IVONA’s award-winning natural language text-to-speech voice.
      • New Exclusive Deals for Kindle Fire Owners
        Kindle Fire’s Special Offers are better than ever with exclusive limited-time, limited-quantity deals available directly from the lock screen. These deals are similar to Lightning Deals that run on Amazon.com, but with even greater savings. The first deal, available in the coming weeks, will be the Madden NFL 25 video game for $5 (92% off). See screenshots: www.amazon.com/offers.
      • All the Content
        The Kindle Fire family offers the best selection of digital content—over 27 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books, audiobooks and magazines—including hundreds of thousands of exclusives:
        – Over 150,000 movies and TV episodes—stream or download, purchase or rent.
        – Tens of thousands of popular movies and TV episodes are available at no additional cost for Prime members with Prime Instant Video, the exclusive subscription streaming home to shows like Downton Abbey, Under the Dome, Justified, Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues and many more.
        – The most popular apps and games. Apps are tested for the Amazon Appstore and Kindle Fire.
        – Millions of songs—stream, download, and store purchases for free in the cloud for access anytime, anywhere.
        – Hundreds of magazines and newspapers.
        – Millions of books, including hundreds of thousands of titles that are exclusive to the Kindle Store. Over a million titles are $4.99 or less, over 1.7 million are $9.99 or less.
        – Over 400,000 titles available for Prime members who own a Kindle to borrow for free as part of Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
        – Over 150,000 professionally-narrated audiobook titles, with free samples to listen to before buying.
      • “Buy Once, Enjoy Everywhere” with the Best Cross-Platform Interoperability
        With apps available on the largest number of devices and platforms, Amazon makes it easier than ever to access your content anytime, anywhere. Use the Kindle, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon MP3 and Amazon Appstore for Android apps to “Buy Once, Enjoy Everywhere.” No other company offers the same level of flexibility with your content.
      Pricing & Availability
      The 7″ Kindle Fire HDX is $229. It is available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.com/hdx-7  and it will begin shipping October 18. The 4G version is $329—you can pre-order today to reserve your place in line at www.amazon.com/4g-hdx-7 and it will begin shipping November 14.
      The 8.9″ Kindle Fire HDX is $379. It is available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.com/hdx and it will begin shipping on November 7. The 4G version is $479—you can pre-order today to reserve your place in line at www.amazon.com/4g-hdx and it will begin shipping December 10.
      • Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ Standing Leather Origami Case
        Slim, form-fitting cases designed by Amazon to perfectly fit the all new Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX tablets. All Origami cases feature magnetized panels to securely stand the device in either landscape or portrait orientation and are available in either a premium natural leather or durable polyurethane. The cases for Kindle Fire HDX and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ tablets attach to the devices magnetically, making it easy to attach and remove. Furthermore, the cases redirect the sound from your Kindle Fire HDX speakers towards you, immersing you in the rich cinematic Dolby Digital Plus sound experience. Finally, an exclusive Camera-Ready feature for the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ case makes it quick and easy to take pictures so you can capture all your precious moments – simply slide the device up in the case and the camera automatically starts, allowing you to quickly snap a picture.
      • Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX are Enterprise-Ready [Amazon press release, Sept 25, 2013]
      New features include device encryption, secure Wi-Fi connections, native VPN, Kerberos authentication for Intranet access, and integration with leading MDM providers
      Today, Amazon is introducing new enterprise and productivity features in Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito,” the software platform that powers the new Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX tablets. The new Fire HD and Fire HDX are available for pre-order starting today atwww.amazon.com/hdx.
      “Kindle Fire is already the second most popular tablet at work in the U.S.,” said Raghu Murthi, Vice President of Enterprise and Education,Amazon. “As employees increasingly bring their own devices to work, the new Kindle Fire tablets can be easily integrated into the workplace with the new enterprise features, including encryption, secure Wi-Fi, a native VPN client, integration with leading MDM solutions, and Kerberos support for Intranet access.”
      Features that make the new Kindle Fire tablets enterprise-ready include:
      – Wi-Fi networks with WPA2 support for secure access to corporate apps, documents and resources like SharePoint.
      – Email that makes it even easier for business customers to set up their accounts, group conversations by subject, sync their email and more.
      – Print documents and emails directly from Kindle Fire to a wireless printer.
      Built-in OfficeSuite to read documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
      – Native VPN client, for instant access to corporate networks while on the road or at home.
      – Secure hardware data encryption on Kindle Fire HDX.
      – Kerberos authentication for single sign-on and the ability to browse secure Intranet websites from the Silk browser on Kindle Fire.
      – Native SCEP (Simple Certificate Exchange Protocol) client to retrieve digital certificates for secure resources.
      – Kindle-specific device management APIs that integrate with existing mobile device management (MDM) systems to make it easy for IT departments to manage Kindle Fire. Kindle Fire supports a wide range of MDM solutions including Amazon’s Whispercast service as well as third-party vendors like AirWatch, Citrix, Fiberlink, Good Technology, and SOTI.
      Business customers can also take advantage of Android enterprise and productivity apps available in the Amazon Appstore. Examples of top productivity apps available for Kindle Fire include GoToMeeting, Evernote, Cisco AnyConnect, and Documents To Go.
      “We work with our clients to distribute Kindle Fire to their new employees because Kindle Fire allows companies to distribute information quickly and efficiently so their employees can easily share course materials, reference documents, and their individual notes with their colleagues,” said Caroline Brant, Director, Learning Solutions at ROI Training, Inc. “Our global clients include leading technology and financial services firms and Kindle Fire has proven to make it easier for our employees to stay productive whether at work or at home.”
      Some of these features will be delivered as part of the free, over-the-air Fire OS 3.1 update in mid-November. For additional details, visit www.amazon.com/fireos.
      [From which I will copy here the most important part:]
      image
      To read the separate press release for the new Kindle Fire HDX tablets visit: www.amazon.com/kindle-pr.
      For additional information about the new enterprise features visit:amazon.com/kindle/business.

      More information about Introducing Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito” [Amazon press release, Sept 25, 2013]

      Brings hundreds of platform updates and exclusive new features, including the Mayday button, X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, 1-Tap Archive, Cloud Collections, Quiet Time, Optimizing Download Manager, and Social Integration with Goodreads and Facebook
      New enterprise and productivity features—including printing, email conversation view, enterprise encryption and mobile device management—BYOD support
      Apps and games built for Android are compatible with Fire OS
      Fire OS 3.0 available exclusively on the all-new Kindle Fire HD & Kindle Fire HDX tablets

      Amazon.com today introduced Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito,” the next generation of software and services that powers the best-selling Kindle Fire tablets, with hundreds of updates and exclusive new features to give customers a simple OS experience with Android app compatibility. Fire OS starts with Android and adds:

      • Low-level platform enhancements, including: the Optimizing Download Manager, re-designed graphics pipeline, Reading Mode, and improvements to touch latency for better performance.
      • Productivity apps with enhanced email, documents, and enterprise support with hardware and software data encryption.
      • Deep integration of the hardware, software and services to deliver features like X-Ray, the Mayday button, Second Screen, and more.
      • Built-in media libraries for instant access to music, movies, apps, and games both stored on the device or in the cloud, and automatically syncs between them.
      • Content-first user interface with both Carousel and Grid views.
      • Cloud services like Whispersync, 1-Tap Archive and Cloud Collections.

      Fire OS 3.0 is available exclusively on the all-new Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX—read a separate press release at:www.amazon.com/kindle-pr.

      “Fire OS includes the core email and productivity apps, but we take a different approach when it comes to content,” said Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “Our content-first approach shapes the design of Fire OS—the home screen makes the most recent content items available instantly on the Carousel or Grid and customers can move between their media libraries both on the device and in the cloud with a simple tap. We’ve also deeply integrated Amazon services directly into Mojito, such as the Mayday button, Second Screen, X-Ray for Movies & TV shows, and now X-Ray for Music.”

      “Fire OS lets developers offer their Android apps on Kindle Fire with little to no work,” said Mike George, Vice President, Amazon Appstore. “Developers can integrate services like Whispersync for Games, GameCircle, In-App Purchasing, and Amazon’s Mobile Associates into their apps to take advantage of the Amazon Appstore’s increased monetization and customer engagement.”

      Fire OS features for Android apps and games:

      • Native Android App Compatibility is supported by Fire OS, so if an app runs on Android it can run on Fire OS with little to no work. Fire OS is built from the Android open source kernel and runtime libraries and is consistently tested for Android app compatibility. Amazon also offers developers an integrated ecosystem for building, monetizing and marketing their apps and games for Fire OS, which results in better customer engagement.
      • Support for HTML5 Apps allows developers to offer their web apps and mobile websites on Kindle Fire tablets to customers in the same, convenient way as mobile apps. As one of the only platforms to offer this level of HTML5 support, developers can submit and distribute mobile web content without using third-party software or any mobile development.
      • GameCircle and Whispersync for Games give developers the opportunity to allow customers to sync their game progress and scores across devices, and to quickly integrate Achievements and Leaderboards into their games.
      • In-App Purchasing and Mobile Associates lets developers give customers the opportunity to buy digital and physical items, such as toys, upgrades and game pieces fromAmazon.com and use their Amazon accounts to make the purchase directly from within an app.
      • Amazon Device Messaging gives customers a single messaging platform for all their apps built on Amazon Web Services, which developers can take advantage of to send notifications to Kindle Fire tablets.
      • Amazon Coins offers every new Kindle Fire customer 500 coins ($5) of virtual currency to use for purchasing apps, games, or in-app items on Kindle Fire. Amazon Coins is an easy way for customers to spend money on developers’ apps and offers another opportunity to drive traffic and app downloads increasing monetization even further.
      • Accessibility Tools including Screen Reader, Explore by Touch and Screen Magnifier enable access to the vast majority of Fire OS features. Text-to-Speech for book reading features natural-sounding IVONA voices for the following languages: US, British and Australian English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and French Canadian. Fire OS 3.0 supports standard Android Text-to-Speech APIs, so developers can take advantage of IVONA voices for third-party apps.

      Cloud services and user interface improvements:

      • Carousel and Grid views let customers choose how they want to navigate their content. With a swipe, the redesigned Fire OS home screen easily switches between viewing their recent content on the Carousel or their favorites in Grid view.
      • Cloud Collections organizes apps, books, newspapers, and magazines, making them easier to find. Collections are automatically stored in the cloud and Amazon’s Whispersync technology synchronizes collections across Kindle devices and apps.
      • 1-Tap Archive frees up space on Kindle Fire tablets by identifying items that have not been used recently and provides a 1-tap option to store them in the Cloud for later retrieval.
      • Kindle FreeTime gives parents the ability to more easily whitelist movies, books, apps and games appropriate for their kids’ enjoyment with the new “For Kids” suggestions.
      • Social Integration gives customers OS-level sharing capabilities for Facebook and Twitter. With Facebook, customers also get contacts, events and photos integration.

      Revolutionary Mayday Button:

      • The Mayday Button delivers revolutionary on-device tech support and is available 24×7, 365 days a year, for free. 15 seconds or less is the Mayday response time goal. The Mayday button is built into Quick Settings and an Amazon expert will appear on the Fire HDX and can co-pilot a customer through any feature by drawing on the screen, walking them through how to do something themselves or doing it for them. See the separate press release and preview three upcoming TV ads that show how the Mayday button works: www.amazon.com/mayday.

      Deeply-integrated content features:

      • Goodreads is built into the reading experience, so customers can see what friends are reading, get recommendations, share quotes, and write reviews from within the book.
      • X-Ray for Movies and TV now shows the names of TV theme or movie soundtrack songs as they play as well as trivia and goofs while watching a movie or TV show. Powered by IMDb, X-Ray for TV will also provide character backstories as the actor appears on screen.
      • X-Ray Expands to Music with synchronized lyrics that lets customers follow along line-by-line with a song. Lyrics are available even when Kindle Fire is not connected to Wi-Fi or 4G.
      • Second Screen allows customers to fling content from their Fire to their TV, turning the TV into the primary screen and freeing up their Fire as a second screen to email, browse the web, play a game, or follow along scene-by-scene with X-Ray. The Fire screen is not just a mirror image of the TV. Instead, when the customer flings the video to the TV, Fire syncs the video and the X-Ray data in the cloud and streams the video directly to the TV, so the quality of the video is not dependent the tablet’s processor or networking. The customer can even take their tablet to another room and leave the video playing on the TV.
      • Quiet Time, directly accessed from the quick settings menu, lets you mute all incoming notifications or calendar reminders. In addition, Quiet Time can be tied to a particular activity such as reading.
      • Quick Switch uses a global swipe gesture from anywhere in the system to go between multiple apps, and unlike standard Android, works with individual content items like different textbooks without navigating home.

      Low-level platform enhancements:

      • Optimizing Download Manager enables parallel content downloads. Unlike standard Android, Fire OS adjusts the number of simultaneous downloads per device, so that foreground app performance is not impacted by background download activity. In addition, the Optimizing Download Manager automatically pauses ongoing content downloads when the customer starts streaming an Amazon Instant Video to maximize video quality. Customers can prioritize individual items to download first, and with progressive download they can open videos, Audible audiobooks, or magazines and start enjoying them while the download is still ongoing.
      • Graphics Direct Texture replaces the standard Android graphics pipeline. The Fire OS graphics system is customized to quickly load large graphical assets like the high-resolution cover art in the Fire OS home screen. Graphics Direct Texture enables the Carousel and the Fire OS media libraries to include large, detailed images and still load quickly and scroll smoothly.
      • Touch Responsiveness is improved by low-level changes to the way Fire OS 3.0 handles taps and swipes. For example, the system dynamically increases the CPU speed after the customer lifts their finger off the screen, to minimize touch latency in games and apps. And when a customer taps an app in the Carousel or Grid views, the system removes unnecessary OS overhead activities and drives the app start animation directly to the GPU, so that the app starts to open immediately.
      • Reading Mode gives customers up to 17 hours of battery life when reading. Fire OS automatically powers down unnecessary system components when customers are reading static pages, storing the text in a dedicated, low-power memory, and powering down the CPU.

      New enterprise and productivity features:

      • Enhanced Email makes it easier to set up email accounts, and groups conversations by subject with threaded messaging and sync.
      • Printing support for wireless printers is now available for documents.
      • Enterprise Support with software data encryption on Kindle Fire HD and hardware data encryption on Kindle Fire HDX; the ability to connect to secure enterprise Wi-Fi networks and access corporate apps, documents and resources like SharePoint; native VPN client for instant access to corporate networks; a native SCEP (Simple Certificate Exchange Protocol) client to retrieve digital certificates for secure resources; and a rich set of Kindle-specific device management APIs that integrate with a wide range of existing mobile device management (MDM) systems, including Amazon’s Whispercast service and 3rd party vendors like AirWatch, Citrix, Fiberlink, Good Technology and SOTI. Fire OS 3.0 also supports Kerberos authentication, which enables seamless enterprise single sign-on and the ability to browse secure Intranet websites from the Silk browser on Kindle Fire.

      Developers:

      Developers consistently report how simple it is to bring their Android apps to the Fire OS platform and how they see increased monetization and engagement with their apps and games on Kindle Fire. Here’s what they have to say:

      Imangi Studios is the creator of the popular game Temple Run. “We’ve integrated with Amazon’s In-App Purchasing and GameCircle APIs, which was a breeze,” says Keith Shephard, CEO of Imangi Studios. “We’ve seen significantly higher customer engagement withTemple Run since the integration, making the few, short steps worth it.”

      “Since the launch of the very first Kindle Fire, Gameloft has been a strong believer in Amazon’s ability to bring a great user experience to digital gamers,” said Baudouin Corman, VP of Publishing for theAmericas, Gameloft, developers of Asphalt 8 & Despicable Me: Minon Rush. “From recommendations and reviews to GameCircle, Amazonis building the kind of strong ecosystem we want for our products.”

      “Amazon continues to monetize incredibly well for us,” said Mike Sandwick, Manager of Strategic Partnerships, TinyCo, the mobile gaming developers behind Tiny Village. “Kindle Fire devices consistently deliver high LTVs across all of our titles.”

      “We’re extremely happy with the per-user monetization we’ve achieved on Amazon with our games,” said Arlin Schaffel at Noodlecake Studios, publisher of Super Stickman Golf. “We regularly see more than double the per-user spend on Amazon compared to other app stores. As Amazon continues to expand worldwide, we’re excited to see our revenue grow along with them.”

      Fire OS 3.0 is available exclusively on the all-new Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX tablets. Some of these features will be available mid-November as part of the free, over-the-air Fire OS 3.1 update www.amazon.com/fireos.

      Developers can learn more about Fire OS 3.0 at http://developer.amazon.com/sdk/fireos.html.

      Fire OS is based on Android 4.2.2 (API level 17), so Android compatibility is high, often requiring no additional development work. In fact, 75% of the Android tablet apps that we’ve tested run on Fire OS with no code changes.

      Fire OS also includes a newly optimized, high-performance Chromium-based HTML stack, so your web apps deliver a native user experience using open web technologies such as HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3.

      Other APIs now available include Bluetooth gamepads and joysticks as Human Interface Devices (HID), and multiple user support. Allowing multiple users makes family use easier, especially in conjunction with child-friendly Free Time.

      In addition, this release opens Fire OS to a whole new class of Enterprise applications. With user partition encryption and secure connections to enterprise Wi-Fi networks, your application can better protect user data on-device and during transfer. Kerberos authentication and a native IPSec VPN client allow you to connect securely to corporate intranet websites from your app.

      New customer-facing features and UI improvements enhance the user experience overall and better position your content with consumers. A redesigned Home Screen with Carousel and Grid views, for example, allows users to customize the display, while QuickSwitch gives them the ability to move between apps with a single swipe.

      With Whisperplay, users can fling content from their tablet to their TV, and new download prioritization ensures data transfers in the background don’t compromise device performance, degrade playback, or interfere with the foreground application. X-Ray for Music, Movies, and TV lets customers explore their media in new ways, while Reading Mode makes books on the Kindle Fire even more enjoyable.

      And the company’s relationship with Google? It’s a strange symbiosis, since the Fire line is based on Android and plugs deeply into the OS that Google has built — yet there are no Google services to speak of. Is there potential for a better relationship? A Google and Amazon partnership has always seemed like a union with incredible potential, but it hasn’t broken that way. “It’s the kind of thing that we’d always be extremely open to, but I don’t want to speculate on the future.” I ask if that’s something customers have asked for.

      “People tend to focus on the ecosystem overall, and so when customers think about the ecosystem, they’re thinking about Prime Instant Videos, and Kindle ebooks. We have over 100,000 apps, it’s up 187 percent year over year. The platform monetizes really well for developers; [with] Fire OS, we work extremely hard to keep it compatible from a developer point of view, [it requires] almost zero work. That’s what’s making our ecosystem work.”

      See also:

      As of today, customers can buy your apps on Amazon in nearly 200 countries worldwide using online and mobile stores in the US, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. It was also announced that Kindle Fire HD is available for pre-order starting today, shipping to over 170 countries on June 13. This is a great opportunity for you to reach millions of new customers who can now discover your apps and games online through the Amazon website and on Android and Kindle Fire HD devices. This launch expands developer reach and monetization potential to Amazon customers around the world. For more information see the press release here.

      It’s easy to make your apps available in all of these countries. If you are creating a new app, it will be available in all countries by default. You can select country and territory availability for each of your apps if you want to limit their availability. First, go to the Availability and Pricing tab in the distribution portal then select “Only in the following countries…” at the top of the page. You’ll see a list of continents that you can expand to make your selection. The number of countries you have selected in this manner will show up in parenthesis at the continent level. You can set the list price for your apps for each marketplace where Amazon sells apps, or you can have Amazon calculate a list price for you automatically using your base list price. Finally, to help report on all of this international goodness, your sales reporting now reflects your sales by country.

      Please be sure to check that your existing apps are for sale in the countries in which you wish them to be sold, and have fun in all the new countries!

      (See the International Program Overview FAQ here for more details.)

      Millions of Amazon customers can now discover their favorite apps and games online, from their Android mobile devices and Kindle Fires with Amazon Appstore
      Amazon.com announced today that the Amazon Appstore is now available to millions of customers in nearly 200 countries, giving them access to apps and games from top brands like Disney andElectronic Arts, new releases including “Angry Birds Friends” and “Iron Man 3,” all-time favorites like “Temple Run 2” and “Plants vs. Zombies,” and indie titles like “The Room” and “Beach Buggy Blitz.” Customers around the world can now buy apps and games directly from the Amazon Appstore on Macs, PCs or Android phones and tablets (including Kindle Fire). Amazon also announced that Kindle Fire will be available in over 170 new countries on June 13.
      To celebrate the launch, the Amazon Appstore is bringing back one of its most popular Free Apps of the Day, “Fruit Ninja,” along with “Cut the Rope: Experiments.” These will be available, for free, on May 23 and May 24, respectively. With the Amazon Appstore, customers will have access to popular features like the “Free App of the Day,” which offers a paid app for free every day. In addition, the Amazon Appstore includes popular Amazon features like personalized recommendations, customer reviews and 1-Click payments. One of the important benefits of the Amazon Appstore is that Amazon tests apps and games to make sure they function and perform properly before they are made available to customers. In addition, Amazon backs its apps and games with its own world-class Customer Service. Apps and games purchased from Amazon can be used across any compatible Android device, enabling customers to buy an app or game once and enjoy it everywhere. For a limited time, consumers will also find great promotions and discounts on popular games from leading brands such as Ubisoft, Sega and Rovio, including Angry Birds Space for free through June 3. Customers can visit www.amazon.com/appstore to start browsing apps.
      “We are thrilled to be expanding the reach of our global app distribution to nearly 200 countries. We think our customers will love the app selection we have to offer and also find features such as Free App of the Day and personalized recommendations very helpful as they discover and explore new apps and games,” said Mike George, Vice President of Apps and Games at Amazon. “By further expanding the distribution of apps to millions of customers around the world, we are continuing to make it easy for customers to enjoy their Amazon apps on Kindle Fire and any Android device.”
      This announcement is the latest in a series of global expansions, including the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, China and Japan.Amazon Appstore will come to Brazil in the coming months.

      If you’re registered to an Amazon.com account, but live outside the United States, we’re pleased to offer the following Amazon services to you:

      • Audiobooks from Audible.com
      • Books, newspapers, and magazines from the Kindle Store
      • Apps and games from the Amazon Appstore for Android
      • Kindle FreeTime

      Aland Islands
      Albania
      American Samoa
      Andorra
      Angola
      Anguilla
      Antarctica
      Antigua & Barbuda
      Argentina
      Armenia
      Aruba
      Australia
      Austria
      Bahamas
      Barbados
      Belarus
      Belgium
      Belize
      Benin
      Bermuda
      Bhutan
      Bolivia
      Bosnia and Herzegovina
      Botswana
      Bouvet Island*
      British Indian Ocean Territory*
      British Virgin Islands*
      Bulgaria
      Burundi
      Cambodia
      Cameroon
      Canada
      Cape Verde
      Cayman Islands
      Central_African _Republic
      Chile
      Christmas Island*
      Cocos (Keeling) Islands*
      Colombia
      Congo
      Congo, Democratic Republic
      Cook Islands
      Costa Rica
      Cote D’Ivoire
      Croatia
      Cyprus
      Czech Republic
      Denmark

      Dominica
      Dominican _Republic
      Ecuador
      El Salvador
      Equatorial _Guinea
      Estonia
      Ethiopia
      Falkland _Islands _(Malvinas)
      Faroe Islands
      Fiji
      Finland
      France*
      French _Guiana
      French _Polynesia
      French Southern Territories*
      French_West _Indies – _Guadeloupe
      French_West _Indies – _Martinique
      Gabon
      Georgia
      Ghana
      Gibraltar*
      Greece
      Greenland
      Grenada
      Guam
      Guatemala
      Guernsey*
      Guinea-Bissau
      Guyana
      Haiti
      Heard_Island _and _McDonald _Island*
      Honduras
      Hong Kong
      Hungary
      Iceland
      India
      Ireland*
      Isle of Man*
      Israel
      Italy*
      Jamaica
      Japan*
      Jersey*
      Kenya
      Kiribati
      Lao_People’s _Democratic _Republic
      Latvia
      Lesotho
      Liberia

      Liechtenstein
      Lithuania
      Luxembourg*
      Macao
      Macedonia
      Madagascar
      Malawi
      Malta
      Mariana _Islands*
      Marshall Islands
      Mauritius
      Mayotte
      Mexico*
      Micronesia
      Moldova
      Monaco*
      Mongolia
      Montenegro
      Montserrat
      Mozambique
      Myanmar
      Namibia
      Nauru
      Nepal
      Netherlands
      Netherlands _Antilles
      New Caledonia
      New Zealand
      Nicaragua
      Niue
      Norfolk Island
      [?Northern Mariana Islands]
      Norway
      Palau
      Panama
      Papua New Guinea
      Paraguay
      Peru
      Philippines 
      Pitcairn*
      Poland
      Portugal
      Puerto Rico
      Reunion
      Romania
      Russian _Federation*
      Rwanda
      Saint Helena*
      Saint Kitts and Nevis
      Saint Lucia
      Saint Pierre and Miquelon*
      Saint_Vincent _and_the _Grenadines
      Samoa
      San Marino*

      Sao_Tome _and _Principe
      Serbia
      Seychelles
      Slovakia
      Slovenia
      Solomon _Islands
      South Africa
      South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands*
      South Korea*
      Spain*
      Sri Lanka
      St. Barthelemy*
      St. Martin*
      Suriname
      Svalbard and Jan Mayen*
      Swaziland
      Sweden
      Switzerland
      Taiwan*
      Tanzania
      Thailand
      Timor-Leste
      Togo
      Tokelau
      Tonga
      Trinidad_& _Tobago
      Turks & Caicos
      Tuvalu
      Uganda
      Ukraine
      United Kingdom*
      United States
      United States Minor Outlying Islands*
      Uruguay
      US Virgin Islands
      Vanuatu
      Vatican City State (Holy See)*
      Venezuela
      Vietnam
      Wallis_and _Futuna
      Western Sahara*
      Zambia
      Zimbabwe

      Finally 1 Million Pixels for a Breakthrough Price—Introducing the New $139 Kindle Fire HD [Amazon press release, Sept 25, 2013]

      New slimmer and lighter design, HD display, high-performance processor, dual speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio, and Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito”

      Kindle Fire HD comes with access to the exclusive benefits of theAmazon ecosystem—Prime Instant Video, Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, Kindle MatchBook, AutoRip, and the world’s leading digital catalog with over 27 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books, audiobooks, and magazines

      Two years ago, Amazon revolutionized the tablet industry with the$199 Kindle Fire. Today, Amazon is doing it again: introducing the new $139 Kindle Fire HD. Kindle Fire HD is available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.com/fire-hd.

      “Two years ago, we revolutionized the tablet industry with the breakthrough $199 price point for tablets—now we’re doing it again with the $139 price point,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “$139 now gets you a 1280×800 216 ppi HD display, a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, Fire OS 3.0, dual speakers with Dolby audio, vast selection and Amazon-exclusive features like Prime Instant Video downloads, Second Screen, Kindle FreeTime, X-Ray and more.”

      Here’s what you get for $139:

      • High-definition display with 1280×800 resolution and 216 pixels per inch, making movies, TV shows, books and games vivid and detailed. 66% more pixels than the previous generation Kindle Fire.
      • Powerful, dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, 60% faster than the previous generation Kindle Fire.
      • Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio—the standard in high-end audio.
      • All-new slim design that matches the look and feel of the new Kindle Fire HDX.
      • Fast streaming, downloads, and web browsing with built-in dual-band Wi-Fi.
      • Powered by the latest version of Fire OS—Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito”—with hundreds of new and upgraded features, platform updates, and Amazon-exclusive services.
      • Kindle FreeTime extends parental controls to give parents a simple, engaging way to manage the way kids use Kindle Fire—parents select content and set time limits by content type.
      • Exclusive new features such as X-Ray for Music, Prime Instant Video downloads, Second Screen, expanded X-Ray for Movies and TV, and more.
      • Stay connected and productive with all-new email, calendar, and Silk web browser.
      • World’s best content ecosystem—over 27 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books, audiobooks, and magazines.

      The new Origami covers feature an innovative design that allows you to stand Fire HD in both portrait and landscape.

      In addition to the new Kindle Fire HD, Amazon also today introduced the new Kindle Fire HDX tablets—to learn more about these new tablets and many of the features listed above, visit www.amazon.com/kindle-pr.

      The new Kindle Fire HD is available for pre-order starting today and will begin shipping October 2. Visit www.amazon.com/fire-hd to learn more.

      ARM Cortex-A12 CPU cores and Mali-T622 GPU cores with Process Optimization Packs (POPs), plus Mali-V500 video block for mid-range mobile devices of the end of 2014

      in order to cover (very competitively) the hole existing in ARM-based SoCs so far:

      Arm unveiled the Cortex A12 processor during a news conference at Computex in Taipei on June 3, 2013.

      AnandTech’s judgement about the Cortex-A12 announcement:

      … The Cortex A9 is too slow to compete with the likes of Intel’s Atom and Qualcomm’s Krait 200/300 based SoCs. The Cortex A15 on the other hand outperforms both of those solutions, but at considerably higher power and die area requirements. … The Cortex A15 island in Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa occupies 5x the die area as the A7 island, and consumes nearly 6x the power. In exchange for 5x the area and 6x the performance, the Cortex A15 offers under 4x the performance. It’s not exactly an area or power efficient solution, but a great option for anyone looking to push the performance envelope. Today, ARM is addressing that hole with the Cortex A12. …
      Asked at a Taipei news conference about the future of Intel’s x86 architecture, rival Arm said it still sees life in the platform.

      AnandTech’s judgement about Mali-T622 and Mali-V500 announcements:

      … The Mali-T622 is a 2-core implementation of the 2nd generation Mali-T600 GPU architecture that we first learned about with the 8-core T628. Each shader core features two ALUs, an LSU and a texture unit. … On the video front, the Mali-V500 video encode/decode block is a multi-core engine used for all video acceleration. The V500 allegedly supports up to 100Mbps High Profile H.264, although details are scarce on more specifics. ARM claims support for up to 120 fps 4K video decode with an 8-core V500 implementation. Mali-V500 also features a protected video path, necessary for gaining content owner support for high-bitrate/high-resolution video decode. The V500 also supports ARM’s Frame Buffer Compression (AFBC), a lossless compression algorithm that can supposedly reduce memory bandwidth traffic by up to 50%. There’s presently no frame buffer compression in Mali GPUs today, but ARM expects to eventually roll AFBC out to Mali GPUs as well.

      Announcement information from ARM:

      image
      POP IP for the Cortex-A12 processor core 
      – The only implementation solution that is co-developed along with the processor itself
      – The processor RTL and the POP implementation feed off each other and are thoroughly co-optimized
      – Lower the risk to end customers and those designers starting from scratch with a new processor core
      – Save months of effort optimizing the implementation
      POP IP for Mali-T622 GPU core 
      – Eliminates the iterative guess work required to find the most optimal implementation
      – Enables best-in-class PPA and frames per second metrics coupled with highly flexible implementation
      More information: POP IP for the Cortex-A12 Processor: Enabling the Next Billion Smartphones [June 3, 2013]

      image
      New ground-up design for mid-range mobile
      – OoO, Dual-Issue, 11 stage dynamic length pipeline
      – Tightly integrated, high-performance NEON and FPU units
      Perfectly balanced design for best efficiency
      – Highly optimized L1 and L2 memory sub-system
      – Ideal for current and upcoming mobile workloads
      Flexible interface options to adapt for use-case
      – 128-bit AMBA ACE – System coherency with CPUs or GPUs
      – Accelerator Coherency Port (ACP) – I/O coherency with DMA
      – Peripheral Port – For low-latency peripherals elmiminating DDR traffic congestion
      More information: Cortex-A12: Diversification in the Mobile Market – Serving the Mid-Range [June 3, 2013]

      image
      Smallest GPU Compute solution in the market
      – Renderscript Compute and OpenCL 1.1 Full Profile
      50% energy-efficiency improvements over Mali-T600 series
      Richest user experience with OpenGL ES 3.0
      More information: Mali-T622 – Bringing Full Profile GPU Compute to mid-range devices [June 3, 2013]

      image 
      1080p60 HD encode/decode
      Optimized for lowest cost and power
      – AFBC gives 50% lower memory bandwidth
      TrustZone secure video path
      – Premium content protection
      More information: A new branch for the Mali family tree: Mali Video, featuring the Mali-V500  [June 3, 2013]

      ARM Targets 580 Million Mid-Range Mobile Devices with New Suite of IP [press release, June 3, 2013]

      News Highlights:

      • Faster time to market and less design risk with suite of IP including: 
        ARM Cortex-A12 processor, Mali-T622 GPU, Mali-V500 video solution and POP IP technology;
      • 580 million mid-range smartphones and tablets are forecast to be sold in 2015
      • Cortex-A12 processor delivers 40 percent more performance than Cortex-A9 and brings premium features such as virtualization to the mid-range mobile device market; efficiency profile also makes it ideal for DTV and home networking;
      • Cortex-A12 processor brings optimum performance and maximum efficiency of big.LITTLE processing to mid-range smartphones and tablets;
      • Mali-T622 GPU offers an efficient and qualified OpenGL ES 3.0 solution and smallest Full Profile GPU Compute solution, putting even greater compute power into the hands of more mobile users;
      • Mali-V500 video IP solution reduces system bandwidth and power, while enabling the protection of premium video content with TrustZone support.

      The essence is that the first Cortex-A12 based SoCs are expected by mid-2014
      – for mid-range devices (smartphones and tablets) in the $200 … $350 price range by late 2014 to early 2015  
      – with Cortex-A7/A15 architectural compatibity, thus in big.LITTLE configurations with either core, supporting 40-bit addressing (up to 1 TB) and virtualization
      – plus providing the highest efficiency in pairing with Cortex-A7 core
      – as the follow-up with +40% performance to the current SoCs for mid-range devices based on Cortex-A9 SoCs

      The SoC ramp-up of about one year or so is compared to not less than two years ramp-up for Cortex-A9 based SoCs. This is the result of significant progress with Process Optimization Pack technology of ARM which was first time developed along with the processor and GPU cores themselves. It is available now for TSMC 28HPM process technology for lead partners. Six of them are already starting their SoC design. Moreover it will also be available at GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28-SLP HKMG process technology in Q4 2013. So it is also first time as such complete sourcing from two foundries will be available for SoC vendors so early on. GLOBALFOUNDRIES is even going to achieve up to 70 percent higher performance in comparison to a Cortex-A9 processor core using 40nm process technology. Competition between those 2 foundries will understandably be very strong as the 2015 mid-range smartphone and tablet market is expected to be not less than 580 million units.

      In comparison the Cortex-A9 core was announced in October 2007 and released in 2008
      now contributes to approximately one-third of all smartphone shipments worldwide
      real development opportunities began in H2 2009 with possibility to go even against Intel Atom (source: Computex 2009 – Warren East Presentation [ARM Holdings, June 1, 2009]):
      image
      with improving Cortex-A9 performance on 45nm process achieved through:
      – 56% improvement from processor and physical IP optimisations
      – 44% improvement from other techniques
      The first SoC products based on 45nm technology came in 2011, namely:
      NXP PNX 847x/8x/9x set-top box SoCs sampling in January 2010. However a month later the business related to these products was sold to Trident Microsystems (see the PNX8490/PNX8491 datasheet of February 2010) and as Trident had experienced continuing operating losses it filed for bankruptcy in January 2012. Its set-top box SoC business had been taken over by Entropic Communications, Inc. in April 2012. Although only the PNX8475 is currently offered by Entropic the original Cortex-A9 related SoC know-how is flourishing quite well there (see also: 1, 2, 3 and 4).
      Samsung Orion application processor, later renamed into Samsung Exynos 4210 then further into Exynos 4 Dual, announced in September 2010 for sampling in Q4 2010 and mass production in H1 2011. It first came out with the Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone announced in February 2011 for May 2011 delivery. Other Samsung smartphone and tablet products then followed.
      Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 and OMAP 4440 (later renamed OMAP 4460) application processors announced in February 2009 for sampling in H2 2009 and expected production by the second half of 2010, but actually debuted a year later in February 2010 with sampling available and expected production in H2 2010. The first product based on OMAP 4430 was the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet announced in September 2010 for early 2011 availability but becoming available in June 2011 only. Smartphone products from Motorola (a lot, also a few tablets) and LG (a few) followed that, as well as a number of tablet products from Archos and most notably the Kindle Fire from Amazon, and the Nook from Barnes & Noble.

      ARM is representing and projecting the evolution of the market since then as follows:image
      More information about that was provided in:
      Cortex-A12: Diversification in the Mobile Market – Serving the Mid-Range [ARM Smart Connected Devices blog, June 3, 2013]

      Mobile devices have become indispensable in North America, Europe, and much of Asia, and are becoming the primary compute platforms for people in emerging markets. We are entering a new era of computing, the post-PC era. ARM® technology has been at the heart of the mobile revolution for over twenty years and continues to be the bedrock of all innovation and change in this space.
      Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are connecting billions of people. In 2013, we are expecting:
      – Over 1 billion smartphones forecasted to ship*
      – Smartphones for <$50 and Tablets >$800
      – Tablets out-ship notebook PCs
      What becomes clear when looking at mobile devices is that we are seeing segmentation into multiple markets, which is an opportunity for growth for ARM partners:
      – Premium devices: Price range > $400
      – Mid-range devices: Price range between > $200 and < $350
      – Entry-level devices: Price range up to $150image
      Source: Mixture of ARM and Gartner Estimates
      Premium smartphones and tablets receive a great deal of attention, but it is the entry-level and mid-range markets are expected to grow the fastest over the next years. ARM delivered the Cortex®-A7 processorin the fourth quarter of 2011, and it is now shipping in large volumes in low-cost, quad-core devices. It will be followed by the Cortex-A53 processor, which is soon to be released to lead partners. Both are high-efficiency processors, that are efficient by simple in-order eight stage pipelines which are highly efficient and tuned to deliver very good performance for their size. In the mid-range mobile device market, the industry had tremendous success with devices based on the higher-performance Cortex-A9 processor, which uses a partially out-of-order, nine stage pipeline to achieve high performance tuned to the power constraints of smartphones. The Cortex-A9 processor was released in 2008 and now contributes to approximately one-third of all smartphone shipments worldwide.
      The market segmentation is driving the diversification in mobile and resulting in many different requirements needed to achieve the highest performance and lowest power within a sustained thermal envelope. These requirements make it mandatory to provide the functionality previously available only in premium devices, but within the power budgets of mid-range devices. Looking at how to serve those markets, it is clear that one size does not fit all anymore.
      Today ARM is introducing the Cortex-A12 processor, the highest performance mid-range CPU that is specifically designed for the next-generation mid-range mobile market. The Cortex-A12 processor brings its own mix of high performance and energy efficiency to 2014 SoC designs: more performance than the Cortex-A9 processor with the same mobile-tuned power efficiency. The Cortex-A12 processor is designed to deliver the best mobile experience:
      – Highest performance at lowest power consumption and cost
      – Highest efficiency within mid-range thermal envelopes, i.e. achieve highest performance at uncompromised area
      – Premium feature set in mid-range mobile
      The Cortex-A12 processor is the successor to the Cortex-A9 processor and increases single-thread performance by 40 percent, while matching the best-in-class energy efficiency. Measured in 28nm, the Cortex-A12 processor is about 30 percent smaller in area compared to the Cortex-A9 processor in 40nm technology using the same configuration. Additionally, the Cortex-A12 processor brings today’s premium smartphone features into the mid-range, allowing new use cases and great mobile experiences. Some key added features include:
      big.LITTLE™ processing enables the extension of the dynamic range of the Cortex-A12 processor with the addition of the Cortex-A7 processor
      Virtualization and TrustZone® security support enabling new use cases like BYOD (bring your own device)
      – 1TB addressable memory, providing close to no boundaries on memory space
      The Cortex-A12 processor extends the performance capability in mid-range devices without sacrificing energy efficiency when combined with the Cortex-A7 processor as a big.LITTLE CPU subsystem. big.LITTLE processing provides a highly efficient, high-performance processing solution that can scale to many different use cases. The first iterations of big.LITTLE processing featured the Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 processors for high-end solutions. Now, the Cortex-A12 processor is bringing big.LITTLE processing to increase the dynamic range of the mid-range by enabling SoC designers to push the Cortex-A12 processor further while using the Cortex-A7 processor to reduce power well below levels of the Cortex-A9 Processor. This results in an ideal combination of compute resource for efficient workload distribution, running lightweight tasks on the Cortex-A7 processor and high-performance tasks on the Cortex-A12 processor. Early results show up to 2x increased efficiency.
      Even though it is designed for mid-range smartphone and tablet devices, the Cortex-A12 processor leads with an excellent efficiency profile, making it an ideal fit for other use cases like home networking, residential gateway and auto infotainment systems.
      ARM has also designed the Cortex-A12 processor to work efficiently with a complimentary family of high performance, low power ARM CoreLink™ System IP components:
      image 
      The system diagram shown above illustrates the system IP components that will typically support the Cortex-A12 processor in a mobile SoC. To deliver effortless 1080p30 graphics with 1080p encode/decode the system also features a Mali™-T622 GPU supporting OpenGL/ES 3.0 and a Mali-V500 video accelerator.
      The CoreLink CCI-400 cache coherent interconnect provides an IO coherent channel with Mali and opens up a number of exciting possibilities for offload and acceleration of tasks. When combined with a Cortex-A7 processor (not shown) on the ACE port, CCI-400 also allows big.LITTLE operation with full L2 cache coherency between the Cortex-A12 and Cortex-A7 processors. Efficient voltage scaling and power management is enabled with the CoreLink ADB-400 enabling efficient DVFS control of the Cortex-A12 processor.
      CoreLink MMU-500 provides a hardware accelerated, common memory view for all SoC components and minimizes software overhead for virtual machines to get on with other system management functions. In this system, the Cortex-A12 processor also enjoys a secure, optimized path to memory to further enhance its market-leading performance with the aid of CoreLink TZC-400 TrustZone address space controller and DMC solution. All interconnect components and the ARM DMC guarantee bandwidth and latency requirements by utilizing in-built dynamic QoS mechanisms.
      ARM POP™ IP supports the physical implementation of the Cortex-A12 processor and Mali GPU to enable best power, performance, and area so critical to success in the highly competitive mid-range SoC market. ARM CoreSight™ debug and trace on-chip hardware, coupled with the ARM DS-5™ software development toolchain, enable the debug of random, time-related software bugs, and the non-intrusive analysis of critical areas of software. The ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5TM) toolchain also makes use of performance counters embedded in the processor, graphics processor and interconnect to enable system-wide optimization.
      The ARM Cortex-A12 processor is the highest-performance, mid-range CPU. It is specifically designed for the mid-range mobile market, and is broadly supported by a range of other ARM technology IP including ARM system IP, POP IP and development tools to enable ARM Powered® solutions that contribute to the very best user experience in terms of responsiveness and battery life. At the same time, it allows ARM partners to accelerate time to market for mid-range SoCs, while freeing development time to add their own differentiation. The Cortex-A12 is a highly tuned processor that will bring the performance of high-end mobile devices into mid-range smartphone and tablets, as well as into other great market opportunities we haven’t even considered.
      * Source: Bank of America
      Related Blogs:

      ARM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Optimize Next-Generation ARM Mobile Processors for 28nm-SLP Process Technology [press release, June 3, 2013]

      New ARM POP technology provides core-hardening acceleration for Cortex-A12 and Cortex-A7 processors
      Milpitas, Calif. and Cambridge, UK, June 3, 2013 – In conjunction with the launch of the ARM®  Cortex®-A12 processor, ARM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced new power, performance and cost-optimized POP™ technology offerings for the ARM Cortex-A12 and Cortex-A7 processors for GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm-SLP High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process technology. The Cortex-A12 processor was introduced by ARM today as part of a suite of IP targeting the rapidly growing market for mid-range mobile devices.
      The companies will combine ARM’s next-generation mobile processor and POP IP with GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm-SLP HKMG process solution, enabling a new level of system performance and power efficiency with the optimum economics necessary to serve the mid-range mobile device market.   The new initiative builds on the existing robust ARM Artisan® physical IP platform and POP IP for the Cortex-A9 processor already available on GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm-SLP, signifying another milestone in the multi-year collaboration between ARM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES.
      Central to this increase in functionality for mid-range mobile devices is the new ARM Cortex-A12 processor. The Cortex-A12 processor provides a 40 percent performance uplift and direct upgrade path from the incredibly successful Cortex-A9 processor, while matching the energy efficiency of its predecessor. The Cortex-A12 processor provides best-in-class efficiency as a standalone solution, but additionally supports the innovative big.LITTLE™ processing technology with the Cortex-A7 processor, bringing this energy-efficient technology to the mid-range.  GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm-SLP process technology and associated ARM POP IP for the Cortex-A12 processor enables up to 70 percent higher performance (measured single-thread performance) and up to 2x better power efficiency in comparison to a Cortex-A9 processor using 40nm process technology. Designers can achieve even higher performance by trading off for lower power efficiency, depending on their application needs. Click here for more information on the Cortex-A12 processor.
      The newest POP technology enables customers to accelerate core-hardening of Cortex-A12 and Cortex-A7 processors on GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm-SLP HKMG process. POP IP for Cortex processors has successfully enabled ARM-based SoCs with more than 30 different licenses since being introduced over three years ago. POP IP is composed of three elements necessary to achieve an optimized ARM processor implementation: core-specific tuned Artisan physical IP logic libraries and memory instances, comprehensive benchmarking reports, and implementation knowledge that detail the methodology used to achieve the result, to enable the end customer to achieve the same implementation quickly and at low risk.
      “With 580 million mid-range smartphones and tablets forecast to be sold in 2015[i], consumers are increasingly looking for the right combination of performance, low power and cost effectiveness,” said Dr. Dipesh Patel, executive vice president and general manager, Physical IP Division at ARM. “With the Cortex-A12 processor and suite of IP announced today, ARM is delivering an optimized system solution leveraging the most innovative technologies available for this market. The POP IP solution on GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm-SLP helps designers balance the performance, power and cost tradeoffs to achieve their targets for this growing market.”
      GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm-SLP technology is ideally suited for the next generation of smart mobile devices, enabling designs with faster processing speeds, smaller feature sizes, lower standby power and longer battery life. The technology is based on GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ “Gate First” approach to High-K Metal Gate (HKMG), which has been in volume production for more than two years. The technology offers a combination of performance, power efficiency and cost that is ideally suited for the mid-range mobile market.
      “GLOBALFOUNDRIES is committed to a deep relationship with ARM to enable best-in-class solutions for our mutual customers. Our collaboration on the ARM Cortex-A12 processor implementation is a direct result of this focus and collaboration,” said Mike Noonen, executive vice president of Marketing, Sales, Design and Quality at GLOBALFOUNDRIES.
      GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ next-generation 14nm-XM FinFET technology is expected to bring another dimension of enhanced power, performance and area for ARM mobile processors. A Cortex-A9 processor implemented on 14nm-XM technology, using 9-track libraries, is projected to enable a greater than 60 percent increase in frequency at constant power, or a decrease of more than 60 percent in power consumption at constant performance, when compared to implementation on 28nm-SLP technology using 12-track libraries. Similar results are expected for Cortex-A12 processor implementations. Click here for more details on GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 14nm-XM FinFet technology.
      For further discussions about GLOBALFOUNDRIES process technologies or ARM IP offerings please visit the companies’ respective exhibits at the Design Automation Conference (DAC), June 3-5, 2013 in Austin, Texas. ARM is located in booth 931, and GLOBALFOUNDRIES can be found at booth 1314.

      Qualcomm’s SoC business future is questioned first time

      Among the hits for simple ‘Qualcomm’ search between April 25 and 30 you will first time find headlines such as:

      • Qualcomm And The Demise Of The Commodity Processor >>>
      • Qualcomm’s profit hurt by competition from China >>>
      • Qualcomm’s earnings outlook points to rising competition from smaller rivals >>>

      While such headlines are in minority by far and had been market balanced by Qualcomm’s media wide Snapdragon 800 communication (“Snapdragon 800 to enter mass production in late May”) we are witnessing first time that Qualcomm’s SoC future had been questioned for very first time. So it is worth to examine this abrupt change in a little more detail than the articles behind those worries:

      First of all China: Entry-level dual core IPS WVGA (480×800) smartphones $65+ now, quad-core $70+ in June [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 29, 2013] behind of which there is a very said turn of events from Qualcomm’s point of view that:

      Qualcomm recently quoted its quad-core solutions at less than US$10, slightly cheaper than MediaTek’s offerings, the sources indicated. Meanwhile, Spreadtrum has lowered its quad-core processor prices to similar levels. Both firms are trying to gain market share through aggressive pricing, the sources said.

      That is Qualcomm has no other way against its market dominant entry-level rival MediaTek as start an outright price competition. In fact it is an even bigger problem as its hastily reworked new SoC product line setup:
      was meant to be a very broad offensive move as it was noted in Qualcomm moving ahead of Allwinner et al. in CPU and GPU while trying to catch up with Allwinner in Ultra HD [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 12 -Feb 27, 2013]

      Even more, in China: Entry-level dual core IPS WVGA (480×800) smartphones $65+ now, quad-core $70+ in June [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 29, 2013] we already had the following slide from yet another Chinese rival Spreadtrum:

      So while Qualcomm is trying to undercut MediaTek prices in the quad-core entry-level SoC segment its another rival had been pushed to do the same, and now Qualcomm has another very potent rival, already much better established in the entry-level segment than Qualcomm, even outside China as was shown by Temporary Nokia setback in India [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 28, 2013]. Should Qualcomm drop its quad-core entry level price further? Hardly, as those $10 SoC prices are at the very bottom from the point of view of deterring additional entry-level quad-core rivals like Allwinner to enter that segment at large.

      The competition between these three parties in terms of the entry level functionality looks like as follows (availability data is suggesting Q3 2013 entry level smartphone devices with extremely high volume production from Tier 1 international vendors down to a large number of white-box Chinese vendors):

       

      MediaTek

      Qualcomm

      Spreadtrum

      Product

      MT6582

      MSM8225Q, MSM8625Q

      SCXXXX

      Availability

      Q3 2013 volume

      Q1 2013 sample

      Q2 2013 sample

      Modem

      TD-SCDMA/W-CDMA/ TD + W

      CDMA multimode / UMTS modem options

      TD-SCDMA/W-CDMA/ TD + W

      Integrated App processor

      Quad Cortex-A7

      Quad Cortex-A5

      Quad Cortex-A7

      Speed

      1.x GHz

      1.4 GHz

      1.x GHz

      GPU

      ARM Mali 400

      Adreno 203

      ARM Mali-400MP2 likely

      Block diagrams of the MT6572 entry level SoC from MediaTek, the quad-core MT6582 will differ from that only in the number of cores:

      image
      From: Mediatek “Wu Song” [MT6572] uphill [product], against the Spreadtrum “Tiger” [SC8825] / 联发科武松上山,展讯猛虎迎战 [52RD, March 8, 2013]

      and

      image
      from 28-nanometer dual-core MT6572 WCDMA version is first to debut / 28纳米双核MT6572临近 WCDMA版本率先登场 [MTK手机网/MTK Mobile Phone Network, March 23, 2013] based on which a brief English report was the Mediatek MT6572 Chipset Details [Quazmo, April 6, 2013]

      Meanwhile the first MT6572-based products are already launched:
      MTK6572 mobile phone, Sunspan [天迈] D18/D28X first appearance [China Unlocked Phone Review, April 26, 2013] which is the rough English translation (therefore I made some manual edits to it) of MTK6572手机来了 天迈D18/D28X率先亮相 [MTK手机网/MTK Mobile Phone Network, April 26, 2013] article

      MediaTek MT6572 dual-core processor was adopted some time ago by the majority of mobile solution providers. Informed sources said MT6572 began mass production, in addition to the dual-core MT6572, quad-core chip MT6582 coming soon. There is no quad-core version of the specific information of MT6582 chip, but to guess from the naming of the quad-core chip may be rumors it is MT6572 quad core version .

      Description of MT6572

      MediaTek MTK/MT6572 is a low-power highly integrated single-chip phone processor. The chip is based on Cortex-A7 architecture, using the 28-nanometer process. a single core’s clocked at 1.xGHz, it also has built-in Mali-400MP graphics processor, support for TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and EDGE 2.75G network, integrated 4-in-1 wireless chip. In addition to that it has been listed dual-core and quad-core chip versions. The MT6572 product line also has speed and price advantages. It is learned that old Spreadtrum customers, including WingTech (闻泰) etc. will be launching MTK6572 products, but the end product equipped with MT6572 chip will be officially listed in May.

      image

      T-SMART D28X/D26X

      T-Smart Sunspan Communication, operating in the field of TD for many years and in good cooperation with China Mobile and other operators, signed a 600,000 full year supply agreement with D.Phone [who claims to be China’s largest retailer of mobile phones and accessories, with over 1300 stores, more than 800 of which are directly owned stores, see its TMall store for current offerings]. In this year’s upcoming new machine, Sunspan D28X/D26X and D18/D96X, several new machines will be using MTK6572 program, the listing of these models has been formed, will soon be listed.

      Sunspan D28X/D26X

      The two Sunspan D28X/D26X machines have the same appearance. Body size is 132 * 68 * 10.5 mm, which is equipped with MTK6572 dual-core processor, clock frequency is 1GHz, the screen size is 4.5 inches with 5MP camera, and running Android 4.2 version of the system. Another standard capacity of 1600 mAh battery, built-in commonly used sensor. The D28X/D26X both support different network standards, the D28X will provide the China Mobile’s customized one, i.e. can support the TD-SCDMA network, while the D26X has the Unicom [W-CDMA] version.

      image

      T-SMART D18/D96X

      In addition to the Sunspan D28X/D26X, there are also new D18/D96X machines which to be powered by the MTK6572 dual-core processor. The D18/D96X models also differ in supported networks. D18 is the China Mobile version and D96X is the Unicom version. In addition to that the D18 will run Android 4.2 system, equipped with a 2MP camera, while the the D96X using system version 4.1, the camera pixel is higher, 3MP. D18/D96X body style is more upright, while the color is much richer, the machine size is 126 * 64 * 10.9 mm.

      Hardware parameters of both are also consistent: with a 4-inch screen, the battery capacity of 1500 mAh, supports common sensors.

      MT6572 is primarily intended for [so called] one thousand yuan [~$150] mobile terminal products, so the MTK6572 phone sells are worth of the wait, as several new machines with lower to Sunspan hardware specifications, maybe the same, will have a friendly price. After May a large number of MTK6572 dual-core processor models will become available, the choice available to users will be more and more, and we look forward to the MT6572′s performance.

      And those first Sunspan products were produced by the largest cellphone ODM in mainland China, WingTech [闻泰] Communications:
      From the feature to quickly switch your Smartphone / 从功能机到智能机的快速切换 [Jiaxing Daily, March 22, 2013] as traslated by Bing and Google, with manual edits:

      Decoding the “top ten 2012 to take a new road to industrialization enterprises”: WingTech Communications Review

      “Sales of only 640 million yuan [$104M] in the first half of last year, while in the second half, sales more than doubled over the first half, jumped to 1.2 billion yuan [$195M]. In January to February period of this year, sales have exceeded 600 million yuan [$97M], an increase of 140%.” At the time of describing the achievement WingTech Communications Vice Chairman Xiao Xuebing [肖学兵] conceals his excitement inside: benefit from timely adjustment, increased research and development, decisiveness in the transformation and upgrading.

      … From the first half of 2012 Xiao Xuebing introduced in Wingtech a timely transformation and upgrading, increased investment in the development of 3G smart phones in order to gradually force new products onto the market in the second half of the year, and quickly switch from the feature phone market to the most popular smart phone market.

      … WingTech has large scale, low-cost advantage, which thanks to ODM orders from Huawei [华为], Haier [海尔], Sunspan [天迈], TCL and other domestic brands, as well as a powerful combination with carriers and falling smartphone prices lead to rapid sales growth and rapid adoption in the market. Now WingTech is still mass recruiting the staff, nevertheless it is expected that the whole production would exceed 3 million units in March, again hitting an all-time record.

      Even in the worst economic situation of the winter of 2008 the 1000 people strong R&D team of WingTech Communications, under the leadership of CEO Zhang Xuezheng [张学政], still advocated a “while others are ‘dormant’ we need to have ‘winter’ “ approach – a gathering of its hundreds of elite “retreats” hundred days focus research and development. This spirit of innovation remains to this day – still coming down.

      “After the 4-inch dual-core smartphones, we will soon launch 5-inch and 6-inch quad-core smart phones, as well as 7-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch PAD tablets, for which WingTech will use its own core technology, building more ordinary people affordable smart electronic products.” said Xiao Xuebing “The new products apply a lot of new technologies from the latest R&D. In the upcoming smartphones we’ve designed in a dual microphone, one for sound recording and the other for filtering the background noise. In the dual camera space, as distinct from the existing front camera, the light rear camera consists in fact two cameras, so as to achieve a 3D effect shooting.”

      Outside of research and innovation, during the manufacturing process, WingTech is also vigorously promoting technological innovation, introducing more robots and constantly increasing automation. Automation can not only rapidly increase productivity, but also can help with the stability of product quality. “Product testing was done by manual inspection in the past, only one at a time, and now with automated tools, we can have a simultaneous inspection, measuring eight mobile phones at once” – young workers of the company are saying.

      Meanwhile, thanks to the technology innovation, there are cost savings to the WingTech. “Circuit boards used to have a border. Now with a free border process, as long as the increase in the tray, the circuit board does not require a border.” For businesses less materials, for society reduced energy consumption and reduced waste generation.

      “Last year we had less than 2000 people working for us, of which 500 were short-term employed, but at full horsepower we may take up to 3000 employees.” Xiao Xuebing told reporters that: “In March this year, the unit sales of cell phones would reach 3 million units and sales volume will reach 500 million yuan [$81M]. WingTech Communications’ annual target for the year 2013 is to exceed unit sales of 40 million and the value of production to be over 4 billion yuan [$649M], up to 6 billion yuan [$973M].”

      Automation was indeed a primary direction when moving to the smartphone production, as evidenced by Wingtech Chooses LitePoint IQ2010 to Calibrate and Test Smartphones [LitePoint press release, Feb 5, 2013]

      /PRNewswire/ — LitePoint( http://www.litepoint.com )(R) announced today that Wingtech Electronics Tech( http://www.wingtech.com/EngLish ), one of China’s leading providers of mobile phone design and manufacturing services, has chosen LitePoint’s IQ2010 for production calibration and verification of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality in its new line of smartphones.
      With the surge in the use of high-end smartphones and the increasing complexity of technology built into these devices, Wi-Fi testing is expected—and often mandated by the cellular service provider. Being at the forefront of smartphone design and development, Wingtech recognized the need for a fast, accurate and cost-effective production test solution. YeHua, Director of Research and Development at Wingtech, said, “We looked into a variety of solutions to test our products and chose the IQ2010 because of the system’s overall performance, as well as the confidence we have in LitePoint as a total solution provider. The IQ2010 addresses our need for a high-quality, turn-key test solution, so it was the obvious choice for us.”
      Manufacturing cost-effective mobile devices requires a comprehensive wireless test solution that provides complete functional verification while maximizing unit throughput—the deployment of which typically occurs under intense time-to-market pressure. “Cost considerations in setting up a production line, coupled with demanding quality assurance requirements, mandate high-speed wireless test without sacrificing test coverage,” said Gary Wang, general manager of LitePoint, China. “The IQ2010 is well suited for the growing China smartphone market and designed to meet rigorous production test requirements while optimizing the total cost of ownership.”
      Availability
      LitePoint’s IQ2010 solution is available today.
      About Wingtech
      Wingtech ( http://www.wingtech.com/EngLish ) is a new technology enterprise group in the China wireless network communication market that provides mobile phone design services, manufacturing services and value-added services based on wireless terminal series. Wingtech is mainly dedicated to product customization, research and development, production and sales of wireless terminals. It also focuses on providing solutions using new business models with vertical integration of cell phone design and manufacturing of integrated terminal, brand, mobile Internet solutions for the Internet of things.
      About LitePoint
      LitePoint( http://www.litepoint.com ), a wholly owned subsidiary of Teradyne, Inc.(http://www.teradyne.com ) (TER), is based in Sunnyvale, California. The company designs, develops and supports advanced wireless test solutions( http://www.litepoint.com/Solutions.html ) for developers of wireless devices and consumer electronics, contract manufacturers and wireless integrated circuit designers. LitePoint solutions( http://www.litepoint.com/Solutions.html ) have enabled optimization and verification of the operation of more than one billion wireless devices worldwide. LitePoint products( http://www.litepoint.com/Products.html ) are used in development and high-volume manufacturing, providing its customers with improved ROI, time-to-market, manufacturing yields, and product quality. For more, go to www.litepoint.com.

      Previously WingTech was supported by the state and party to becomer the largest feature phone maker in China, as evidenced by: Party Secretary and Chief Executive of Huangpu District in Shanghai Zhou Wei Inspected Industrialized Base for Wingtech Cell Phones [WingTech press release]

      On June 18, 2009, accompanied by … <a long list of people> … Zhou Wei, deputy party secretary and chief executive of Huangpu District paid a visit to the industrialized base for Wingtech cell phones.
      Zhou Wei and his companions toured the showroom, test room and production lines of Wenxun and Wendi. After that, the leaders and Zhang Xuezheng, the CSO of Wingtech Group, held a symposium, where Mr. Zhang reported in details the company’s history and achievements since its establishment, and current situations.
      Zhou Wei, deputy party secretary and chief executive of Huangpu District, said that it was not easy for Wingtech to be developed into the largest cell phone maker in China within less than two years. As a leading enterprise in the communication industry, Wingtech has made its great contributions in terms of fiscal revenue, personnel introduction, protection of intellectual property rights and technological innovation. He also added that the District Government of Huangpu should pay closer attentions on caring about and supporting high-tech groups like Wingtech so as to support its sustainable development.
      With regards to patent application and protection, leaders from the Science Committee of Huangpu District expressed that more supports would be provided to enterprise like Wingtech in protecting the intellectual property rights, and the smooth transfer should be ensured in executing the policies of the state, municipality and the district and the enterprise, so as to promote Wingtech to make new progresses in technological innovation and application and protection of intellectual property rights.
      With respect to finance and taxes, the leader from the Finance Bureau of Huangpu said special funds invested in Wingtech would increase and preferential tax policies supporting Wingtech and other high-tech enterprises be implemented so as to reduce their burdens and enhance their strength for development.
      For the issue of personnel indraught, the leaders concerned expressed that Shanghai may need a large number of highly qualified personnel in the field of communication to satisfy the economic development, whereas Wingtech, as a leading enterprise in the sector, can serve as a cradle to attract and foster the communication personnel. In order to support enterprises like Wingtech to attract and retain personnel, the government of Huangpu District will further study and discuss such matters as household registration policies, individual income tax and education of children so as to figure out a practical preference scheme as soon as possible. In addition, as Wingtech Group develops rapidly, its office space becomes over crowded due to the suddenly increased number of personnel. Leaders from Huangpu said they would solve this issue as soon as possible.
      During the meeting, Zhou Wei, the deputy secretary and chief executive of Huangpu District, presented on behalf of Huangpu District Government a gift—Hangguang Porcelain to Wingtech Group. The gift indicates that Wingtech Group could develop stably, maintain its foundation permanently and make innovations and breakthroughs continuously so as to be the model enterprise in the communication industry in both China and the world.

      image

      image

      More information of the above kind is in the Wingtech Group honored with “outstanding performance prize of China mobile phone industry 2010 [press release, Dec 21, 2010]

      The still old company profile About Wingtech [闻泰] Group [集团] [LinkedIn, originally created on July 23, 2009], the corrections in square brackets are from the WingTech profile page in Chinese (http://www.wingtech.com/Chinese/Company-Content-ID-8.html) in the hope that it contains later information

      As a high-tech company, Wingtech Group mainly provides clients with the integrated cell phones program design, production, and wireless terminal-based value-added service, and is committed to the customized service, R&D, production, sales, after-sales service of wireless terminal products.

      Founded in 2006, Wingtech Group consists of Shanghai R&D Center, Shenzhen Operation Center, and Jiaxing Production Center. Currently, Wingtech has a team of nearly 2000 [4000] employees. Its products cover PHS, GSM(GPRS), CDMA(1X), EDGE, TD-SCDMA[, EVDO] and all handheld device series ranging from 2G to 4G, with an annual turnover of hundreds of millions of US dollars.

      Since its foundation, Wingtech has always persisted in the independent technical innovation, and make a lot of efforts in development and application of new technology of wireless communication. So far, Wingtech has owned nearly one thousand technical patents, a number of the world leading technologies, and is increasing 500 patents every year. Meanwhile, Wingtech has been in possession of perfect sales networks and under total process control systems (ISO9001:2000, ISO14001, QC080000).

      Wingtech puts focus on local strengths while eyeing the world. Due to strong innovation, reliable quality, and high cost performance, Wingtech products have been very popular with customers at home and abroad. Currently, Wingtech products have been exported to over 30 countries, and over 50 [80] million consumers around the world are enjoying happy wireless mobile experience through Wingtech products and services.

      Website: http://www.wingtech.com

      Industry: Telecommunications

      Type: Privately Held

      Company Size: 1001-5000 employees

      The latest external to China (actually for India) Overview [Callbar, July 15, 2011]

      Callbar is a world leading mobile phone brand owned by WINGTECH GROUP LIMITED. Registered in HK with operation center in Shenzhen, manufacture base in Jiaxing and R&D center in Shanghai & Xi’an, we directly or indirectly employ over 4,000 people in China and other countries worldwide. Since establishment in 2006, we’ve evolved into a leading ODM supplier serving customers including MOTOROLA, LG, Philips and HUAWEI. In last 2 years we successfully extended our business into Wireless Terminal Internet Service and international distribution with our own brand WING. Our annual turnover reached USD 600million in 2009. Consumers around the world are enjoying Callbar mobile phones which features innovation, quality and cost effectiveness.

      Better Quality, Better Price.

      And the latest external to China milestone descriptions (actually for India):
      History [Callbar, July 15, 2011]

      2006 Y
      In 2006,Wingtech Telecom was registered in Hong Kong and marched into cell phone PCBA industrial.
      2007 Y
      In May 2007, Zhejiang Communication Industry (Jiaxing) Base and Wingtech Cell Phone Industrialization Base started to be built.
      In May 2007, Wingtech Telecom cooperated with SpreadTrum in the field of 3G industry in order to promote the development of 3G industry
      In November 2007, Wingtech Telecom joined TD-SCDMA industry alliance, focusing on development and application of TD technique.
      In December 2007, Wingtech Telecom sold 20 million sets of cell phones in total, which made Wingtech to be NO.1 of iSuppli.
      2008 Y
      In April 2008, Wingtech Telecom ranked the top one in the Chinese IDH industry.
      In April 2008, Wingtech and Indian famous cell phone company-FRIWO cooperated to establish a mobile terminal product showroom in New Delhi, which is a totally new mode of cooperation between China and India.
      In November 2008, Wingtech held the “Wireless Communication New Tech Summit”.
      In November 2008, Zhejiang Communication Industry (Jiaxing) Base and the Wingtech Cell Phone Industrialization Base were put into production.
      2009 Y
      In March 2009, Wingtech and China Telecommunication Technology Labs entered into the cooperative agreement to establish the strategic cooperative relationship.
      In May 2009, Xi’an R&D centre established, which further enhances Wingtech telecom R&D capability.
      2011 Y
      Wingtech launches its Callbar brand strategy all over the world so as to make more people to be serviced by Wingtech.

      While the latest external to China (actually for India) Structure [Callbar, July 15, 2011], with geographical inserts added as required

      Shanghai R&D centre
      Shanghai R&D Center has a team of over one thousand R&D staff members, with R&D achievement covering the whole series of mobile terminal products of GSM, CDMA, EDGE, TD-SCDMA, EVDO etc, ranging from 2G to 3G. So far, the R&D Center has owned nearly one thousand national patents.
      With strong R&D strength and firm technical foundation, the R&D Center has been rewarded many titles by Shanghai Government.Meanwhile, Wingtech joins the TD-SCDMA industrial alliance to actively conduct the R&D and application of TD products so as to speed up the Chinese industrialization.
      Jiaxing production centre
      In addition to the cell phone design service, Wingtech can provide customers with the high-efficiency and high-quality production service.Wingtech invested $70 million in building a cell phone industrial base of over 140 000 square meters in Jiaxing,in which Wingtech produces mobile phones of first class for world famous brands.
      Wingtech Cell Phone Industrial Base has given an impetus to the development of the local communications industry.  And with this impetus, a world-class cell phone industrial cluster with an output of more than 30,000,000 sets, and an annual turnover of RMB 10 billion formed around this Cell Phone Industrial Base.
      image
      More information: Jiaxing [Wikipedia article]
      Shenzhen operation centre
      To better serve market and customers, Wingtech Telecom establishes the Operation Center in Shenzhen which is responsible for the procurement, sales and technical support. And with the help of its reliable supply chain system, professional marketing team, the world-class ERP and logistics guarantee system, Shenzhen Operation Centre provides first class service to our local and worldwide customers.
      At present, over 70 million consumers around the world are enjoying happy wireless mobile experience through Wingtech products and services.
      Xi’an R&D Centre
      Founded in 2009, Xi’an R&D Centre is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wingtech Group. It is mainly engaged in R&D and application of wireless communication new technology for providing 2G-4G GSM, CDMA and TD-SCDMA full system mobile terminal devices.
      Xi’an Wingtech enjoys an internationally top grade R&D team and powerful R&D capacity. Among the over 100 R&D engineers, above 60% of them are doctoral degree holders and master degree holders. As for quality control, Xi’an Wingtech has introduced whole process quality control system (ISO9001:200, ISO14001, QC080000), and performs Six Sigma Management following quality control standards of internationally top grade enterprises for developing and providing stable and reliable products to customers.
      image
      Xi’an is on the far left of this map, Jiaxing and Shanghai are on the far right
      More information: Xi’an [Wikipedia article]

      Note that in Xi’an another cellphone industrial cluster has been created, as evidenced by World’s biggest wireless semiconductor producer establishes branch in N.W China city [Xinhua, Dec 23, 2011] news article

      Qualcomm, the world’s largest wireless semiconductor company, has announced it will set up a branch in Xi’an, capital of northwest Shaanxi province, according to the management committee of the city’s high-tech area on Friday.
      In the past years, the U.S.-based global leader in 3G and next generation wireless telecommunication technologies has established cooperative relationships with Chinese counterparts such as Huawei, ZTE, Yulong Coolpad and Wingtech.
      Qualcomm’s branch in Xi’an is a strategic option and also a good beginning, said Zhao Hongzhuan, director of the Xi’an high-tech area management committee, adding that the area will provide “big support and quality service” to Qualcomm, and said he hopes the company will expand its investment in Xi’an.
      China has already become one of the fastest growing markets for Qualcomm, said Wang Xiang, president of Qualcomm greater China. “Qualcomm decided to set up its branch in Xi’an because of the city’s complete industrial chain, strong technical strengths and rich talent,” Wang said.
      Qualcomm entered the Chinese market in the late 1990s and already has branches in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

      Note as well that Wingtech’s engagement with Spreadtrum goes much older:
      Spreadtrum and WingTech Enter Strategic Partnership [joint press release, April 24, 2008]

      JIAXING, China, April 24 /Xinhua-PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPRD), one of China’s leading wireless baseband chipset providers, today announced during the “International Handset Supply Chain Summit 2008” that Spreadtrum and WingTech Group have entered into a strategic partnership aimed at leveraging their respective leading edge chip and handset design technologies. This two-day summit, sponsored by Jiaxing Communication Industry Association and organized by WingTech Communication Science and Technology Co. Ltd., promotes the theme of “Developing hand in hand for mutual benefits in the future.”
      The announced Spreadtrum-WingTech partnership is expected to benefit both companies and their customers as it is intended to capitalize on Spreadtrum’s technology expertise in developing chipsets and WingTech’s strengths in handset design for the industry. With the establishment of this new strategic partnership, WingTech will deploy Spreadtrum’s SC6600W chip in its handsets. The SC6600W is a single chip quad-band GSM/GPRS multimedia baseband intended for WingTech handsets targeted at feature rich entry-level phones that include features such as MP3 playback, stereo output, voice recording, and Bluetooth interface for wireless data transmissions. Like Spreadtrum’s other highly integrated basebands, the SC6600W features an integrated multimedia processor and built-in power management circuits on a single chip, which should reduce production costs, while enabling customers such as WingTech to develop new, differentiated products within a quick time-to-market threshold.
      Referring to this strategic partnership, president of WingTech Group, Zhang Xueying said, “WingTech and Spreadtrum have a long history of close and steady partnership. Spreadtrum’s advanced technologies and products are one of the important factors that account for WingTech’s rapid growth. By entering this partnership, we believe we will be in the best possible position to win additional market share through use of the customized SC6600W chip, since it may greatly reduce the time-to-market and overall cost while improving core competitiveness of our products. This announcement further strengthens the strategic alliance between our two companies, but also starts a new mode of business collaboration in the industry to push the differentiation of the terminal products. WingTech will commit itself to unite all the segments in the industry to develop hand in hand for mutual benefits in the future.”
      Dr. Ping Wu, President and CEO of Spreadtrum, expressed, “By establishing this strategic partnership, we hope to expand and deepen the cooperation with WingTech in technology, marketing and other aspects to further expand our markets and accelerate our respective technology innovation. We believe that closer cooperation between the handset design solution provider and chip designer will be in everyone’s interest to further improve the features and diversity of future handset products. We look forward to a sustained, close partnership with WingTech and to driving a new round of development in China’s communication industry.”
      About Spreadtrum:
      Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPRD; “Spreadtrum”) is a fabless semiconductor company that designs, develops, and markets baseband processor solutions for the mobile wireless communications market. Spreadtrum combines its semiconductor design expertise with its software development capabilities to deliver highly-integrated baseband processors with multimedia functionality and power management. Spreadtrum has developed its solutions based on an open development platform, enabling its customers to develop customized wireless products that are feature-rich and meet their cost and time-to-market requirements.
      For more information, please check: http://www.spreadtrum.com
      About WingTech:
      WingTech group was founded in Hong Kong at the end of 2005 and ever since then, it has been devoting to R&D, manufacturing and marketing of mobile terminals. The main business scope includes complete design solution for mobile phones and value-added services based on mobile terminals. With technological strength and excellent products, after only two years from its establishment, WingTech has risen to be one of the top Chinese mobile companies

      Meanwhile WingTech has well established itself in India:
      – originally as a feature phone ODM for a number of leading local brands in India, as evidenced by: Wingtech Group [microsite on Importers.com, May 31, 2010]:

      Company already designing mobiles for Lava, Karbon, Spice, Intex, Videocon, Micromax, G-five. Now plannig to launch their own brand”WING”. Looking for importers.

      – in addition indeed introducing its first own brand, WING in 2010, as evidenced by the History page of a separate http://www.wingtele.com/ site
      – then by the already referenced Callbar brand a year later, as evidenced by another separate site http://www.callbar.in
      – then becoming available under the Wingtech brand itself, evidenced by Wingtech Mobile Phones in India [Sulekha.com] microsite


      Background: MediaTek: Ready For Prime Time [stock analysis report from Maybank, April 25, 2013]

      With smartphones hitting the mainstream market, the replacement cycle for feature phones seems to be accelerating and tablet adoption in the emerging markets (in particular China) is gathering momentum. Against this backdrop, we think MTK may have to raise its target unit shipments of 400-450m smartphones and 100m tablets for 2013.

      Best positioned to benefit from new secular trend. MTK is stepping up efforts to diversify its product portfolio to capture the proliferation of smart devices. It will have all its application processors (APs) on 28nm node this year, with designs based on the latest Cortex-A7 and/or Cortex-A15. By mid-year, it will introduce several low-cost models (MT6572/6582/6589M) to consolidate its position in the white-box market and enhance its cost structure. Also, MTK will foray into tablet markets (MT8389/8135 [big.Little design]), a new addressable market. By 4Q13, it will sample its high-end 4G/LTE/LTE-TDSCDMA modem chipset. Importantly, the ongoing consolidation of the AP industry and recent hiring of high-profile executives from Qualcomm could spur MTK to become a major force in the global smart device industry.

      We note that MTK’s shipments include the white-box market, which is not captured by third-party research firms such as IDC. As such, analysing the change in MTK’s handset types may offer a clue to the dynamics of the handset industry, especially in the global emerging markets. We estimate MTK may ship close to 90m smartphones in 1H13 and its full-year target of 200m units (400-450m for global emerging markets) thus seems too conservative to us. An official upgrade in shipment per se and industry revisions should be expected. We currently forecast MTK to ship 235-240m smartphones in 2013. Back in November last year, our industry forecast of 500-550m unit shipments sounded aggressive, but now, it might look realistic given the speed of the replacement cycle and the popularity of smartphones in the global emerging countries.

      Best positioned to benefit from new secular trend. MTK is stepping up efforts to diversify its product portfolio to capture the proliferation of smart devices. It will have all its APs on 28nm node this year, with designs based on the latest CortexA7 and/or Cortex-A15. In this section, we provide an update on MTK’s new products and compare them to some of the solutions offered by its peers. Figures 7-8 illustrate the timeline of product introduction and specifications.

      image

      image

      1. MT6572 enters mass production in 2Q13 with the first shipment expected between late-May and June. MT6572 (dual-core, Cortex A7) is designed to replace MT6515 (single-core, Cortex A9) with significant cost savings and battery life enhancement. The die size of MT6572 is significantly smaller (than MT6515) and this AP comes with an integrated WiFi chipset – the first for MTK. Coupled with 28nm node and requiring only four layers of PCB board, we believe MT6572 offers significant cost savings for handset OEMs. MT6572 will also be a significant volume runner for MTK as it comes with various connectivity such as MT6572E (for 2.75G), MT6572T (TD-SCDMA) and MT6572W (WCDMA). The W-version targets smartphones with ASP of CNY1,000 (USD160) while the E-and-T-versions will go well-below CNY1,000 (USD100-125), and both should be well-received by the white-box market. We believe MT6572T can hold its own against Spreadtrum’s latest SC8825 (dual-core Cortex A5, TD-SCDMA on 40nm node and without integrated WiFi).
      2. The MT6582 has features similar to those of the MT6572 but the former comes with Quad-core, Cortex A7 engines as opposed to the latter’s dualcore engine. Like the MT6572, MT6582 targets the white-box market for better system performance. We expect volume shipments to commence in 3Q13. We believe the MT6582W will compete well with Qualcomm’s MSM8225Q, the low-end Quad-core Cortex A5 AP which only supports WCDMA networks.
      3. MT6589M is a cost-down version of the currently leading quad-core MT6589, which began shipment in March and has found favour among OEM customers (60-70 clients) in China. MT6589M shares most of the features and design architecture of MT6589. But it comes with HD and 8MP camera compared with full HD and 13MP camera for the latter. In addition, we estimate MTK could achieve 15-20% cost savings on MT6589M by tweaking some foundry and back-end processes. As such, MT6589M offers a lower cost solution for handset OEMs who do not wish to equip their smartphones with similar high-end features as MT6589. With a lower ASP, MTK could narrow the price gap between MT6589M and Qualcomm’s MSM8225Q by 10-15% and yet offer better features. We estimate the price gap between MT6589 and MSM8225Q currently is at least 30-40%. That being said, we note that MSM8225Q is a quad-core using Cortex A5 and 40nm node, and does not support TD-SCDMA network.

      Saving Intel: next-gen Intel ultrabooks for enterprise and professional markets from $500; next-gen Intel notebooks, other value devices and tablets for entry level computing and consumer markets from $300

      imageimageOR “2 for 1” (or “two-for-one”) touch and voice enabled ultrabooks of convertible and detachable form factors with Haswell / 4th generation Intel Core processor family (shipping now and on track for Q2’13 launch) starting as low as $500.

      Touch-enabled notebooks [other value devices and tablets]
      with Bay Trail
      down to the $300 to $400 range
      in Q4’13, and as low as $200 later.

      OR after Intel’s biggest flop: at least 3-month delay in delivering the power management solution for its first tablet SoC [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 20, 2012] AND Urgent search for an Intel savior [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 21 – Dec 11, 2012] Intel is finally ready to drop entry level prices to competitive levels in both enterprise/professional and entry level computing /consumer markets

      Updates: a young Seeking Alpha investment research contributor reflected on it as Intel Just Made A Huge Decision [April 14, 2013] with the following reasoning to close his article which I wholeheartedly agree with:

      Intel’s “Atom” chips command margins roughly in line with the corporate average. This makes sense given that Nvidia recently disclosed that its “Tegra” mobile SoC business carried roughly 50% gross margins. Given that Intel owns its own fabs (and doesn’t pay royalties to ARM), gross margins in the 60%+ range are completely plausible. The problem is that raw ASPs for the chips are much lower than that of the traditional notebook and desktop chips.
      Selling a $25 – $30 processor isn’t going to give you the raw margin dollars that a $100 processor will, even if the gross margin percentage is the same. If we start seeing a trend where people are simply going with the Atom based solutions rather than the Core solutions, then this will of course be a problem for Intel at the top and bottom lines. But if we see the “Core” solutions staying mostly flat with the rejuvenated Atom helping to gain back market share from the ARM vendors, then this is pure upside for Intel.
      My guess is that the “truth” is going to be somewhere in the middle. The people who need performance, will always need performance, and the people who generally bought low cost, would have bought the cheaper “Celeron” and “Pentium” products (these aren’t too much more expensive than an Atom/ARM SoC) anyway. I expect that the difference is that while today’s “Celeron” and “Pentium” products generally end up in crappy systems with bad screens, slow hard disks, and lousy battery life, the “Atom” products will end up in much more compelling systems, as the PC OEMs/Intel can’t really afford to keep the good stuff confined to expensive systems that people may not be buying anyway.
      Conclusion
      Intel made the right move to unleash Atom and to grin and bear the potential blended ASP erosion that is sure to happen. The key, then, is to focus not on blended ASPs, but to keep an eye on total revenue and gross margin dollars. If these grow as a result of Atom, then great – Intel gets rewarded with a higher multiple as it will have proven its viability going forward, and increased revenues/earnings will only further serve to amplify the share price. If revenues stagnate, then Intel still made the right decision (because it is likely that without Atom being competitive, ARM based chips would have caused continued negative growth), but will need to really focus on increasing the total # of devices that it serves.
      In no way is making Atom more competitive a “mistake”, and Intel would rather cannibalize itself than let the other chip vendors do it. The big question mark is how total sales are going to be, and whether a competitive Atom at the low end PC + tablet spaces is going to be enough. My bet is “yes”, but nothing is ever sure when it comes to business.

      Don’t forget meawhile that Intel promotes Android convertible notebooks, say vendors [DIGITIMES, April 19, 2013]

      Viewing that Windows 8 has been unable to stimulate global demand for notebooks, and global sales of Android tablets have been increasing, Intel has begun to promote Android tablet-convertible notebooks, and China-based vendor Lenovo has taken the initiative to launch initial models in May while Hewlett-Packard (HP), Toshiba, Acer and Asustek Computer will launch models in the third quarter, according to sources from notebook vendors.
      Lenovo’s Android-based Yoga notebook [see: Lenovo Yoga 11S ultrabook tablet-convertible [Notebookitalia YouTube channel, Jan 7, 2013] and the IDF Bejing slide inserted on the left in a smaller format, both embedded much below in this post], set for release in May, is expected to feature an 11-inch display, the sources noted.
      Intel has estimated that the price sweet spot of Android-based notebooks is around US$500, and the machines will also need to feature detachable keyboard designs to allow transformation into a tablet, the sources said.
      Since most consumers are familiar with Android, with the addition of document processing applications, the sources believe Android-based notebooks should be able to attract strong demand.

      At the same time Some China-based white-box vendors plan to develop Windows 8 tablets [DIGITIMES, April 17, 2013]

      Viewing that Android tablets, especially 7-inch models, have been under intense price competition and therefore profitability is thinning, some China-based white-box vendors are considering developing Windows 8 tablets equipped with Intel processors for market segmentation, according to industry sources at the 2013 China Sourcing Fair: Electronics and Components taking place in Hong Kong during April 12-15.
      The products are expected to show up at the beginning of the third quarter, at the soonest.
      The sources believe that since the volume of tablets using a Windows operating system is still low, if they are able to enter the market ahead of others, there may be a chance of gaining profits.
      Although related costs are expected to increase by using Intel’s platform and Microsoft’s operating system, the sources pointed out that the advantage as an early mover will allow them to achieve better gross margins than for Android-based models. The fees from the operating system are not really a huge concern, the sources added.

      End of updates

      Sections of this post:

      1. Touch-enabled notebooks [other value devices and tablets] with Bay Trail down to the $300 to $400 range in Q4’13, and as low as $200 later.
      2. “2 for 1” (or “two-for-one”) touch and voice enabled ultrabooks of convertible and detachable form factors with Haswell/4th generation Intel Core processor family (shipping now and on track for Q2’13 launch) starting as low as $500.
      3. Intel’s CEO Discusses Q1 2013 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, April 16, 2013]
      4. Earlier information from Intel


      1. Touch-enabled notebooks [other value devices and tablets] with Bay Trail
      down to the $300 to $400 range in Q4’13, and as low as $200 later.

      image
      Note that on this slide demoed on the screen of Bay Trail prototype (see the video embedded below) the targeted launch is set for “HR’13”, meaning “Holiday Revenue 2013”. Note as well that the Bail Trail SoC is both for entry desktop (i.e. Celeron) and entry notebook (i.e. current Atom) replacement. This why in the video below both an entry desktop motherboard prototype (from Gigabyte) and an entry notebook (from ASUS) is demoed. The range of devices with Bay Trail SoC is going to be however much wider than that, as is communicated already by Intel in the below excerpts. More exact information will be available later.

      From: Intel’s CEO Discusses Q1 2013 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, April 16, 2013]

      … as we get into the Christmas selling season … we’ll see, because of Bay Trail coming into the marketplace, you’ll see touch-enabled thin notebooks with really good performance that are hitting kind of $300 price points. And then with our Android tablets, you’ll see things that are significantly …

      … If you look at touch-enabled Intel based notebooks that are ultrathin and light using non-Core processors, those prices are going to be down to as low as $200 probably. …

      Intel Bay Trail Prototype Hands On & HD Video Demo [minipcpro YouTube channel, April 9, 2013]

      Intel Bay Trail http://www.mobilegeeks.com. At IDF Beijing Intel took the opportunity to quietly announce Bay Trail, this new processor line up will be aimed at entry level computing. The new product line will feature Baytrail M for Mobile and Baytrail D for desktop. The 22nm chipset will be aimed at smartphones and tablets and in desktop think All in One systems. Bay Trail will be the most powerful Atom processor to date as it will be offering a Quad Core SoC, it should double the computing performance on Intel’s current generation of tablet processors.

      From: Intel Developer Forum: Transforming Computing Experiences from the Device to the Cloud [press release, April 10, 2013] Images are inserted from:
      Reinventing the Computing Experience presentation at IDF 2013 by Kirk Skaugen, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group
      Mobile Inside at IDF 2013 by Tan Weng Kuan, vice president and general manager of the Mobile Communications Group, Intel China
      Developing on Innovative Intel® Atom™ Processor Based Tablet Platforms [April 11, 2013 presentation by Intel at the IDF Beijing]

      Augmenting the company’s offerings for computing at a variety of price points, Skaugen announced plans for new market variants of its “Bay Trail22nm SoC with PC feature sets specifically designed for value convertibles, clamshell laptops, desktops and value all-in-one computers to ship later this year.

      imageTaking full advantage of the broad spectrum of capabilities enabled by Intel® architecture, processor technology leadership, manufacturing and multi OS support across Windows* 8 and Android*, Tan discussed the company’s forthcoming smartphone and tablet products based on Intel’s leading-edge 22nm process and an entirely new Atom microarchitecture. Intel’s quad-core Atom SoC (“Bay Trail“) will be the most powerful Atom processor to-date, doubling the computing performance of Intel’s current-generation tablet offering1. Scheduled for holiday 2013 tablets [in market Q4’13], “Bay Trail” will help enable new experiences and designs as thin as 8mm that have all-day battery life and weeks of standby.

      image

      What’s New in Tablets? Intel Powers Android & Windows 8 [channelintel YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]

      Intel continues its tablet expansion, now powering both Android and Windows 8 devices.


      2. “2 for 1” (or “two-for-one”) touch and voice enabled ultrabooks of convertible and detachable form factors
      with Haswell / 4th generation Intel Core processor family (shipping now and on track for Q2’13 launch) starting as low as $500.

      From: Intel’s CEO Discusses Q1 2013 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, April 16, 2013]

      … as we get into the Christmas selling season, your expectation is you will see touch-enabled ultrabooks that are $499 and $599 pretty commonly out there. $599 commonly, and $499 as kind of special SKUs.

      From: Intel Developer Forum: Transforming Computing Experiences from the Device to the Cloud [press release, April 10, 2013]
      Images are inserted from Reinventing the Computing Experience presentation at IDF2013 by Kirk Skaugen, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group

      Reinventing the Computing Experience

      During his keynote, Kirk Skaugen, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group, provided a deeper look at the forthcoming 4th generation Intel Core processor family, which he said is now shipping to OEM customers and will launch later this quarter.

      Ultrabooks based on the 4th generation Intel Core processor family will enable exciting, new computing experiences and all-day battery life delivering the most significant battery life capability improvement in Intel’s history,” said Skaugen. “It will also bring to consumers a new wave of ‘two-for-oneconvertible and detachable systems that combine the best of a full PC experience with the best of a tablet in amazing new form factors.”

      NEW Architecture on 22nm Tri Gate

      NEW Intel Power Optimizer: 20x Power Reduction
      vs. 2nd gen Intel® Core™ Processors

      NEW Integrated on package PCH [Platform Controller Hub]
      for amazing form factors

      NEW Integrated Audio DSP: more battery life, higher quality

      Shipping Now and On Track for Q2 2013 Launch

      The new Intel Core microarchitecture will allow the company to deliver up to double the graphics performance over the previous generation. In addition, the new graphics solution will have high levels of integration to enable new form factors and designs with excellent visual quality built in. Skaugen demonstrated these graphics improvements on the 4th generation Intel Core processor-based Ultrabook reference design called “Harris Beach.” The demo featured Dirt 3*, a popular gaming title, showing the same visual experience and game play as a discrete graphics card that users would otherwise have to add separately. He also showed the 4th generation Intel Core processor-based concept, codenamed “Niagara,” a premium notebook with the ability to play the unreleased enthusiast title Grid 2* from CodeMasters* without the aid of a discrete graphics card.

      Along with touch capability, Intel® Wireless Display (Intel WiDi) will be enabled on all 4th generation Intel Core processor-based Ultrabook devices to allow people to quickly and securely stream content and apps from devices to the big screen, free from the burden of cables. Skaugen said the China ecosystem is taking the lead on integrating Intel WiDi into systems, and announced that the leading television manufacturer in China, TCL*, has a new model with the Intel WiDi technology built in. He also announced new receivers certified for Intel WiDi from QVOD* and Lenovo* and a set-top box from Gehua*.

      Where the idea of “2 for 1” (or “two-for-one”) was already demonstrated in 
      Convertible Ultrabook™ Features [channelintel YouTube channel, Feb 7, 2013]

      A complimentary piece to the “Best of Both World’s” Live-action video. This animation is intended to educate the viewer on the specific features and details surrounding convertible Ultrabook™. Many different form factors are shown as well as several usage models to give the user an idea for the many different ways that a user can take advantage of a convertible Ultrabook™.

      and here is The Best of Both Worlds, a Convertible Ultrabook™ Story (Long Version) [channelintel YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013] live–action video for that

      A day in the life of our favorite PC user, Alysha Nett. Watch as she uses her Intel-based Convertible Ultrabook™ for both work and play — follow the two sides of her story as she uses the Ultrabook™ by day in her interior design job and by night out with friends watching her favorite band, “We Will Be Lions”. A shorter version of this video is also available.

      Shown first at CES 2013 for May’13 delivery: Lenovo Yoga 11S ultrabook tablet-convertible [Notebookitalia YouTube channel, Jan 7, 2013]

      Lenovo unveiled the IdeaPad Yoga 11S at CES 2013, highlighting the ability of this 11.6-inch notebook to turn into an 11.6-inch tablet.

      As well as a detachable form factor ultrabook reference design: IDF Beijing 2013 Keynote Demo – North Cape [channelintel YouTube channel, April 17, 2013]

      Kirk Skaugen showcases the North Cape reference design at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing.

      Kirk Skaugen:

      [0:17] This is a full 17 mm clamshell ultrabook. In this configuration it actually has 13 hours of battery life, and it is a full Core i5 computer. But what I can do here, as I can just very simply push in an electronic eject button, and lift it out very simply with one hand. About 3 hours of battery life comes from a battery that sits under the keyboard. But here then I have an amazing notebook that gives me a less than 3 pound tablet with 10 hours of battery life. [0:51]

      At CeBIT 2013 in Hannover, Germany (March 5-9) North Cape was demonstrated as:
      Haswell Ultrabook – North Cape Reference Design Hands-On [Steve Chippy Paine YouTube channel, March 5, 2013]

      and in the companion article it was reported:

      In a chat with one of the marketing managers I confirmed that there will be COnnected Standby and non-Connected Standby Ultrabooks on Haswell. The CS Ultrabooks are likely to be the cream of the crop and will be more expensive but will have lower power profiles. Clearly the hybrid designs are the perfect fit for CS-capable Ultrabooks but I’ wouldn’t be surprised to see Samsung have a CS-capable Series 9. Remember, CS is not just about being up-to-date with emails, it means apps can run when the Ultrabook is in your bag, without a fan, on an SSD, for days. It’s the mark of extreme battery life, it’s very exciting technology and likely to be exclusive to Ultrabooks.

      then immediately before IDF the same source delivered the news that Haswell Ultrabooks could achieve Tablet-like 100mW Connected-Idle [April 9, 2013]

      imageIn a presentation due to go out at the Intel Developer Forum over the next two days Intel will outline best practices for low-power idle on Ultrabooks. Today you’ll be lucky to see an Ultrabook idle to less than 3000mW (3 Watts) which is a background drain that’s always there. On Haswell, Intel says that you could get to a screen-off idle state of 100mW.
      By effectively removing nearly 3W of background drain, all operations are going to benefit, not just idle. Where Internet browsing was a 9W operation, expect to see that go down to around 6W for a big increase in battery life.
      The 100mW target requires both system designers and software engineers to build to the best standards but when it comes to laptops, it’s the Ultrabooks that have the best chance of getting the best engineers working on them. Low-power DDR3 memory, SSD storage, high-quality power components and tight board design mean the best systems won’t be cheap systems but all the ingredients and skills are now available to make laptops that idle like tablets.
      Intel also want’s to see engineers using configurable TDP and other features to create systems in the 10W (fanless) range. High Density Interconnects on motherboards could also bring advantages. By reducing the mainboard size, space is created for more battery. Intel says there’s a chance to fit 20-45% more battery inside when motherboard sizes are reduced using HDI techniques.
      imageWhile the ingredients and techniques might be on the shelf, it’s up to the OEMS to decide how they use them. Pricing pressures often lead to compromises so don’t expect all of the new engineering techniques to appear on anything but the high-end Ultrabooks.

       

      More information: Form Factor and Average Power Innovations for Ultrabooks™
      [April 10, 2013 presentation by Intel at the IDF Beijing] with the following abstract:

      Intended Audience: OEMs and ODMs – Motherboard Layout Designers, Power Delivery, and Power Management Architects
      In this session we propose methods to improve, form factor, battery capacity, and power consumption for Ultrabook™ devices. We show how High Density Interconnects (HDI) Printed Circuit Boards could free up considerable space for more battery and other features, especially in thinner Ultrabooks. We show current practices with HDI and propose better ways to achieve higher mother board area reduction to close the cost gap between type 3 and type 4 (HDI) designs. For power consumption, we also show design methods to reduce average power, especially by reducing platform idle power.

      and agenda:

        • What is HDI?
        • Benefits of HDI in Form Factor Constrained Systems
        • Reducing the Cost of HDI
        • Reducing Platform Power
        • Thermal management an Power Configurability

      North Cape was first shown at CES 2013, so OEMs had pretty much time to work on Haswell based offerings to be unveiled in Q2’13:
      Intel Delivers Broad Range of New Mobile Experiences [press release, Jan 7, 2013]

          • 4th generation Intel® Core™ processor family (formerly codenamed “Haswell“) will enable a broad new range of Ultrabook convertibles, detachables and tablets with all-day battery life; the biggest battery life gain over a previous generation in company’s history3.
      3 4th Generation Intel Core processors provide 3-5 hours of additional battery life when compared to 3rd Generation Intel Core processors, based on measurement of 1080p HD video playback.

      Low Power Fuels Ultrabook Innovation

      Since mid-2011, Intel has led the industry in enabling Ultrabook devices aimed at providing new, richer mobile computing experiences in thin, elegant and increasingly convertible and detachable designs. To enable these innovative designs, Intel announced last September that it added a new line of processors to its forthcoming 4th generation Intel Core processor family targeted at about 10 watt design power, while still delivering the excellent performance people want and need.

      Skaugen announced today that the company is bringing the low-power line of processors into its existing 3rd generation Intel Core processor family. Available now, these chips will operate as low as 7 watts, allowing manufacturers greater flexibility in thinner, lighter convertible designs. Currently there are more than a dozen designs in development based on this new low-power offering and they are expected to enable a full PC experience in innovative mobile form factors including tablets and Ultrabook convertibles. The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga* 11S Ultrabook and a future Ultrabook detachable from Acer will be among the first to market this spring based on the new Intel processors and were demonstrated by Skaugen on stage.

      The 4th generation Intel Core processor family enables true all-day battery life — representing the most significant battery life capability improvement in Intel history. Skaugen disclosed that new systems are expected to deliver up to 9 hours of continuous battery life, freeing people from some of the wires and bulky power bricks typically toted around.
      “The 4th generation Core processors are the first Intel chips built from the ground up with the Ultrabook in mind,” Skaugen said. “We expect the tremendous advancements in lower-power Core processors, and the significant ramp of touch-based systems will lead to a significant new wave of convertible Ultrabooks and tablets that are thinner, lighter and, at the same time, have the performance required for more human-like interaction such as touch, voice and gesture controls.”

      To demonstrate the impact of the 4th generation Intel Core processor family, Skaugen showed a new form factor Ultrabook detachable reference design (codenamed “North Cape“) that converts into a 10mm tablet and can run on battery for up to 13 hours while docked.

      Advancements made in the way consumers will interact with their computing devices were also demonstrated, including natural and more immersive interaction experiences using a 3-D depth camera. Intel showed applications running on an Ultrabook in which objects can be manipulated naturally with free movements of the hands, fingers, face and voice. One application that was demonstrated can be used for enabling new and immersive video collaboration and blogging experiences. These were all enabled using the Intel® Perceptual Computing SDK Beta. This year, Intel expects more Ultrabooks and all-in-one (AIO) systems to offer applications for voice control (Dragon Assistant*) and facial recognition (Fast Access*) for convenience and freedom from passwords.

      So this was first shown at CES 2013 as well: IDF Beijing 2013 Keynote Demo — Perceptual Computing SDK [channelintel YouTube channel, April 17, 2013]

      New gesture and voice capabilities shown during Doug Fisher’s keynote at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing

      which was used in the IDF Beijing 2013 Keynote Demo – Personified Chat [channelintel YouTube channel, April 17, 2013]

      The latest in perceptual computing demonstrated using an example of personified chat at the Intel Developer Forum Beijing.

      IDF 2013 Beijing Highlights Day One [channelintel YouTube channel, April 16, 2013]

      Intel® UltrabookConvertible SBA v1 [channelintel YouTube channel, April 2, 2013]

      Get the flexibility to move your business forward with the ultra versatile, ultra sleek, Ultrabook™. Inspired by Intel®

      Intel® UltrabookPerformance SBA v2 [channelintel YouTube channel, April 2, 2013]

      You have big business goals. Reaching them requires the right tools. The ultra responsive, ultra sleek Ultrabook™. Inspired by Intel®.


      3. Intel’s CEO Discusses Q1 2013 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, April 16, 2013]

      Paul Otellini for the second half of the year for sales:

      … as the OEMs start looking at new form factors that they can design around our new chips, Haswell in particular, and maybe Bay Trail, and Windows 8, enabling touch, the explosion in form factors and the competitiveness of that platform is going to be substantially different, at price points down into the $300 to $400 range enabling touch. We didn’t have that last year. So you go into the prime selling season with new products, new technologies, new form factors, and new capabilities that, up to now, were unapproachable price points.

      Paul Otellini regarding his current view on Haswell’s potential to revitalize the PC market with Windows 8:

      With Haswell, there’s a number of things. First of all, the overall performance goes up, graphics performance goes up, as well as the integer performance. So it’s a better punch in the package than we’ve had with Ivy Bridge. Point one. Point two, the power envelope, or the batter life for that level of performance, is exceptionally better than Ivy Bridge.

      Third, it gets into the form factor innovation and the integration with touch as I spoke about earlier, which I think is really part of the recipe required for Win 8 adoption. I’ve recently converted personally to Windows 8 with touch, and it is a better Windows than Windows 7 in the desktop mode, when you implement the touch and the touch-based applications and operating environment. It’s just a lot easier to use.

      There is an adoption curve, and once you get over that adoption curve, I don’t think you go back. And we didn’t quite have that same kind of adoption curve in Windows 7 versus XP before it. This requires a little bit of training. And I think people are attracted to touch, and the touch price points today are still fairly high, and they’re coming down very rapidly over the next couple of quarters.

      Paul Otellini about technology transitions:

      We’ve also got the technology transition to the 14 nanometers. [unintelligible] a first order, all of our spending is focused on 14 nanometers , which gives us a fairly significant ramp capability. If demand for older products exceeds what we could build on 14, we could still build 22 for quite some time. So I really think it depends on whatever demand scenario you see out there. In any event, the most important thing for us is to make that transition to 14 and continue to have the leading edge.

      Lenovo Talks Tablets [detachable ultrabooks] at HIMSS 13 [channelintel YouTube channel, April 16, 2013]

      At HIMSS 13, Lenovo Ambassador Ashley Rodrigue showed off the company’s new health IT convertible devices that feature the best of both worlds for clinicians—a detachable tablet and an Ultrabook laptop for more robust activity. The benefit for health IT professionals? Just one device to manage. Find out more information and read the latest blog posts on health IT in the Intel Healthcare Community: http://communities.intel.com/community/healthcare

      Paul Ottelini on what Intel can do to help the PC ecosystem to become healthy again:

      I think continue to give them the tools to innovate. And I wouldn’t paint the entire customer base with the same brush that you just did. Certainly if you looked at the last quarter, even inside the PC space, Lenovo outperformed everybody else, and actually had a very good year on year set of numbers, in a down year. Apple continues to do well.

      Subsets of customers in different segments are also doing very well in terms of, say, those. Those providing products into the internet data centers. What I see when we look out is a tremendous amount of innovation, particularly at the ODM and Taiwanese OEM side, where the ability to miniaturize and bring things into extremely thin form factors is as revolutionary as the amount of changes I’ve seen in my time in this industry.

      And so I think what we can do is give them the products, like Haswell and Bay Trail to innovate around. We can help them with other feature sets like voice and speech that go around them, and just help them build better products.

      Paul Ottelini on Intel efforts to invest in things outside of what could called core PC, such as the set top box or in the foundry efforts or other areas of revenue that the company is seeking:

      I don’t look at things with quite that level of granularity. The foundry thing, the investment is really going to be taking advantage, at least near term, with the current customer base, of capacity that we’re already putting in place. That doesn’t mean that at some point we won’t have to actually build extra capacity for a foundry customer or a foundry business, but today, up to this point, it’s certainly within our ability to absorb.

      The set top box spending, or the stuff we’re doing in Intel Media, in the grand scheme of things, is not a lot of spending. So the real issue is inside of our core microprocessor and platform development, and we’re at the point now where roughly half of our spending is focused on System on Chip, inside the microprocessor world.

      And the System on Chip environment is really a lot of the ultramobile products. It’s the phones, it’s the tablets. It’s embedded systems. It’s automotive, etc. Where we have fairly strong growth opportunities. So it’s not the same monolithic Tick-Tock model that we put in place eight years ago.

      Paul Otellini on the proper interpretation of the new price points mentioned earlier in the earnings call:

      We have a certain spec for ultrabooks, and that is the product that Stacy said is going to be centered at as low as $599 with some [diverse] SKUs to $499. If you look at touch-enabled Intel based notebooks that are ultrathin and light using non-Core processors, those prices are going to be down to as low as $200 probably.

      Re: Stacy Smith (Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President) about the sources of increased confidence now in versus where Intel was three months ago talking earlier in the earnings call as follows:

      First of all, just to make sure I’m not oversoaking things here, you really just need seasonal from where we are in order to achieve the low single digit revenue growth. So I don’t think we have a hugely high bar out there, and I went through a dissection of where I think the revenue comes from.

      In terms of the things that give me confidence, or at least I personally believe it could be better than seasonal, it’s the things we talked about, improving macroeconomic environment, the fact that we now are participating across a range of compute devices, and so the mix between those don’t impact us nearly as much.

      And then third, as Paul said, you have innovative form factors coming out in ultrabooks, in convertibles, and in detachables, that are hitting these really compelling mainstream price points that are touch enabled. And as we get into the Christmas selling season, your expectation is you will see touch-enabled ultrabooks that are $499 and $599 pretty commonly out there. $599 commonly, and $499 as kind of special SKUs.

      And then we’ll see, because of Bay Trail coming into the marketplace, you’ll see touch-enabled thin notebooks with really good performance that are hitting kind of $300 price points. And then with our Android tablets, you’ll see things that are significantly, [hey, I have that]. So we’ll be participating across a broad range of compute devices as we get into the back half of this year.


      4. Earlier information from Intel:

      Intel Accelerates Mobile Computing Push [press release, Feb 24, 2012]

      NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

      • Launches dual-core Intel® Atom™ Processor-based platform (formerly “Clover Trail+”) aimed at performance and mainstream smartphone market segments, and providing double the compute performance and 3x graphics capabilities1 with competitive battery life. Product to also debut in Android* tablets.
      • Reveals one of the world’s smallest2 and lowest-power multimode-multiband LTE solutions for global roaming in one SKU with envelope tracking and antenna tuning. Shipping single mode now with multimode shipments beginning first half of 2013.
      • Demonstrates continued momentum in emerging markets with Intel® Atom™ Z2420 processor, including new smartphone engagement with Etisalat* in Egypt. ASUS* to also debut a new Android* tablet based on the Atom Z2420 processor.
      • Announces support from leading ODMs for next-generation quad-core Atom SoC (“Bay Trail”), scheduled to be available for holiday 2013.
      • Extends mobile device enabling efforts to tablets, followed by phones.
      MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 25, 2013 – Intel Corporation today announced a range of new products, ecosystem and enabling efforts that will further accelerate the company’s presence in mobile and help usher in new devices and richer experiences with Intel Inside®.
      The announcements include a new dual-core Atom™ SoC (“Clover Trail+“) platform for smartphones and Android* tablets, and the company’s first global, multimode-multiband LTE solution that will ship in the first half of this year. Other disclosures included “Bay Trail” momentum, mobile device enabling efforts, and continued smartphone momentum in emerging markets with the Intel® Atom™ Z2420 processor-based platform.
      “Today’s announcements build on Intel’s growing device portfolio across a range of mobile market segments,” said Hermann Eul, Intel vice president and co-general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group. “In less than a year’s time we have worked closely with our customers to bring Intel-based smartphones to market in more than 20 countries around the world, and have also delivered an industry-leading low-power Atom™ SoC tablet solution running Windows* 8, and shipping with leading OEM customers today. Looking forward, we will build upon this foundation and work closely with our ecosystem partners, across operating systems, to deliver the best mobile products and experiences for consumers with Intel Inside.”
      New, Efficient Atom™ SoC Platform
      Intel’s new Atom™ processor platform (“Clover Trail+“) and smartphone reference design delivers industry-leading performance with low-power and long battery life that rivals today’s most popular Android* phones. The product brings Intel’s classic product strengths, including high performance that lets you enjoy smooth Web browsing,  vibrant, glitch-free, full HD movies, and an Android* applications experience that launches fast and runs great.
      The platform’s 32nm dual core Intel® Atom™ Processors — Z2580, Z2560, Z2520 — are available in speeds up to 2.0 GHz, 1.6 GHz and 1.2GHz, respectively. The processor also features support for Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology, supporting four simultaneous application threads and further enhancing the overall efficiency of the Atom cores.
      The integrated platform also includes an Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator engine with a graphics core supporting up to 533MHz with boost mode, and delivering up to three times the graphics performance1 for rich 3-D visuals, lifelike gaming and smooth, full 1080P hardware-accelerated video encode and decode at 30fps.
      “Our second-generation product delivers double the compute performance and up to three times the graphics capabilities1, all while maintaining competitive low power,” Eul said. “As we transition to 22nm Atom SoCs later this year, we will take full advantage of the broad spectrum of capabilities enabled by our design, architecture, 22nm tri-gate transistor technology, and leading-edge manufacturing to further accelerate our position.”
      The new Atom platform also brings advanced imaging capabilities, including support for two cameras, with a primary camera sensor up to 16 megapixels. The imaging system also enables panorama capture, a 15 frame-per-second burst mode for 8 megapixel photos, real-time facial detection and recognition, and mobile HDR image capture with de-ghosting for clearer pictures in flight.
      The platform is also equipped with Intel® Identity Protection Technology (Intel IPT), helping to enable strong, two-factor authentication for protecting cloud services such as remote banking, e-commerce, online gaming and social networking from unauthorized access. Since Intel IPT is embedded at chip-level, unlike hardware or phone-based tokens, it can enable more secure, yet user-friendly cloud access protection. Intel is working with partners including Feitian*, Garanti Bank*, MasterCard*, McAfee*, SecureKey* Technologies Inc., Symantec*, Vasco Data Security International* Inc. and Visa* Inc. to incorporate this technology into their services.
      With WUXGA display support of 1920×12003, the platform will also enable larger-screen Android* tablet designs. It also includes support for Android* 4.2 (Jelly Bean), Intel Wireless Display Technology, HSPA+ at 42Mbps with the Intel® XMM 6360 slim modem solution, and the new industry-standard UltraViolet™ Common File Format.
      Customers announcing support for “Clover Trail+” platform for phones and tablets include ASUS*, Lenovo*, and ZTE*.
      Debuting at CES last month, the Lenovo* IdeaPhone K900* is based on the Intel® Atom™ processor Z2580 and delivers rich video, graphics and Web content at fantastic speeds. The IdeaPhone is 6.9mm thin and also features the world’s first 5.5-inch full high-definition 400+ PPI screen for increased clarity of text and images. The K900 will be the first product to market based on the Atom processor Z2580. Lenovo plans to introduce the smartphone in the second quarter of 2013 in China, followed soon by select international markets.
      Building on the Atom processor platform (“Clover Trail+”), Intel also highlighted its forthcoming 22nm smartphone Atom™ SoC (“Merrifield“). The product is based on Intel’s leading-edge 22nm process and an entirely new Atom microarchitecture that will help enable increased smartphone performance, power efficiency and battery life.
      Long-Term Evolution (4G LTE)
      Intel’s strategy is to deliver a leading low-power, global modem solution that works across multiple bands, modes, regions and devices.
      The Intel XMM 7160 is one of the world’s smallest2 and lowest-power multimode-multiband LTE solutions (LTE / DC-HSPA+ / EDGE), supporting multiple devices including smartphones, tablets and Ultrabooks™.  The 7160 global modem supports 15 LTE bands simultaneously, more than any other in-market solution. It also includes a highly configurable RF architecture running real time algorithms for envelope tracking and antenna tuning that enables cost-efficient multiband configurations, extended battery life, and global roaming in a single SKU.
      “The 7160 is a well-timed and highly competitive 4G LTE solution that we expect will meet the growing needs of the emerging global 4G market,” Eul said. “Independent analysts have shown our solution to be world class and I’m confident that our offerings will lead Intel into new multi-comm solutions. With LTE connections projected to double over the next 12 months to more than 120 million connections, we believe our solution will give developers and service providers a single competitive offering while delivering to consumers the best global 4G experience. Building on this, Intel will also accelerate the delivery of new advanced features to be timed with future advanced 4G network deployments.”
      Intel is currently shipping its single mode 4G LTE data solution and will begin multimode shipments later in the first half of this year. The company is also optimizing its LTE solutions concurrently with its SoC roadmap to ensure the delivery of leading-edge low-power combined solutions to the marketplace.
      Intel® Atom™ Platform Z2420
      As Intel expands its geographic presence, the company sees tremendous opportunity in delivering rich Intel-based mobile experiences to consumers across emerging markets.
      As part of its strategy to take advantage of the fast growing market for value smartphones in emerging markets, which some analysts expect to reach 500 million units by 2015, Intel highlighted continuing momentum with the Intel Atom Processor Z2420 platform (formerly “Lexington“). Since it was first announced at CES, Acer* (Thailand, Malaysia), Lava* (India) and Safaricom* (Kenya) have all announced new handsets.
      Etisalat Misr*, a leading telco operator based in Egypt and a subsidiary of Etisalat group UAE, in collaboration with Intel today announced plans for the Etisalat E-20 Smartphone with Intel Inside®. Set to debut in Egypt in April, the Intel-based handset will be the first in the Middle East and North Africa region, and the second introduction in Africa to-date, building on the recent launch of Safaricom* in Kenya.
      Demonstrating the flexibility of the Atom SoC platform to accommodate a range of device and market segment needs, ASUS* later today will announce a new Android* tablet based on the Intel® Atom™ Processor Z2420.

      Tablets with Intel Inside®

      Building on the device momentum and industry-leading power-efficiency of the award-winning Atom processor Z2760, Intel’s first quad-core Atom SoC (“Bay Trail“), will be the most powerful Atom processor to-date — doubling the computing performance of Intel’s current- generation tablet offering and providing the ecosystem with a strong technology foundation and feature set from which to innovate. The “Bay Trail” platform, scheduled to be available for holiday 2013, is already up and running on Windows* and Android* and will help enable new experiences in designs as thin as 8mm that have all-day battery life and weeks of standby.

      Intel is currently working with Compal*, ECS*, Pegatron*, Quanta* and Wistron* to accelerate “Bay Trail” tablets to the market. Intel is also extending its work with leading OEM partners globally, building on the strong foundation of  Intel Atom processor Z2760-based tablet designs in market from Acer*, ASUS*, Dell*, Fujitsu*, HP*, Lenovo*, LG Electronics and Samsung*.

      Enabling Mobile Devices with Intel Inside®

      Intel today announced an expansion of its ecosystem enabling efforts to deliver new device and market innovations across a range of Windows*- and Android*-based mobile devices.

      Intel platform and enabling programs have been the foundation of OEM and ODM innovation for decades. The new program will focus on accelerating time to market for leading-edge mobile devices based on Intel® architecture with top OEMs and ODMs. The program will focus first on tablets, followed by phones, providing pre-qualified solutions with simplified building blocks to scale designs quickly for mature and emerging markets. The Atom Processor Z2760 and the company’s forthcoming 22nm Atom SoC, codenamed “Bay Trail,” will be the starting foundation for the effort.

      1 Compared to the Intel Atom Processor Z2460 platform; Graphics clock will vary based on SKU: Z2580, Z2560, Z2520.
      2 Compared with competitive solutions shipping in market today.
      3 Corrected from misprinted ‘1900×1200’ to ‘1920×1200’ – Feb. 27,21013

      Intel Developer Forum: Transforming Computing Experiences  from the Device to the Cloud [press release, April 10, 2013]
      Images are inserted from Reinventing the Computing Experience presentation at IDF2013 by Kirk Skaugen, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group

      Company Accelerates Expansion of 22nm Data Center Processor Families; Graphics Innovations, Intel® Wireless Display Coming to Next-Generation Ultrabooks

      NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

      • Accelerates expansion of offerings across the data center processor product lines based on Intel’s innovative 22nm manufacturing technology.
      • Aims to revolutionize the server rack design by delivering an Intel rack scale architecture for increased flexibility, density and utilization of servers leading to lower total cost of ownership.
      • Next-generation, 64-bit Intel® Atom™ processor for microservers, codenamed “Avoton,” is being sampled to customers with broad availability expected in the second half of this year.
      • 4th generation Intel® Core™ processors are now shipping to customers and will launch later this quarter.
      INTEL DEVELOPER FORUM, Beijing, April 10, 2013 – During Intel Corporation’s annual developer forum this week, company executives announced new technologies and partnerships aimed at transforming how people experience technology from the device to the cloud. The announcements included details on new data center product lines based on the 22-nanometer (nm) process technology and the new Intel rack scale architecture, along with details on the forthcoming 4th generation Intel® Core™ processor family.
      During her keynote, Diane Bryant, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Datacenter and Connected Systems Group, underscored the importance of the data center in enabling amazing personal computing experiences to deliver real-time information and services. She also outlined the steps Intel is taking to provide the hardware and software needed for data analytics to improve the capabilities of intelligent devices and data center infrastructure.
      “People are increasingly demanding more from their devices through applications and services whether at home, at work or wherever they may be,” Bryant said. “Intel is delivering a powerful portfolio of hardware and software computing technologies from the device to the data center that can improve experiences and enable new services.”
      Bryant outlined plans to accelerate the expansion of Intel’s offerings across the data center processor product lines based on its innovative 22nm manufacturing technology before the end of the year, thereby enabling a more cost-effective and efficient data center infrastructure. Intel’s broad portfolio of data center intellectual property enables Intel to quickly integrate features into new products and bring them to market. For example, Intel is launching the new Intel® Atom™ S12x9 processor family customized for storage today, just four months after the debut of the Intel Atom S1200 processor for microservers.
      Intel plans to deliver two more Intel Atom processor-based products this year that promise to deliver new architectures, improved performance-per-watt and an expanded feature set. Bryant demonstrated for the first time the next-generation Intel Atom processor family for microservers, codenamed “Avoton,” and confirmed it is currently shipping samples to customers for evaluation. Avoton will feature an integrated Ethernet controller and is expected to deliver industry-leading energy efficiency and performance-per-watt for microservers and scale out workloads.
      Re-Architecting the Data Center
      Bryant also revealed details on Intel’s plans to develop a reference design for rack scale architecture that uses a suite of Intel technologies optimized for deployment as a full rack. Hyper-scale data centers run by companies that maintain thousands of servers and store vast amounts of data require continued advancements in rack designs that make it easier and more cost effective to deal with major growth in users, data and devices. Traditional rack systems are designed to handle a wide variety of application workloads and may not always achieve the highest efficiency under all hyper-scale usages. The reference design will help re-architect a rack level solution that is modular at the subsystem level (storage, CPU, memory, network) while providing the ability to provision and refresh or logically allocate resources based on application specific workload requirements. Benefits include increased flexibility, higher density and higher utilization leading to a lower total cost of ownership.
      Additional information on these announcements as well as the new Intel Atom processor S12x9 product family for storage servers, Intel® Xeon® processor E3v3 product family, Intel Xeon processor E7v2 product family and Intel Atom processor for communication and networking devices codenamed “Rangeley” is available in the news fact sheet.

      Reinventing the Computing Experience

      During his keynote, Kirk Skaugen, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group, provided a deeper look at the forthcoming 4th generation Intel Core processor family, which he said is now shipping to OEM customers and will launch later this quarter.

      Ultrabooks based on the 4th generation Intel Core processor family will enable exciting, new computing experiences and all-day battery life delivering the most significant battery life capability improvement in Intel’s history,” said Skaugen. “It will also bring to consumers a new wave of ‘two-for-oneconvertible and detachable systems that combine the best of a full PC experience with the best of a tablet in amazing new form factors.”

      image

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      NEW Architecture on 22nm Tri Gate

      NEW Intel Power Optimizer: 20x Power Reduction
      vs. 2nd gen Intel® Core™ Processors

      NEW Integrated on package PCH [Platform Controller Hub]
      for amazing form factors

      NEW Integrated Audio DSP: more battery life, higher quality

      Shipping Now and On Track for Q2 2013 Launch

      The new Intel Core microarchitecture will allow the company to deliver up to double the graphics performance over the previous generation. In addition, the new graphics solution will have high levels of integration to enable new form factors and designs with excellent visual quality built in. Skaugen demonstrated these graphics improvements on the 4th generation Intel Core processor-based Ultrabook reference design called “Harris Beach.” The demo featured Dirt 3*, a popular gaming title, showing the same visual experience and game play as a discrete graphics card that users would otherwise have to add separately. He also showed the 4th generation Intel Core processor-based concept, codenamed “Niagara,” a premium notebook with the ability to play the unreleased enthusiast title Grid 2* from CodeMasters* without the aid of a discrete graphics card.

      Along with touch capability, Intel® Wireless Display (Intel WiDi) will be enabled on all 4th generation Intel Core processor-based Ultrabook devices to allow people to quickly and securely stream content and apps from devices to the big screen, free from the burden of cables. Skaugen said the China ecosystem is taking the lead on integrating Intel WiDi into systems, and announced that the leading television manufacturer in China, TCL*, has a new model with the Intel WiDi technology built in. He also announced new receivers certified for Intel WiDi from QVOD* and Lenovo* and a set-top box from Gehua*.

      Illustrating the low-power advances in Ultrabook devices, Skaugen showed off the new Toshiba Portege* Ultrabook detachable, based on the new low-power line of the 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors.

      image

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      Furthermore, Skaugen revealed that voice interaction in Mandarin is now available on Ultrabook devices from Intel through Nuance*.

      Augmenting the company’s offerings for computing at a variety of price points, Skaugen announced plans for new market variants of its “Bay Trail” 22nm SoC with PC feature sets specifically designed for value convertibles, clamshell laptops, desktops and value all-in-one computers to ship later this year.

      image

      Mobile Inside
      Tan Weng Kuan, vice president and general manager of the Mobile Communications Group, Intel China, highlighted how the company is working with ecosystem partners to deliver the best smartphone and tablet experiences with Intel inside. Tan discussed the company’s progress with the new Intel® Atom™ processor Z2580 (“Clover Trail+“) for smartphones and the Intel Atom Processor Z2760 (“Clover Trail“) for tablets, both of which are helping to usher in a range of new devices and user experiences.

      image

      Taking full advantage of the broad spectrum of capabilities enabled by Intel® architecture, processor technology leadership, manufacturing and multi OS support across Windows* 8 and Android*, Tan discussed the company’s forthcoming smartphone and tablet products based on Intel’s leading-edge 22nm process and an entirely new Atom microarchitecture. Intel’s quad-core Atom SoC (“Bay Trail“) will be the most powerful Atom processor to-date, doubling the computing performance of Intel’s current-generation tablet offering1. Scheduled for holiday 2013 tablets [in market Q4’13], “Bay Trail” will help enable new experiences and designs as thin as 8mm that have all-day battery life and weeks of standby.

      Tan also highlighted Intel’s Atom SoC, codenamed “Merrifield,” which is scheduled to ship to customers by the end of this year [in market Q1’14]. The product will deliver increased smartphone performance, power efficiency and battery life over the current-generation offering.
      Tan closed his remarks by calling upon China developers for collective innovation in helping to accelerate and grow the mobile market together. He announced the creation of a China-specific expansion of the company’s platform and ecosystem enabling efforts, focused initially on Atom processor-based tablets running Android*, and designed to speed time-to-market of leading-edge mobile devices based on Intel technology. He added that China developers are instrumental to this effort and will bring speed, scale and ingenuity that will drive new innovation globally.
      Day 2 IDF Preview
      Doug Fisher, vice president and general manager of Intel’s System Software Division, will open the second day of IDF, addressing several myths surrounding the industry and providing a vision on the vast opportunities that await developers. Specifically, he will showcase Intel’s transformation of the PC experience and advances in device segments, support of multiple operating environments and efforts to help developers scale and modernize computing with new hardware features and software advancements for more compelling user experiences. He will discuss how developers can utilize HTML5 to help lower total costs and improve time-to-market for cross-platform applications development and deployment, incorporate touch and sensor interfaces to modernize applications, and use perceptual compute technologies to enable consumers to interact with PCs via voice control, gesture recognition and more.
      Intel Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner will also take the stage to discuss how Intel Labs is drawing up plans for a bright future. He will reveal a vision for connected and sustainable cities where information technology helps to address challenges of clean air, clean water, better health and improved safety. He will also explain how today’s mobile, urban lifestyle is demanding faster and cheaper wireless broadband communications. Forecasting a move beyond the information age, Rattner will describe a new era coined “the data society” and show how information in the cloud will work on everyone’s behalf, collaboratively and safely, by analyzing and relating different data to deliver new value to individuals, enterprises and society as a whole. Rattner plans to surprise the audience with an exclusive first look at Intel® Silicon Photonics Technology.

      This was summarized by Intel in a New Ultrabook™ experiences unveiled at IDF Beijing 2013 [Intel Developer Zone blog, April 16, 2013] post as follows:

      Last week at the Intel® Developer Forum held April 10-11, 2013 in Beijing, China, Ultrabooks™ were in the spotlight as new experiences based on the 4th generation Intel® Core™ processor family were announced:

      “Ultrabooks based on the 4th generation Intel Core processor family will enable exciting, new computing experiences and all-day battery life delivering the most significant battery life capability improvement in Intel’s history,” said Skaugen. “It will also bring to consumers a new wave of ‘two-for-one’ convertible and detachable systems that combine the best of a full PC experience with the best of a tablet in amazing new form factors.” – Kirk Skaugen, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group

      There are three major factors in this new announcement: amazing graphics, even more Ultrabook form factor designs, and low-power advances creating longer battery life. Touch capability will also be part of this new generation of devices, along with Intel® Wireless Display (Intel WiDi) enabled on all on all 4th generation Intel Core processor-based Ultrabook devices to allow people to quickly and securely stream content and apps from devices to the big screen.

      4th generation Intel® Core™ processors

      The Ultrabook computing category was first introduced in 2011 with a 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processor. This was ramped up greatly in 2012 with the addition of touch and mainstream price points, along with the 3rdgeneration Intel core processor. In 2013, we get to experience a 4th generation Intel Core processor and the concept of “2 for 1” computing; basically, we get to experience a table and a PC experience in one machine:

      “The new Intel Core microarchitecture will allow the company to deliver up to double the graphics performance over the previous generation. In addition, the new graphics solution will have high levels of integration to enable new form factors and designs with excellent visual quality built in. Skaugen demonstrated these graphics improvements on the 4th generation Intel Core processor-based Ultrabook reference design called “Harris Beach.” The demo featured Dirt 3*, a popular gaming title, showing the same visual experience and game play as a discrete graphics card that users would otherwise have to add separately. He also showed the 4th generation Intel Core processor-based concept, codenamed “Niagara,” a premium notebook with the ability to play the unreleased enthusiast title Grid 2* from CodeMasters* without the aid of a discrete graphics card.” –Intel Newsroom

      These new processors will include:

      • new architecture on 22nm Tri Gate
      • Intel Power Optimizer: 20x power reduction vs. 2nd gen Intel Core Processors
      • integrated on package PCH for amazing form factors
      • integrated audio DSP which means more battery life and higher quality

      Graphics

      With this new generation of processors comes increasingly higher level graphics support, including:

      • 3D graphics with up to 2x performance
      • integrated on-package EDRAM memory
      • API support
      • Display with new 3-screen collage display
      • enhanced 4k x 2k support
      • 2x bandwidth with display port 1.2
      • Media with new faster Intel Quick Sync Video
      • faster JPEG and MPEG decode
      • new OpenCL 1.2 support

      (Source: IDF Keynote)

      Touch

      Touch is becoming more mainstream, and more consumers than ever before are expecting touch as a standard addition to their devices. In an Intel study of touch carried out in December of 2011, users chose touch nearly 80% of the time when given the choice between touch, keyboard, mouse, and track pad. These findings were echoed in another touch study by UX Innovation Manager Daria Loi:

      “With touch capability becoming available in more and more Ultrabook devices, Intel undertook a research program to better understand if and how people might use touch capabilities in more traditional, notebook form-factor devices…… To spoil the ending, the results were positive-very positive, in fact. Users who were presented with a way to interact with their computers via touch, keyboard, and mouse found it an extremely natural and fluid way of working. One user described it using the Italian word simpatico-literally, that her computer was in tune with her and sympathetic to her demands.” – “The Human Touch: Building Ultrabook™ Applications in a Post-PC Age” [Intel Developer Zone blog, July 11, 2012]

      Touch designs in Ultrabook form factors continue to ramp up, especially with the October 2012 launch of Windows*8, and this trend is expected to continue.

      Power

      One of the most intriguing announcements to come out of Beijing was the idea of heightened power consumption for the Ultrabook. Chips for notebooks, phones, and tablets are going to be greatly enhanced, boosting both runtime and standby power:

      “By effectively removing nearly 3W of background drain, all operations are going to benefit, not just idle. Where Internet browsing was a 9W operation, expect to see that go down to around 6W for a big increase in battery life….. By reducing the mainboard size, space is created for more battery. Intel says there’s a chance to fit 20-45% more battery inside when motherboard sizes are reduced using HDI techniques.” – Ultrabooknews.com

      Higher power expectations ties in with the announcement of 4th generation Intel Core processor Ultrabook systems that are coming out as early as June 2013 and on track for Q2 2013 launch.

      Ultrabooks: just getting started

      The experience you can expect from an Ultrabook with the new 4th generation core processor is, in a word, superior. These are extremely responsive machines that offer amazing performance, a natural UI with touch and voice, and AOAC (always on always connected) as a given. You also get to take advantage of Intel Identity Protection, anti-virus, facial log-in, vPro, and Small Business Advantage so your data is always safe. The machine itself is meant to be mobile, with all-day battery life, thinner lighter designs, and Intel Wireless Display. And let’s not forget that it just looks cool; great visuals, 2 in 1 convertibles and detachable form factors, not to mention a high res display.

      Ultrabook as a PC category is continuing to drive market innovation; we’re seeing thinner form factors, intriguing designs (convertibles, detachable, etc.), and more natural human/computer interaction, such as voice control integration. Ultrabooks are able to deliver what is essentially a mobile computing experience; we’re looking at consumption usages similar to that of a smartphone or a tablet, with the productivity potential and sheer computing power of that of a full-blown PC. Is it a notebook or is it a tablet? The beauty of an Ultrabook is that it’s both.

      Qualcomm moving ahead of Allwinner et al. in CPU and GPU while trying to catch up with Allwinner in Ultra HD

      [Updated June 20, 2013] According to Qualcomm Expands Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 Processor Tier [press release, June 20, 2013] the entry-level S200 with quad-core Cortex-A5 @1.4GHz and Adreno 203 GPU manufacture on a 45nm proces will be expanded late 2013 (together with Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) versions) Cortex-A7 @1.2GHz and Adreno 305 based SoCs: the MSM8x10 (8210, 8610) dual-core and MSM8x12 (8212, 8612) quad-core versions. They will feature key modem technologies that are important in China and emerging regions, including support for HSPA+ (up to 21Mbps) and TD-SCDMA. The processors will have support for dual cameras, with an 8 Megapixel rear-facing camera and up to a 5 Megapixel front-facing one, as well as feature a single platform for all SIM variants, including Dual SIM, Dual Standby, and Dual SIM, Dual Active, and Tri SIM Tri Standby.

      The latest additions to the Snapdragon 200 class also feature: integrated industry-leading IZat Location functionality and support of Qualcomm Quick Charge 1.0; support for the latest Android, Windows Phone and Firefox operating systems; RxD support; and a single, multimode modem enabling faster data rates, fewer dropped calls, and better connections.

      [Updated Feb 27, 2013] The ”Allwinner phenomenon” coming from nowhere in 2012 is threatening all established players in the SoC industry, even the industry’s undisputed leader Qualcomm. This was the reason why Qualcomm was forced to strengthen its Cortex based S4 Play class ahead of time already twice in the recent months, and came the time to announce its next-gen Krait microarchitectures with significantly enhanced GPU and video processing unit capabilities.

      In fact it was necessary to introduce two microarchitecture steps at once: Krait 300 and Krait 400. Even the SoC classification was further changed with the corresponding S600 (for mid-high tier smartphones and tablets) and S800 (for premium smartphones, Smart TVs, digital media adapters and tablets) “processor brand tiers” while the company was yet unable to decide how the existing S4 Play, S4 Plus and S4 Pro classes, introduced just in August 2011, should be transformed into the new S200 (for entry level smartphones) and S400 (for high volume smartphones and tablets) “processor brand tiers” in order to remain competitive. While Qualcomm will undoubtebly be able to defend its SoC leadership position with the announcements already made there will be even bigger trouble for the already ailing giant with Intel’s biggest flop: at least 3-month delay in delivering the power management solution for its first tablet SoC [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, Dec 20, 2012].

      Update: Qualcomm Snapdragon 200, 400, 600 and 800 at Mobile World Congress 2013 [Charbax YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]

      Update: Qualcomm Reveals the Snapdragon™ 400 and 200 Processors [OnQ Blog by Qualcomm, Feb 20, 2013] the essence of which I will include into the updated table below in order to make it easy to compare with everything introduced earlier by Qualcomm in the new “Krait era” of Snapdragon SoCs:image

      Update: LG Optimus G Pro, 5.5″ 1080p IPS display, 1.7Ghz Qualcomm S600
      [Charbax YouTube channel, Feb 26, 2013] a full HD (1080p) LTE device said to be “available in Q1 in globally selected markets” [4:11-4:18]

      HTC One announced with UltraPixel camera, 4.7-inch 1080p display and Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor Byhttp://www.bgr.in The HTC One is finally official. Yes, all the leaks of the past few weeks were true and we are indeed looking at HTC’s first smartphone with an “ultrapixel” camera. It looks every bit like the leaked render and we are indeed talking about a 4.7-inch full HD 1080p display with a pixel density of 468PPI in a unibody machine chiselled chassis.

      More information: OPTIMUS G PRO, LG’S FIRST FULL HD SMARTPHONE, LAUNCHES THIS WEEK IN KOREA [LG Electronics press release Feb 18, 2013]

      Update: HTC One announced with UltraPixel camera, 4.7-inch display and Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor [BGRIndia YouTube channel, Feb20, 2013] to be available in March worldwide

      HTC One announced with UltraPixel camera, 4.7-inch 1080p display and Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor Byhttp://www.bgr.in The HTC One is finally official. Yes, all the leaks of the past few weeks were true and we are indeed looking at HTC’s first smartphone with an “ultrapixel” camera. It looks every bit like the leaked render and we are indeed talking about a 4.7-inch full HD 1080p display with a pixel density of 468PPI in a unibody machine chiselled chassis.

      More information: Ubuntu and HTC in lockstep [‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, Feb 19, 2013]

      Update: Snapdragon 400 as now defined by Qualcomm (see MSM 8230 under the S400 in the above table) came first to the market with the Huawei Ascend W1 introduced at CES 2013. See Huawei Device – The Stage is Yours with the Ascend W1 [HuaweiDeviceCo YouTube channel, Jan 8, 2013]

      This device is also The first Windows Phone 4Afrika from Huawei for $150 = Huawei Ascend W1 for $240 (in China) and more elsewhere [Feb 5, 2013], and as such it is part of the Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative [Videos4Afrika YouTube channel, Feb 5, 2013]

      Watch from [0:54] to [1:10] part of the video for Huawei 4Afrika device with MSM 8230 Snapdragon 400 inside. This is showing quite well that for this 3-year initiative by Microsoft this Snapdragon 400 SoC will satisfy the entry-level requirements too, and not only in the smartphone space but in the tablet space as well.

      Update: The All-New Snapdragon 800 Series [QUALCOMMVlog YouTube channel, Jan 24, 2013] for which devices were said to be available in the middle of 2013

      Snapdragon 800 processors bring the power of 4G LTE advanced, delivering download speeds up to 150 mbps. Now you can stream movies, surf the web, and do so much more, better and faster. The new Snapdragon 800 delivers incredible detail and graphics with its quad core CPU and Adreno 330 graphics processing unit. Add to that UltraHD or 4K with 7.1 surround sound for capturing, viewing or watching video and movies at the highest quality possible.

      End of updates

      Here is the January 2013 SoC lineup for Qualcomm as per the new announcements at CES 2013:

      image
      Compiled from previous and current (see below) Snapdragon announcements from Qualcomm. The previous announcements were described in the following posts on this blog:
      Qualcomm quad-core Cortex-A7 SoCs with Adreno 305 and 1080p coming for the high-volume global market and China [Dec 9, 2012]
      Qualcomm decided to compete with the existing Cortex-A5/Krait-based offerings till the end of 2012 [Sept 30 – Dec 7, 2012]
      Next-gen Snapdragon S4 class SoCs — exploiting TSMC’s 28nm process first — coming in December [Aug 9 – Nov 25, 2011]
      Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs with a new way of easy identification [Aug 4 – Nov 16, 2011]
      See also the post which described the availability problem of the company in 2012:
      Qualcomm’s critical reliance on supply constrained 28nm foundry capacity [July 27 – Nov 13, 2012]

      Paul Jacobs Demos the new 800 Series Snapdragon Processors [QUALCOMMVlog YouTube channel, Jan 9, 2013]

      During the Qualcomm CES 2013 Keynote, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs shows off the incredible power of the new 800 Series Snapdragon processors. The new processor renders videos and games in stunning speed. Using the Fortress Fire app, Jacobs showed how the 800 series processor takes it to the next level.

      Which you should put into an overall context of new opportunities as it is presented in:
      Highlights from the 2013 Qualcomm CES Born Mobile Keynote [QUALCOMMVlog YouTube channel, Jan 10, 2013]

      Highlights from Paul Jacobs’ 2013 Qualcomm CES keynote. Featuring appearances from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, director Guillermo del Toro, Sesame Street’s Big Bird, and many more. Visit the Qualcomm CES Facebook tab: http://on.fb.me/ZUsLky For more info visit: http://www.qualcomm.com/CES

      New Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor Brand Tiers Announced [OnQ Blog, Jan 7, 2013]

      Today Qualcomm Technologies is introducing new names and tiers for the upcoming 2013 line of Snapdragon(TM) processors. You probably became acquainted with the Snapdragon processor through smartphones and tablets, though the new line will expand into other consumer electronics.

      The current Snapdragon processors are labeled S1, S2, S3 and S4 to reflect the processor generation.  But as the processor roadmap has expanded to address additional segments of smartphones, tablets, compute devices and consumer electronics, so we are taking this opportunity to introduce a new tiered structure to the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor brand. There will be 4 tiers – Snapdragon 800, 600, 400 and 200 – to make it easy to distinguish the processor segmentation and to communicate the depth of Qualcomm Technologies’ processor portfolio.

      Starting in 2013 and moving forward, processors will be categorized in the following tiers:

      Snapdragon 800 Processors

      Snapdragon 800 Processors are designed to deliver blazing fast apps and web browsing, visually stunning graphics, breakthrough multimedia capabilities, seamless communications virtually anytime, anywhere, and outstanding battery life for premium smartphones, Smart TVs, digital media adapters and tablets.

      Snapdragon 600 Processors

      Snapdragon 600 Processors are designed to deliver outstanding performance for today’s coolest apps, fast web browsing, seamless connectivity and great battery life for mid-high tier smartphones and tablets.

      Snapdragon 400 Processors

      Snapdragon 400 Processors are designed to deliver the performance, features, connectivity and battery life that consumers expect in high volume smartphones and tablets.

      Snapdragon 200 Processors

      Snapdragon 200 Processors are designed to deliver a valued balance of performance, robust connectivity and better battery life for entry level smartphones.

      It’s important to state that the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor brand continues to stand for the same thing – mobility without compromise.  Now new tiered brand structure makes it easy for customers and consumers to see that no matter what your style, device preference or budget, there’s a Snapdragon processor for you.  And when a Snapdragon processor is at the heart of your device, you can do more and recharge less.

      Click here for a deeper dive into the features and specifications of the new Snapdragon 800 and 600 Series.

      Qualcomm Announces Next Generation Snapdragon Premium Mobile Processors [Qualcomm press release, Jan 7, 2013]

      New Snapdragon 800 and 600 Processors Represent a Significant Performance Leap For High-End Mobile Computing Devices

      LAS VEGAS – January 07, 2013 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., is sampling the first products in its latest generation of processors. With the introduction of its newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and 600 processors, Qualcomm continues to lead the industry by once again raising the bar on performance per watt and delivering unparalleled user experiences.

      The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors target premium mobile and computing devices. They are designed to deliver outstanding overall user experience, expand the possibilities of seamless connected computing and enable brand new mobile experiences while maintaining industry-leading battery performance:

      • The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors will deliver up to 75 percent better performance than the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and the move to 28nm High Performance for mobile (HPm) technology node ensures exceptionally low power
      • New Krait 400 CPU in quad configuration, with speeds of up to 2.3 GHz per core offers best-in-class performance per watt, so processor performance can hold up to the more demanding processing and communication requirements of premium mobile devices
      • Additionally, asynchronous SMP architecture provides dynamic power sensing and control for peak performance per core, while extending battery life without the use of specialized cores
      • New Adreno 330 GPU delivers more than 2x performance for compute applications over the current Adreno 320 GPU
      • 2x32bit LP-DDR3 at 800MHz with industry-leading memory bandwidth of 12.8GBps
      • New Hexagon DSP V5 delivers floating point support, dynamic multithreading and expanded multimedia instructions for enhanced low power performance
      • New IZat™ location technology combines multiple tracking systems into a single high performance, highly accurate navigation platform for auto and pedestrian applications
      • Seamless communications anytime, anywhere: Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors offer fully integrated connectivity and a wide variety of communication options.
      • Third generation 4G LTE modem with data rates up to 150 Mbps (Category 4), fully integrated in the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors
      • 4G LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation feature to maximize radio frequency bandwidth
      • World multimode and multi-band support using wafer level package (WTR1605)
      • Integrated newest generation mobile Wi-Fi connectivity, 802.11ac
      • Broad connectivity support with integrated USB 3.0, Bluetooth and FM

      INSERT: Director Guillermo del Toro and Paul Jacobs Showcase Ultra HD [QUALCOMMVlog YouTube channel, Jan 10, 2013]

      Director Guillermo del Toro visits Paul Jacobs at the Qualcomm 2013 CES keynote to discuss Ultra HD and show the Qualcomm Pacific Rim trailer for his new film, Pacific Rim. Visit the Qualcomm CES Facebook tab: http://on.fb.me/ZUsLky For more info visit: http://www.qualcomm.com/CES

      Breakthrough multimedia experiences: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors also introduce the very latest mobile experiences.

      • Capture, playback and display in UltraHD video (with four times 1080p pixel density)
      • Dual Image Signal Processors (ISP) for Qualcomm Snapdragon Camera with support for computational camera
      • HD multichannel audio with DTS-HD and Dolby Digital Plus for enhanced audio
      • Higher display resolutions (up to 2560×2048) and Miracast 1080p HD support

      The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors are currently sampling and expected to be available in commercial devices by mid-year 2013.

      The Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor targets high-end mobile devices. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor is designed to deliver great performance, rich graphics and enhanced user experience and will deliver up to 40 percent better performance than the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor at lower power. The new processor offers system-wide architectural improvements, key component upgrades and expanded connectivity options. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor features a new Krait 300 quad-core CPU with speeds up to 1.9GHz, a new speed enhanced Adreno 320 GPU and support for LPDDR3 memory. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor is sampling now and is expected to be available in commercial devices by second quarter 2013.

      “With the overwhelming success of our previous Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms, our mobile processors have emerged as the platform of choice for high-end mobile devices,” said Steve Mollenkopf, president and chief operating officer of Qualcomm. “With more than 50 design wins already secured with the first products of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 and 800 processors, we are advancing our vision and setting the standard for excellence in mobile computing.”

      For more information and to see a demonstration of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors, as well as the newest devices powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, please visit Qualcomm during CES 2013 South Hall 3, Upper Level, Booth #30313), Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas or visit www.qualcomm.com/snapdragon.

      Snapdragon 800 Series and 600 Processors Unveiled [OnQ Blog, Jan 7, 2013]

      Earlier today we announced several new Snapdragon processors in our new Snapdragon 800 and 600 processors (you can read more about our new brand tiers here).  Smartphones, tablets or any devices loaded with the latest Snapdragon processor will feel really fast and offer long battery and I’d like to take the opportunity to tell you more about our newest flagship processors.

      The Snapdragon 600 Processors

      Building on the momentum of our highly successful Snapdragon S4 Pro processor featured in such flagship devices like the Google Nexus 4 and the HTC Droid DNA, we have introduced the first Snapdragon 600 processor which will once again lead the industry in both performance and power efficiency.  Inside of the Snapdragon 600 processor is an integrated system featuring our custom built CPU, GPU, and much more so you’ll our feel the Snapdragon experience—fast performance and great battery life. The new Snapdragon 600 processor includes the following features:

      • Quad Core Krait 300 CPU—running at up to 1.9 GHz
      • Adreno 320 GPU –offering over 3x the performance of A225 &, as the first GPU in the Adreno 300 series and introduces support for new mobile and GPGPU compute APIs       such as OpenGL ES 3.0 , OpenCL and Renderscript Compute
      • LPDDR3 RAM— (Low Power Double Data Rate 3) this faster RAM gives a speed boost to the channels which data flows.  By increasing the speed at which the data flows to each component, performance is boosted throughout the entire processor.
      • Overall Performance Boost—we expect the Snapdragon 600 processor to deliver up to 40% better performance than the Snapdragon S4 Pro processor.

      Our first Snapdragon 600 processor is sampling now and expected to be available in commercial devices by second quarter 2013.

      The Snapdragon 800 Processors

      Fast on the heels of our first Snapdrgon 600 processor, we will once again reset the performance and power efficiency bar with the introduction of our flagship Snapdragon 800 processors.   Inside these tiny processors are all of the leading technologies that you have come to expect from Qualcomm.  And we continue to custom build these technologies in-house so they can be fully tailored and tightly integrated with the entire system.  This level of customization enables the Snapdragon experience—stunning performance and extreme battery life.  The Snapdragon 800 processors will enable the newest mobile experience with a cutting edge feature set that includes:

      • Quad Core Krait 400 CPU—speeds up to 2.3 GHz, per core
      • Adreno 330 GPU—featuring patented Flex Render Technology and leading edge API’s that are designed to expand the use of GPU processing for general computing and other SoC tasks, the Adreno 330 GPU offers a 2 times better compute performance than Adreno 320
      • 2x32bit LPDDR3 RAM at 800MHz – with industry-leading memory bandwidth of 12.8GBps.
      • 4G LTE Cat 4 and 802.11ac—these connectivity options offer blazing fast, seamless connectivity with cellular modem boasting data rates up to 150 Mbps and 802.11ac at speeds up to 1 Gbps.
      • UltraHD—video can be captured, played back and displayed in UltraHD (previously called “4K.”)  The resolution has four times as many pixels as 1080p. (1920x 1080 versus  4096 × 2304)
      • HD Audio—support for DTS-HD, Dolby Digital Plus and 7.1 surround sound.
      • Dual Image Signal Processors (ISPs) up to 55MP – with support for up to four cameras and allows for 3D captures, photo merging into a master 55MPixel image, separate autofocus and captures, 1080p30 video captures.
      • Overall Performance Boost—the Snapdragon 800 processor is expected to deliver up to 75% better performance than the Snapdragon S4 Pro.

      Not only will you see this Snapdragon 800 processor in mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, but it will be featured in computing and consumer electronic devices such as Smart TVs and digital media adapters.  Snapdragon 800 processors are sampling now and expected to be available in commercial devices by mid-2013.

      Raj Talluri Senior Vice President of Product Management, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies

      Allwinner vis-à-vis HTC on 2013 International CES

      image

      From Allwinner:

      Allwinner has launched its latest quad-core application processor A31 in December 2012 and will create another legend in the consuming world.

      If you would like to know more about A31, please schedule a meeting with us at CES 2013 via Eva.wu@allwinnertech.com.

      Booth No:MP40016

      Booth Map:http://www.mapyourshow.com

      You could already have all the necessary information from my special posts given in a newly created blog about the ‘Allwinner phenonmenon’:
      Allwinner A31 SoC is here with products and the A20 SoC is coming [Dec 10, 2012]
      Is low-cost enough for global success? [Dec 5, 2012]
      The upcoming Chinese tablet and device invasion lead by the Allwinner SoCs [Dec 4, 2012]
      $40 entry-level Allwinner tablets–now for the 220 million students Aakash project in India [Dec 4, 2012] from this alone 220 million additional tablets would have been delivered from 2013 to 2016
      USD 99 Allwinner [Nov 30, 2012]
      It’s a Strategic Inflection Point [Dec 1, 2012]

      This is the most dramatic disruption in the whole history of ICT, what I am calling the ‘ALLWINNER PHENOMENON’ (or ‘Allwinner et al phenomenon’ sometimes when including Allwinner’s internal mainland China competitors such as Rockchip into account as well). EVERYBODY SHOULD BE AWARE of the fact, however, that even in the latest forecasts by bigname ICT market researchers the ‘Allwinner phenomenon’ is not taken into account at all. The two very recent reports from IDC given as updates in my Boosting both the commodity and premium brand markets in 2013 with much more smartphones and tablets while the Windows notebook shipments will shrink by 2% [this ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, Nov 20 – Dec 10, 2012] are the latest examples of that fact. So, keep that in mind as the ‘Allwinner phenomenon’ will add hundreds of millions to those forecasts starting as early as in 2013. Especially the numbers for the tablets will be affected.

      I personally would be most curious about the Windows 8 (rather Windows RT obviously) support on the Allwinner A31 SoC as already indicated on the A31 product page. Maybe HTC will be the first company bringing out a product based on that?

      I would not be surprised at all if HTC will bring out double, x86/64 and ARM platform based products for the portable PC and the tablet markets (using IDC terminology) by marrying the A31 SoC with VIA Technologies current 40nm VIA Nano X2 dual-core x86/64 chip, based on the still state-of-the-art (that is much better than the current Atom) Isaiah/CN micro architecture CPU core from its subsidiary Centaur Technology. You can find all related information about the latter in my earlier post on this blog:
      Can VIA Technologies save the mobile computing future of the x86 (x64) legacy platform? [Nov 23, 2012]