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Posts Tagged ‘smartphone’

Auxens OXI Brings Windows Continuum Like Desktop Mode to Android Smartphones

March 9th, 2017 2 comments

Remix OS, Phoenix OS, LightBiz OS… are all Android based operating systems with desktop optimizations, but so far they mostly work on TV boxes, computers or tablets. If you want something that works on smartphones with a desktop mode while connected, your choice is more limited with solutions such as community based Maru OS, or the upcoming Remix Singularity. But there’s now a new player in town with Auxens OXI that works a little like Windows Continuum, but with modifications to the Android API.

OXI is based on CyanogenMod 13.1, with work being done to switch to LineageOS 14.1, and offers a desktop-like environment for Android with support for multitasking, multi-window support with resizing, notification support, and so on. It works by connecting the smartphone to a secondary screen via MHL, DisplayPort, or Miracast to get a desktop environment, while still being able to use your phone. Apps do not need to be modified to support windowed mode and resizing.

For the best user experience, the company recommends a phone with at least 2 GB RAM, and good performance (40 to 50k Antutu score at least). The more RAM the better, as you can open more apps simultaneously with more memory.

There are four apps to configure and use OXI:

  • OXI app – Launch OXI on main display (phone)
  • OXI Remote app – Launch OXI on the external display (Miracast, DisplayLink, DisplayPort, MHL, HDMI, Chromecast or other…)
  • OXI Control app – A basic tool replacing keyboard and mouse. Two modes, “Keypad” is a simple touchpad/keyboard, moving the mouse from the phone, and the “Pad” mode is a mirrored touchscreen surface.
  • OXI Overscan tool – If you are using OXI on some TV you might notice a part of app missing. You can use this tool to adjust the display.

Click to Enlarge

The company has implemented OXI on OnePlus 3, Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE Advance (ks01lte), LG Nexus 5X (bullhead), and Galaxy tab S2 9.7 lte (gts210ltexx), with more models coming in the future, including possibly Vernee Apollo 2 smartphone powered by Mediatek Helio X30 with 6 to 8 GB RAM as demonstrated at Mobile World Congress 2017 with NexDock laptop dock. Charbax manage to interview Vernee and Auxens at the event with the part specific to OXI starting at the 1:50 mark.

More information should be available on Auxens website, as well as getoxi.com where you’ll get more details, and the ability to download beta images if you happen to own one of the supported smartphones.

Xiaomi Introduces Surge S1 ARM SoC, Xiaomi Mi 5c Smartphone

February 28th, 2017 5 comments

Xiaomi may be skipping Mobile World Congress 2017, but they’ve still announced their first in-house Surge S1 octa-core SoC, and Xiaomi Mi 5c powered by the processor right at the same time as the even takes place.

Surge S1 processor specifications:

  • CPU – Octa-core 64-bit chipset with 4x Cortex A53 cores @ up to 2.2GHz, 4x Cortex A53 cores @ up to 1.4GHz
  • GPU – ARM Mali-T860 quad-core GPU with AFBC + ASTC image compression technology
  • 32-bit high performance DSP for voice processing
  • 14-bit dual ISP; enhanced image processing capabilities with Surge ISP algorithm improving camera light sensitivity by 150%, and dual noise reduction algorithm reducing noise and preserving image detail in low light
  • Upgradable baseband; programmable modem, OTA upgradable
  • VoLTE high quality call and video support
  • Security – Chip-level security; TEE architecture, strict compliance with safety regulations
  • 28nm High Performance Computing (HPC) process

The specifications and Antutu score (64,817) makes it clear it’s  an application processor for mid range smartphones. And since Xiaomi is a phone – and other consumer devices – manufacturer it makes sense for them to announce the processor at the same time as the first Surge S1 smartphone: Xiaomi Mi 5c.

Xiaomi Mi 5c smartphone key specifications:

  • SoC – Surge S1 octa-core 64-bit processor
  • System Memory – 3GB dual channel LPDDR3
  • Storage – 64GB eMMC 5.0 flash
  • Display – 5.15” ultra-bright display
  • Camera – 12MP camera
  • Misc – Front fingerprint scanner
  • Battery – 2860mAh battery for “full day battery life”; 9V/2A fast charging
  • Dimensions – 144.38 x 69.68 x 7.09mm
  • Weight – 132 grams

The phone runs Android 7.1 with MIUI, and will start selling for 1,499 RMB ($218) on March 3, 2017 in China.

More details, including lots of picture, about the new processor and Mi 5c smartphone can be found in Miui forums (in English), as well as Xiaomi Mi 5c product page. (in Chinese).

Via Liliputing

Oppo’s Ultra-Thin Smartphone Dual Camera Comes with a 3x Optical Zoom, Supports 5x “Lossless” Zoom

February 28th, 2017 2 comments

Smartphones allow you to zoom in when taking a picture, but most of the time it’s achieved using a software based digital zoom, and quality suffers greatly as a results. Oppo has however designed a new smartphone camera module with a 3x optical zoom, and “image fusion” technology to bring the level of “lossless” zoom to 5 times. Some phones such as Asus Zenfone Zoom come with a 3x optical zoom, and you can purchase detachable zoom for your smartphone, but none of those are as quite as compact as Oppo solution, which from the outside looks like a standard dual camera since it’s so thin (5.7 mm).

They’ve managed to keep the module compact by designing a periscope-style structure that divert light through a prism and into a telephoto lens nested inside the smartphone, set at a 90° angle to a rear-facing wide-angle lens.

The camera also comes with an “all-new optical image stabilization” in order to shoot clear pictures even when in motion, as vibrations are an even large effect when the zoom is active. Oppo OIS solution is said to improve the compensation by 40% compared to previous generation cameras. The prism is also part of the stabilization as it can adjust its angle by 0.0025° increments.

OPPO has introduced the camera module at Mobile World Congress 2017, but did not announce any phone with the module, nor mention when we can expect the camera to be found in consumer devices.

Via Liliputing

Categories: Hardware Tags: camera, mwc 2017, oppo, smartphone

Spreadtrum SC9861G-IA is an Octa-core Intel Airmont LTE SoC for Smartphones

February 28th, 2017 3 comments

Do you member Rockchip & Intel partnership about “SoFia” SoC for smartphones? It did not pan out so well, and but Intel has apparently not given up on the idea of partnering with Chinese companies to design and launch Intel based smartphone application processors, as Speadtrum has just announced SC9861G-IA octa-core Intel Airmont processor @ up to 2.0 GHz with an LTE Cat. 7  modem, and manufactured using Intel’s 14nm process technology.

The Airmont architecture is also found in Intel’s own Cherry Trail and Braswell SoCs designed for respectively tablets and mini PCs, so they must have found some further power efficiencies in order to use it in a smartphone, and used some of technology developed for Intel canceled projects. SC9861G-IA withh support 5-mode full-band LTE (TDD-LTE / FDD-LTE / TD-SCDMA / WCDMA / EGG) Cat 7. as well as Carrier Aggregation and TDD/FDD hybrid networking, allowing for peak data transmission rate of 300 Mbps downlink and 100 Mbps uplink.

Other features of the SoC include support for dual cameras up to 26 megapixels with real-time rear/front camera capture/recording, up to 4K2K H.265 video recording, as well as displays up to 2560×1600 resolution. The SoC is also equipped with an Imagination PowerVR GT7200 GPU, an integrated sensor hub, and Intel Virtualization Technology to support a multi-domain security system architecture and provide security..

Spreadtrum SC9861G-IA is scheduled for mass production in Q2 2017, and targets the mid range and premium smartphones.

Samsung Launches Exynos 9 Series 8895 SoC with Custom ARMv8 Cores, Mali-G71 GPU, Gigabit LTE Modem, 10nm FinFET Process

February 23rd, 2017 No comments

Samsung Electronics has just announced the launch of its latest Exynos application processor (AP), with Exynos 9 Series 8895 octa-core processor with four second generation custom designed ARMv8  CPU cores, and four Cortex A53 cores, as well as a Mali-G71 3D GPU, and a Gigabit LTE modem.

The LTE modem delivers data throughput at up to 1Gbps (Cat.16) downlink with 5CA (five carrier aggregation), and 150Mbps (Cat.13) uplink with 2CA. The SoC also embeds an “advanced MFC” (multi-format codec) for recording and playback at up to 4K UHD at 120 fps, a Vision Processing Unit for video tracking, image process, and machine vision technology, and another processing unit allows for mobile payments using iris or fingerprint recognition.

Exynos 8895 is also the first application processor manufactured with 10-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology and improved 3D transistor structure, which according to Samsung, allows for up to 27% higher performance, while consuming 40% less power when compared to 14nm technology.

Samsung Exynos 9 Series 8895 is currently in mass production, and could be found in the next Galaxy S8 smartphone.

Remix Singularity to Bring Remix OS Desktop Optimized Operating System to Android Smartphones

February 22nd, 2017 No comments

Android is great to consume content, but is a real pain to create content, as operation like copy/paste and multi-tasking you take for granted in desktop OS like Ubuntu or Windows are not well supported in Android. But Jide Technology saw an opportunity and many users are familiar with Android on their phones and tablets, and some on Android TV boxes, so they created Remix OS, based on Android, but with desktop optimization such as better multi-tasking, multi-window support, improved mouse and keyboard integration and so on. They started with a tablet, and then also worked on ARM based Android TV boxes and laptops, as well as support for x86 computers. The company has now unveiled Remix Singularity which aims to bring Remix OS to smartphones in a similar manner to Windows Continuum or Ubuntu Convergence.

But beside just mobile and desktop (PC) modes, Remix Singularity will also allow to use your smartphone in TV modes, meaning it will be a smartphone on the go, a computer when connected to a monitor, mouse and keyboard, and a media player while connected to your TV. The company also mentions that you can use Remix Singularity on your smartphone with your laptop, but did not provide much other details so far, apart from a short demo video.

Remix Singularity, aka Remix OS for Mobile will become available this summer, likely for a limited number of popular smartphones.

Linux 4.10 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architectures

February 20th, 2017 3 comments

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 4.10:

So there it is, the final 4.10 release. It’s been quiet since rc8, but we did end up fixing several small issues, so the extra week was all good.

On the whole, 4.10 didn’t end up as small as it initially looked. After the huge release that was 4.9, I expected things to be pretty quiet, but it ended up very much a fairly average release by modern kernel standards. So we have about 13,000 commits (not counting merges – that would be another 1200+ commits if you count those). The work is all over, obviously – the shortlog below is just the changes in the last week, since rc8.

Go out and verify that it’s all good, and I’ll obviously start pulling stuff for 4.11 on Monday. Linus

Linux 4.9 added Greybus staging support, improved security thanks to virtually mapped kernel stacks, and memory protection keys, included various file systems improvements, and many more changes.

Some newsworthy changes for Linux 4.10 include:

  • Virtual GPU support – Intel GVT-g for KVM (KVMGT) is a full GPU virtualization solution with mediated pass-through, starting from 4th generation Intel Core processors with Intel Graphics. Unlike direct pass-through alternatives, the mediated device framework allows KVMGT to offer a complete virtualized GPU with full GPU features to each one of the virtualized guests, with part of performance critical resources directly assigned, while still having performance close to native.
  • New ‘perf c2c’ tool, for cacheline contention analysis – perf c2c (for “cache to cache”) is a new tool designed to analyse and track down performance problems caused by false sharing on NUMA systems. The tool is based on x86’s load latency and precise store facility events provided by Intel CPUs. Visit C2C – False Sharing Detection in Linux Perf for more details about the tool.
  • Improved writeback management – Linux 4.10 release adds a mechanism that throttles back buffered writeback, which makes more difficult for heavy writers to monopolize the I/O requests queue, and thus provides a smoother experience in Linux desktops and shells than what people was used to. The algorithm for when to throttle can monitor the latencies of requests, and shrinks or grows the request queue depth accordingly, which means that it’s auto-tunable, and generally, a user would not have to touch the settings. Read Toward less-annoying background writeback for more details about this improvement.
  • FAILFAST support –  This release also adds “failfast” support. RAID disk with failed IOs are marked as broken quickly, and avoided in the future, which can improve latency.
  • Faster Initial WiFi Connection – Linux 4.10 adds support for using drivers with Fast Initial Link Setup as defined in IEEE 802.11ai. It enables a wireless LAN client to achieve a secure link setup within 100ms. This release covers only the FILS authentication/association functionality from IEEE 802.11ai, i.e., the other changes like scanning optimizations are not included.

Some notable ARM architecture improvements and new features:

  • Allwinner:
    • Allwinner A23 – Audio codec driver
    • Allwinner A31/A31s – Display Driver (first pipeline), audio codec support
    • Allwinner A64 – clock driver
    • Allwinner A80 – External SDIO WiFi
    • Allwinner H3 – Audio codec driver, SPI
    • New boards support: NextThingCo CHIP Pro, Pine A64, NanoPi M1
  • Rockchip:
    • Initial support for Rockchip PX5 & PX3 automotive platforms
    • Added Rockchip RK1108 evaluation board
    • Added support for Rikomagic MK808 Android TV stick based on Rockchip RK3066
    • Update Rockchip PCI driver to support for max-link-speed
    • Rockchip rk3399,rk3066 PLL clock optimizations
  • Amlogic
    • Support for the pre-release “SCPI” firmware protocol shipped by Amlogic in their GXBB SoC
    • Initial support for Amlogic S905D, and S912 (GXM) SoCs
    • Added support for Nexbox A1 and A95X Android TV boxes
    • Cleanup for the Amlogic Meson PWM driver
    • New Amlogic Meson Graphic Controller GXBB (S905)/GXL (S905X/S905D)/GXM (S912) SoCs (meson)
    • Resets for 2nd USB PHY
    • Initial support for the SD/eMMC controller in the Amlogic S905/GX* family of SoCs
    • Updated DTS to enable support for USB, I2C, SPI, maibox/MHU, PWM, ethernet MAC & PHY, secure monitor, IR, and watchdog.
  • Samsung
    • Device Tree for Samsung Exynos5433 mobile phone platform, including an (almost) fully supported phone reference board
    • Added support for TOPEET itop/elite board based on exynos4412
    • DeviceTree  updates:
      • Add Performance Monitor Unit to Exynos7.
      • Add MFC, JPEG and Gscaler to Exynos5433 based TM2 board.
      • Cleanups and fixes for recently added TM2 and TM2E boards.
      • Enable ADC on Odroid boards
      • Remove unused Exynos4415 DTSI
  • Qualcomm
    • Add support for Qualcomm MSM8992 (Snapdragon 808) and MSM8994 (Snapdragon 810) mobile phone SoCs
    • Added support for Huawei Nexus 6P (Angler) and LG Nexus 5X (Bullhead) smartphones
    • Support for Qualcomm MDM9615 LTE baseband
    • Support for WP8548 MangOH Open Hardware platform for IOT, based on Qualcomm MDM9615
    • Other device tree changes:
      • Added SDHC xo clk and 1.8V DDR support
      • Add EBI2 support to MSM8660
      • Add SMSC ethernet support to APQ8060
      • Add support for display, pstore, iommu, and hdmi to APQ8064
      • Add SDHCI node to MSM8974 Hammerhead
      • Add Hexagon SMD/PIL nodes
      • Add DB820c PMIC pins
      • Fixup APQ8016 voltage ranges
      • Add various MSM8996 nodes to support SMD/SMEM/SMP2P
  • Mediatek
    • Added clock for Mediatek MT2701 SoCs
    • New Mediatek drivers: mtk-mdp and mtk-vcodec (VP8/VP9/H.264) for MT8173
    • Updated the Mediatek IOMMU driver to use the new struct device->iommu_fwspec member
  • Other new ARM hardware platforms and SoCs:
    • Hisilicon – Hip07 server platform and D05 board
    • NXP – LS1046A Communication processor, i.MX 6ULL SoC, UDOO Neo board, Boundary Devices Nitrogen6_SOM2 (i.MX6), Engicam i.CoreM6, Grinn i.MX6UL liteSOM/liteBoard,  Toradex Colibri iMX6 module
    • Nvidia – Early support for the Nvidia Tegra Tegra186 SoC, NVIDIA P2771 board, and NVIDIA P3310 processor module
    • Marvell – Globalscale Marvell ESPRESSOBin community board based on Armada 3700, Turris Omnia open source hardware router based on Armada 385
    • Renesas “R-Car Starter Kit Pro” (M3ULCB) low-cost automotive board, Renesas RZ/G (r8a7743 and r8a7745) application processors
    • Oxford semiconductor (now Broadcom) OX820 SoC for NAS devices, Cloud Engines PogoPlug v3 based on OX820
    • Broadcom – Various wireless devices: Netgear R8500 router, Tenda AC9 router, TP-LINK Archer C9 V1, Luxul XAP-1510 Access point
    • STMicro  – stm32f746 Cortex-M7 based microcontroller
    • Texas Instruments – DRA71x automotive processors, AM571x-IDK industrial board based on TI AM5718
    • Altera – Macnica Sodia development platform for Altera socfpga (Cyclone V)
    • Xilinx – MicroZed board based on Xilinx Zynq FPGA platforms

That’s a long list of changes and new boards and devices… Linux 4.10 only brings few MIPS changes however:

  • KVM fixes: fix host kernel crashes when receiving a signal with 64-bit userspace,  flush instruction cache on all vcpus after generating entry code (both for stable)
  • uprobes: Fix uprobes on MIPS, allow for a cache flush after ixol breakpoint creation
  • RTC updates:  Remove obsolete code and probe the jz4740-rtc driver from devicetree for jz4740, qi_lb60
  • microblaze/irqchip: Moved intc driver to irqchip. The Xilinx AXI Interrupt Controller IP block is used by the MIPS based xilfpga platform and a few PowerPC based platforms.
  • crypto: poly1305 – Use unaligned access where required, which speeds up performance on small MIPS routers.
  • MIPS: Wire up new pkey_{mprotect,alloc,free} syscalls

You can also read Linux 4.10 changelog with comments only, generated using git log v4.9..v4.10 --stat, in order to get a full list of changes. Alternatively, you could also read Linux 4.9 changelog on kernelnewbies.org.

Fairphone 2 “Ethical” Smartphone Gets a Ubuntu Port

February 10th, 2017 17 comments

Fairphone aims to “create positive social and environmental impact from the beginning to the end of a phone’s life cycle”by designing easy to repair and long lasting phones that can be recycled and reused, and manufactured in good working conditions using conflicts-free materials. Their latest model is the Fairphone 2  5” Android 5.1 smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, but you can now install Ubuntu on the device as UBports Ubuntu community has released a port for the phone.

Let’s go through Fairphone 2 hardware specifications first:

  • SoC- Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974AB) quad core Krait 400 processor @ up to 2.26 GHz with Adreno 330 GPU
  • System Memory – 2 GB LPDDR3
  • Storage – 32GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot with support for SDHC, SDXC, UHS cards
  • Display – 5″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) LCD TFT IPS touchscreen display with Gorilla Glass 3
  • Cellular Connectivity
    • 2x micro SIM (3FF) Dual-SIM, Dual-Standby (DSDS); Not shared with micro SD slot
    • GSM/GPRS/EDGE Quad-band: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
    • WCDMA Bands 1 (2100 MHz), 2 (1900 MHz), 8 (900 MHz)
    • 3G Max Downlink Speed Cat. 24 – 42.2 Mbps
    • 3G Max Uplink Speed Cat. 6 – 5.76 Mbps (Cat. 7 capable)
    • LTE Bands 3 (1800 MHz), 7 (2600 MHz), 20 (800 MHz)
    • 4G Max Downlink Speed Cat. 4 – 150 Mbps
    • 4G Max Uplink Speed Cat. 4 – 50 Mbps
  • Wireless  Connectivity –  Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi up to 433 Mpbs, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS with A-GPS, Glonass, FM radio
  • Camera – 8MP rear camera with flash, 2MP front-facing camera
  • Audio – Rear facing speaker, 3.5mm headset jack, dual microphones
  • USB – 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Sensors – Ambient Light, Proximity, 3-axis Compass, 3D Accelerometer, 3D Gyroscope
  • Misc – Vibration Motor with Haptics Feedback; Power, Volume & Camera buttons; 3 color LED
  • Expansion – Backside expansion port for external case with USB 2.0 device interface and power input
  • Battery – Removable 2,420 mAh battery
  • Dimensions & Weight – N/A

You’ll also be able to buy spare parts in case you need to repair the phone with the display, camera, battery, core, top and bottom modules sold separately if you need a replacement. Fairphone 2 sells with Android 5.1 exclusively, so if you want to run Ubuntu Touch LTS, you’ll need to install it yourself with Magic Device tool. The installation procedure looks very easy as shown in the video below.

If you are interested you can pre-order a Fairphone 2 for about 524 Euros including 21% VAT.

Via Ubuntu Insights