Have you recently stopped to think about what modern smartphones can do? It's amazing how much power is packed into these small little devices that we carry around all day, and it's even more amazing that most of that power resides in teeny tiny chips that are lodged somewhere between the huge screen and the big battery.
ARM is one of the companies that provide the building blocks for modern smartphone SOCs. It makes graphics and application processors that companies like MediaTek and Samsung use in their Helio and Exynos chips, respectively. Now ARM is unveiling new processors for the 2017 flagships that will push their performance even further. Read More
Qualcomm did not have a great 2015 with the issues surrounding the 810, but it's looking to turn that around in 2016. The Snapdragon 820 might help, but the fancy high-end chips aren't everything. Qualcomm has announced several new mid-range ARM chips, as well as a new modem and a wearable-specific SoC. Read More
Hey you! Yes, you, the Android fan who spent $650 to get a Nexus 6 the moment it became available, then felt somewhat disheartened when it started popping up for $300 or less, then heroically resisted the siren song of new devices from Huawei and LG! To reward your frugal self-control, Google is now allowing you to play with the camera user interface featured on the new Nexus phones without spending any money whatsoever! Ain't that great? Just don't ask about slow motion video or burst mode for stills, because your puny camera module can't handle it. Read More
The Nexus 6 had a lot of fine qualities, but the sluggish storage performance was a disappointment. This was mostly due to the automatic device encryption, which was managed by software rather than hardware. In today's Reddit AMA, the Nexus team was asked about encryption support in the Nexus 5X and 6P. VP of Engineering Dave Burke responded, saying it's still software-based, but it should be even faster than hardware encryption this time. Read More
Qualcomm's high-end processors aren't exactly without their flaws right now, but the mid-range and entry level chips from the company are still seen as the best bang for the buck. The most popular budget SoCs from Qualcomm have gotten a little spec bump, but the company didn't think that was worth even a proper press release. No matter, we've got the details on the Snapdragon 212, 412, and 616. Read More
You are probably familiar with the issues surrounding the Snapdragon 810 by now, but a new chip is right around the corner that could get Qualcomm back on track. I speak of course of the fabled Snapdragon 820 (MSM8996). Details of this chip have allegedly been leaked in China, and while we can't know for sure that they're accurate, the slides sure look legit. Read More
A leaked slide posted to the Chinese social networking service Weibo claims to show what ARM has in store for the next generation of reference designs. There are five total Cortex cores, all with codenames taken from Greek mythology. Some of them include manufacturing process information, but others are lacking in detail.
Qualcomm's 64-bit flagship part is the Snapdragon 810, but not all devices will need that kind of power. That's why the company is extending its new designs down to the mid-range with updated Snapdragon 600 and 400 series chips. There are a total of four new chips—the 620, 618, 425, and 415.
Odds are good that any Android devices you have around are running on ARM technology. The ARM architecture powers virtually all systems-on-a-chip (SoCs), with Intel x86 parts coming in a distant second. ARM doesn't actually make the chips, but it creates the reference designs and instruction set, then licenses the IP. Today the company is announcing some new designs and process refinements for other companies to license.
We've heard a lot of back and forth about the Snapdragon 810, the first high-end 64-bit ARM processor from Qualcomm. First there were rumors that overheating caused Samsung to drop the chip from its Galaxy S6, then LG said the 810 was fine in the G Flex 2. Now, however, Qualcomm says the 810 will not be powering "a large customer's flagship device" this year. That almost certainly means Samsung.