Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Latest Mobile Processors competition-based ARM Cortex A9

ARM now has 3 different designs for the mobile market - ARM11 (slow), Cortex A8 (fast), Cortex A9 (very fast). ARM11 used by low-end smartphones today, while 99% of high-end smartphones using Cortex A8.

ARM11 Cortex A8 performance exceeds by applying cache design a much more effective. Cortex A8 has a deeper pipeline with a branch Predictions are more accurate. Cortex A8 is also capable of applying the processing of multimedia instructions better. All this brings an increase of 40% of the ARM11 design at the same clock speed. Cortex A8 and consume more power even when working at peak levels, but manage idle time is more effective to save power as a whole.

ARM Cortex A9 is the first design that implements the execution in out-of-order. Until about the early '90s, all the CPU perform the in-order processing. Key concept of processing out-of-order is to allow the processor to avoid the "stalls" or pause while that could happen when the data necessary to perform an operation not available. Rather than be stalling, but the processor will immediately fill the slot with another instruction that "could" run. Although it sounds simple like a simple process, but this place is very complex to implement in silicon is available.

Cortex A9 is also equipped with a short pipeline that helps complete instructions faster than the Cortex A8. Cortex A9 is expected to be a performance of the IPC (instructions per clock), which will significantly more than the Cortex A8 BAUK - with an increase of about 25%. And most importantly, Cortex A9 will have a better clock speed - up to 2GHz. So by combining a higher IPC, dual-core chips and higher clock speeds, Cortex A9-based smartphones are expected to significantly outperform Cortex A8 based smartphones.

Here are a few smartphones that use processors from ARM designs:

* ARM 11: iPhone 3G, HTC Hero, Legend HTC, Samsung Omnia II, Nokia N8, Nokia E7, etc.
* ARM Cortex A8: iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, iPad, Nexus, Milestone Motorola, Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Wave, Samsung Galaxy Tabs, HTC Desire, Desire HTC HD, HTC HD7, Xperia X10, etc..
* ARM Cortex A9: Optimus Pad LG (2011), BlackBerry Playbook (2011), the iPhone 5 (rumors), Samsung Wave III (Rumor).

And the line of processors based on ARM Cortex A9 is ready to compete in the market include:

Samsung Orion

Orion is the successor of Samsung's next generation ARM Cortex A8, Samsung Hummingbird. Samsung claims that the Orion will be 5 times stronger than the Hummingbird. Orion-based dual-core ARM Cortex A9 with support for DDR3 RAM and 1MB of L2 cache achieve 45nm fabrication. If the previous Samsung products took Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX540 through the GPU to its partners, to Orion Samsung uses the GPU quad-core Mali-400 which has been supporting OpenCL 1.1, OpenGL ES 2.0 and DirectX11. If PowerVR SGX540 on maximum Hummingbird capable of handling up to 90 polygons per second, the Mali-400 in the Orion processor capable of handling up to 532 million polygons per second (as a ratio of 220 on Snapdragon Adreno GPU only to 22 million polygons per second). Samsung Orion will be sold in Q4 2010 with devices that use it will be available in Q1 2011.

Qualcomm QSD8672

The future of their flagship product is QSD8672 model, ie dual core processors based on the latest Scorpion ARMv7 which is a modification of the Cortex A9. Smartphones that use these processors are expected to enter the market around Q3 2011. For GPU, Qualcomm still will use Snapdragon Adreno like previous generations, but with the newer version, Adreno 205 whose performance is almost equivalent to the PowerVR SGX540 on Hummingbird.


Texas Instruments or TI has announced their version of the Cortex A9, which is called OMAP4 series. TI will begin shipping in Q4 of 2010 OMAP4, and devices using OMAP4 expected to arise during Q2 2011. Although core CPUs that use will be competitive (to use the ARM Cortex A9 core, together with Samsung and Qualcomm have), but the GPU used is the PowerVR SGX540 as it has been used by Samsung for its Hummingbird product. So obviously, in terms of IT GPU step behind.

NVIDIA Tegra 2

NVIDIA has gone from ARM11 (Tegra 1) to a dual-core Cortex A9 (Tegra 2), with the Cortex A8 design phase skipping to catch up. For Tegra CPU core 2 still be able to compete with other products but the GPU is used seems to be weaker, even from PowerVR SGX540. From some testing, the latest GPU Adreno Snapdragon to surpass 205 for this GPU. On the positive side, Tegra 2 is available on the market now, and smartphones based on the Tegra 2 may be raised during Q4 2010. LG and Motorola have announced their intention to produce smartphones based on the Tegra 2 so far.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Behind the Fall of the Nokia N8 and C7 Worldwide

Nokia Attempts to reduce the cost of production will be lower when they launched the latest model to the market, unfortunately, have sacrificed the testing period which decreased. This finally resulted in a large number of defects on the phone that was revealed after the first few months of usage by user and this could be a bad precedent for Nokia for the future. It's very disappointing because when his experience joy because we still have a new phone but had to be put in a service center and then wait several weeks for repairs. It hurts more when we have to get this device back from service center but had to send it back because it kept recurring and recurring.

This is not the first time ever on Nokia products lately. Previous Nokia 5800 has a serious disturbance in the speakers that are included in the category of defect production, as well as on the Nokia N76 and some other products. Today, we again received this news, which this time happened to their flagship product this year, Nokia N8, and thereafter the device, the Nokia C7. This phone can be said to have a defect in principle, that by Nokia, because it is still trying to save his reputation, refused to acknowledge. This is almost the same as the iPhone antenna case 4 first, but more severe because it can cause the total dead cell phone.

Through a quick search on the Web there are more than one hundred thousand citations in the entire world. This number certainly does not reflect the number of damaged units, but it is a reliable indication of the problems that have been known and widely discussed throughout the world. Here I want to remind you that the sales began on September 30, and gained momentum in early October. Below you can find links to several threads on Nokia's official website:

One thing that seems real about the Nokia N8 all deaths so far is the phone will not boot. The phone is only turned into a lifeless brick. Every now and then spontaneously reboots also been reported so far. Most reports come from Asia instead of Europe. Looks like any unit, regardless of when and where it is purchased, can be affected.

A quick survey of the service center and distributor chain showed that about 400 and 800 units of Nokia N8 have been received for repairs, each in October and November. In October 2010, the ratio of defects is estimated about 5 percent and will increase to more than double by the end of this month. So, how big is the problem?

Almost all service centers face abnormally high failure rate for new models of service, something that has proven to signify a congenital defect (eg problems with assembly, component or design problem). Although this flaw does not reveal all the events at once and everything is possible depending on usage scenarios, but the fact the number of damaged units continued to increase over time. A defective unit can survive for several years before it is damaged or die within days if used intensively. It is a gamble for the user. And even if the previous scenario was correct, it does not mean that the phone had not been flawed from the beginning. Habits of the use of a person may have a great impact on whether the defect will soon appear or not. And a very painful, of course, is if it turns out the effect of this defect appeared after the warranty period runs out.
Usually, the phone will be back in the first month because the owner did not like it in general or disappointed with certain features, but not because the phone does not work. For example, when Apple's iPhone four complaints because of the antenna, cell phone can still be used normally when we meet certain procedures, or purchase any additional accessories. And this problem is a total dead cell phone, you can use it?
What model of Nokia N8 and C7 have in common? First glance tells us that the Symbian ^ 3 is the main feature. Does the OS can make a product can "die"? Theoretically possible, but you can not prove it in real life because all Symbian smartphones ^ 3 should suffer the same problem only really proven. We can not throw away this fact, but can not make this as the most important fact because of recent changes in Symbian ^ 3 is not so dramatic.

Another common factor is a board where all components are located. A small board that has many layers and Nokia (or perhaps also the manufacturer in China) reject the use of compound (a type of resin to cover the perimeter of the board to accept the vibration resistance and better connections between layers). This decision was to save costs and the temporary use of the compound takes a few seconds on the conveyor and will increase costs and make the conveyor become less productive. The disadvantage is clear that the physical endurance of the board will decline.

Some people believe that the problem is caused by the installation of additional software, which leads to a reboot. This connection really exists, but has nothing to do with the quality of applications and somewhat determined by the nature of the real problem. Smaller boards have a less effective heat removal and heating of the processor and other components leading to a reboot for emergency situations. This is one reason for this problem. Some users have managed to turn the phone back after putting it in the fridge. You will not be able to resolve the problem at all in this way, but we get feedback from this process. The processor is not the main cause, because it can be turned off when too hot. This is caused by the construction of hardware itself and the mode of exploitation (additional applications, videos that do not convert, etc.).

Rebooting because it is too hot will not destroy the phone. When the processor temperature has dropped, it will be ready to operate again soon. Unfortunately, it did not happen and the handset then become useless.
Flash EEPROM memory is to blame. This memory is used to store data and all models have the disabilities that have been damaged EEPROM, some units that have incorrect information recorded there. This can happen when power has been damaged due to overheating, but it is not realistic because the time period is too short. It is more likely that one of the contacts on the board have been lost and false information recorded is not what is on the way through the bus. Losing a contact and all information has been transferred does not turn it into garbage. Why contacts can be lost?

We should mention that the same with other manufacturers, Nokia has moved into the green without the use of lead solder. Soldering machine is now operating at limited temperature range. Sometimes soldering looked good, but some elements are not supposed to be placed in position on the board. Usually, it does not matter if the board pretty hard and not many layers. Nokia N8/C7 have a multi-layered board without the compound and during heating (the processor heat up higher on the previous model), the board can be distorted. This distortion is minimal, but sufficient to remove a contact on the bus heading to the EEPROM.
There are more complaints in Asia where higher temperatures and this is a proof to confirm our hypothesis. We certainly can argue that problems associated with temperature. You can claim that certain components failed to work due to a higher temperature level, but we did not find facts to support this idea although we have to prove it.

Want Windows 7 Phone Jailbreak? Keep on dreaming guys..

Although there are reports about people who try to make porting to HTC's Windows 7 Phone HD2 and chat a few people that he can make a custom ROM (though not running), but maybe there is one last hurdle that is very difficult to penetrate, that is PVK.

PVK is a clear Microsoft's private key used to sign off on the OS that is also associated with the hardware. Specifically, some aspects of the OS to find and then retrieve this key from the motherboard device for verification. If this key can not be found, the motherboard must be replaced or serviced. As for the function of the phone / OS may still work without the key PVK, the core features such as Xbox, Marketplace, Windows Live or Zune ... or basically whatever is the "cloud-based services" will not be used.

This could be a challenge to the hackers who will try to avoid this security, as many people have managed to get around Microsoft's Genuine Software checker for Windows 7 and Microsoft Office products. We can imagine, there is no easy task.

In addition to the picture above, there is a record of "Service Advisory" on one of the internal HTC site which reads:


This Service Advisory aims to resolve invalid PVK or PVK missing issue for any returned WP7 units

Condition(s) to follow this service advisory:

1. When customer complains about can not access Microsoft services such as XBOX, Marketplace, Windows Live and Zune on the WP7 devices.

2. When ASP performs diagnostic program test, ASP needs to follow the below repair actions if the diagnostic program detects invalid or missing PVK.

If the PVK is invalid or missing, there will be message on device as following when user try to login to Windows Live service.

For all this we congratulate Microsoft that has created some serious security guarantor, and the hacker community itself ROM maker now has his own challenge for the future. Of course, this may be driven more by concern about the existence of serious piracy than just making a custom ROM, but we imagine that Microsoft has been welcomed as part of the side effects that would like eradicated, too. Combined with the security of Xbox Live, kracking, hacking or jailbreak for Windows 7 Phone will probably only be a dream in broad daylight.

MeeGo is the BEST OS for mobile phones?

In a conference in Dublin, MeeGo announced the minimum requirements for smartphones MeeGo: 512 MB RAM, 512 MB for OS, and the ARM v7 (or, x86) with a speed of 600 MHz. Unfortunately, we do not get the whole information, for example, Nokia has not decided on what screen resolution recommended. Current specification is for MeeGo version 1.2 and will be released in April 2011. Version 1.3 will be available in October of 2011 if no longer experience delays.

So how someone can claim MeeGo better than Symbian, Android or even Windows 7 Phone? OS is currently under construction and no proof of anything to explain if the platform is not yet so it was interesting from the first day of manufacture. Sales of the Nokia N900 is very drag show that the Maemo platform is very confusing for ordinary people, although some buy it. During this year alone the price is already down two times, that are great for a handset with minimal sales.

Remember that top-level managers Nokia never said to introduce a perangkati MeeGo in 2010. And at the end of 2010, new CEO of Nokia to delay this event until 2011. Keep in mind also that 6 months is enough time for a new generation of a product for sale. This period is very large for the mobile marketplace solutions. Even if you take a period of 12 months instead of 6 months to launch the device MeeGo, this delay can not be justified.

HTC Desire HD vs Samsung Galaxy S

Android Finally Displacing Symbian in Asia

According to market research firm GfK Asia, smartphones continue to record exponential growth in Asia in the last 12 months with more than 4.7 million smartphone units worth more than USD 1,48 billion in total retail in the third quarter of this year. Now that smartphones have occupied nearly half of the portion of all handset sales.

"Smartphones are the main drivers of telecommunications industry at the moment. Findings from the GfK retail audit has shown impressive results, nearly three-fold increase in industrial value when we compare sales figures from last quarter with the results from the same quarter a year ago," said Gerard Tan, the Regional Account Director of Telecommunications, GfK Asia. "Even though only 1.27 million smartphones sold in the third quarter of last year, more than 4.7 million units sold in the same quarter this year, signaling the growth of almost 270 percent!"

With a rapid increase of the smartphone, war of the operating system (OS) is also heating up among major producers in Asia are scrambling to introduce their smartphones for the platform is more popular and user-friendly. Symbian, which had always been led since the second half of last year, faces stiff competition from the Android OS which has recorded strong growth in second and third quarter of 2010.

"Our Q3 report shows that Android has recently been caught up with Symbian as the most popular smartphone OS in Asia in the context of a whole, both in value and unit sales. However, it is interesting to note differences in trends OS when we see the findings in North Asia and Southeast Asia separately, "as was highlighted by Mr Tan.

In North Asia, the competition for the smartphone OS is probably the most intense in the OS market shares fluctuate dramatically in response to strategic and tactical initiatives of the major manufacturers. Android growth began to increase in early 2010 and managed to overtake the iPhone OS, the second most popular platform in the second quarter of this year.

In Southeast Asia, Symbian OS has been leading the smartphone OS market and continued to lead until now, although sales continued to decline gradually. Since the beginning of this year, Android, RIM and the iPhone OS have been enjoying the benefits of the smartphone segment obtained from the decrease in Symbian OS.

"With a variety of mobile operating systems are available in Asian markets today, manufacturers must look to the hardware to be able to continue to succeed in this market," as concluded Mr. Tan. Smartphone popularity has skyrocketed with one in every five handsets that are purchased in Asia in the last quarter (July-Sept 2010) is a smartphone.