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Hardwares

SAMSUNG UNVEILS ITS NEXT GENERATION 14NM AND 10NM TECHNOLOGY

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samsung galaxy logo mwc 2015 1

Samsung has announced a number of major investments into its semiconductor division in the recent months and years, and has today unveiled the fruits of these cash injections in the form of its latest advanced foundry process technologies. Specifically, Samsung has announced its latest fourth generation 14nm (14LPU) and third generation 10nm (10LPU) processes that will be used for upcoming SoCs in the consumer electronics and automotive markets.

Compared with the company’s current 14nm process technology (14LPC), 14LPU promises to deliver additional performance while remaining in the same power budget. Samsung will be using its 14LPU technology for 14nm processors that require peak performance for longer periods of time.

Samsung’s 10LPU process is designed to shrink down the silicon area required for a chip, rather than boost performance. Compared to its 10LPE and 10LLP generations, 10LPU will be Samsung’s most cost effective technique for building high performance 10nm chips, as it retains the high performance characteristics of its forbearer. Samsung is rumored to be manufacturing the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 on its current 10nm LPE process, and will likely use this technology for next year’s flagship Exynos mobile SoC as well, which may appear in the Galaxy S8.

Samsung Exynos Processor SoC

At Samsung’s Device Solutions America headquarters, the company also showcased its next generation 7nm EUV (extreme ultraviolet lithography) wafer. Samsung’s adoption of EUV earlier in the year allows for  accurate patterning on a chip surface with just a single pattern, but is expected to be more expensive than multi-pattern ArF-i technology. Samsung will likely employ both techniques at 7nm, depending on the demands of the chip to be manufactured.

Samsung says that process design kits for its latest 10 and 14nm technologies will be available in the second quarter of 2017. So we can probably expect to see some of these new chips roll off the production line around the turn of 2018.

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Mobile Phones

SAMSUNG’S GALAXY NOTE 9 IS VERY EXPENSIVE

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We know almost everything about the Galaxy Note 9. While it has problems, the good news is all Samsung’s best changes are about making things bigger. That is, until now…

Polish tech site SpiderWeb has discovered the cost of the Galaxy Note 9 and it confirms bigger is not always better because Samsung is planning a sizeable price increase.

Galaxy Note 9 concept proved too ambitiousYOUTUBE.COM/DBSDESIGNING

In its home country, SpiderWeb cites both a local source and a Samsung representative as saying the Galaxy Note 9 will cost PLN 4,299 ($1,159) at launch. This compares to PLN 3,800 ($1,024) for the Galaxy Note 8.

For context, phones in Europe are typically more expensive than in the US but often only because their prices include sales tax. As such it is hard to see Samsung not pushing the $950 Galaxy Note 8 launch price beyond $1,000 for the Galaxy Note 9 launch Stateside.

This is a figure which has the potential to cause problems both for consumers and Samsung alike.

For consumers, the problem is the Galaxy Note 9 is not like other handsets. Millions are wedded to the Note series’ S Pen and the tightly integrated productivity software which goes with it. There simply isn’t another phone on the market like a Galaxy Note, which provides Samsung with an almost unique level of lock-in for an Android phone.

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Mobile Phones

GOOGLE FINED £3.8BN BY EU OVER ANDROID ANTITRUST VIOLATIONS

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Company made its search engine the default on most phones using operating system

Google has been hit with a record €4.34bn (£3.8bn) fine by the European Union for abusing its market dominance in mobile phone operating systems.

The EU imposed the multibillion-euro penalty after finding that the US tech firm required smartphone manufacturers to pre-instal Google’s search and browser apps devices using its Android operating system, otherwise they would not be allowed to use its Google Play online store and streaming service.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, said Google has used its Android mobile phone operating system “to cement its dominance as a search engine”, preventing rivals from innovating and competing “and this is illegal under EU antitrust rules”.

Vestager added: “The vast majority of users simply take what comes with their device and don’t download competing apps.

“Or to slightly paraphrase what [US free market economist] Milton Friedman has said ‘there ain’t no such thing as a free search.’”

 

Wednesday’s verdict ends a 39-month investigation by the European commission’s competition authorities into Google’s Android operating system. Laying out the statement of objections in April 2016, the commission accused the company of abusing its market dominance on three counts. First, by installing Google search as the default search engine on Android devices; second, preventing smartphone manufacturers from running competing systems; third, denying consumer choice, by giving financial incentives to manufacturers and mobile phone operators to pre-install Google Search.

In response, Google had said users were free to delete its apps. The company had mounted a strong defence of its open-source Android operating system, saying it “keeps manufacturers’ costs low and their flexibility high, while giving consumers unprecedented control of their mobile devices”.

The decision could raise tensions with the US government before a visit to the White House by the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, next week. Juncker will meet the US president, Donald Trump, on 25 July for talks on the economy, counter-terrorism, energy security, foreign policy and security.

According to Reuters, the competition authorities delayed the Google announcement by one week to avoid a clash with the Nato summit, where Trump lambasted the US’s European allies.

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Desktops

CHROME AND FIREFOX GAIN WINDOWS 10 TIMELINE SUPPORT WITH A NEW EXTENSION

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Microsoft’s new Timeline feature in Windows 10 is designed to let you pick up where you left off on multiple devices. While Timeline supports Microsoft Edge for web browsing history, Chrome and Firefox have not yet been updated to officially support the new feature. A third-party developer has now created a Chrome and Firefox extension to bring Windows Timeline support to both browsers.

The new extension is free and works exactly how you’d expect. Browsing history will be synced to the Windows 10 Timeline feature, so you can pick up old tabs across other PCs. Timeline in its current form is only really useful if you’re using multiple Windows 10 machines with the same account, so perhaps a desktop at home and a laptop on the go (or a work machine). The new extension also lets you push a website you’re currently viewing to another Windows 10 machine.

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