Despite frequent updates, Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) is definitely stagnating from a hardware perspective. Most watches use Qualcomm's Wear 2100 processor, which is over two years old at this point. At long last, the company is working on a brand new mobile chipset for wearables, which will arrive this fall. Read More
In a press release this morning, Qualcomm announced a new platform "purpose-built for IoT devices" and a couple of new system-on-chips to go along with it. The company is calling the new program the Vision Intelligence Platform, and its new chips will be used in devices like robots and smart cameras. Read More
Today Qualcomm has announced a whole new Snapdragon series that fits (in both number and performance) between the existing 800 and 600. This 700 series includes high-performance features from the more expensive flagship-bound 800s like custom Kryo cores, the Hexagon DSP, Spectra ISP, and Adreno graphics. But unlike the 800, this new line is destined for more affordable devices, bringing flagship-level features to an increasingly accessible price point. Read More
MediaTek is one of those chip manufacturers that we do not hear much about in the U.S. The only notable exclusion to that rule is BLU Products, which includes some MediaTek SoCs in its phones. While MTK is a far cry from Qualcomm and Samsung in terms of raw power and such, the company does play an important role in providing high-performance-per-dollar SoCs for budget and low-end phones. For MWC, MediaTek announced the new Helio P60 chip, complete with typical MTK promises. Read More
The Exynos 9 Series processors were introduced by Samsung almost a year ago, and we've seen them used in the company's flagship phones of 2017. With the announcement of the Galaxy S9 nearing, it's time we learned a little about the chip that will be running the show (outside of the US and China, which will get Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 845 processor), so Samsung has lifted the covers off the Exynos 9810 SoC.
It's built on Samsung's second-generation 10-nanometer process, which boasts improvements such as a faster LTE modem and support for deep learning-based image processing software. As with any new chip, faster performance is promised, and it will apparently handle multitasking better than its predecessor – which is no surprise again. Read More
We've known for a while that Google was interested in making its own chips. Recently their hardware efforts even bore some fruit, but most of us assumed that it would be quite a while until Google made anything at a consumer level.
Well, it turns out that the new Pixel 2 phones have a bit of Google-designed hardware inside them. It's called Pixel Visual Core, and it brings even better camera performance to the phones — or it will, once it's turned on. Pixel Visual Core augments Google's HDR+ implementation, improving latency, power efficiency (using 1/10 the power), and speed (5x faster). Read More
MediaTek is still in the mobile SoC game and while it's easy to forget about the chip manufacturer here in the U.S., the company continues to improve upon its product line. Adding to the Helio family, the P23 and P30 are both set to offer LTE speed improvements, dual camera and dual-SIM VoLTE support, and better power scheduling to the low-end and mid-range system-on-chip market. Read More
In what could be exciting news for the future of cameras on Android smartphones, Qualcomm has announced an expansion to its Spectra™ Module Program. This will open mobile devices up to high-resolution depth sensing and better biometric authentication. Read More
Google's hardware plans for the future are getting bigger. Variety is reporting that Google has hired Manu Gulati, a hardware architect, away from Apple. Gulati is reported as having previously played a significant role in the development of Apple's SoCs for the last eight years and was hired sometime in the last few weeks. His new title at Google is Lead SOC Architect, and he's expected to work on custom chipsets for future Pixel phones. Read More
A pretty nifty new feature was talked about at last night's Android Fireside Chat. In addition to the other O features and the rest of the announcements at I/O, it was revealed that we'll soon be able to update our graphics drivers through the Play Store. This is a feature that is presumably only going to be present in O. There's no word yet on the specifics as to how that might work, or which OEMs or chipset manufacturers might be interested in taking advantage of it, but as of yesterday we know it's coming. Read More