Microsoft Provides Windows 8 On ARM Technical Details

Steven Sinofsky, President of the Windows Division at Microsoft, has written a long blog post entitled “Building Windows for the ARM processor architecture” where he explains how Windows On ARM (WOA) will be deployed, the steps they took to develop it and what developers can do to program or port existing apps to Windows 8. Here are some keys and interesting points I noted: WOA and Windows 8 for x86/64 PCs will ship at the same time and the user experience should be the same for consumers on both platform. WOA PCs will be powered by Texas Instruments, Nvidia and Qualcomm processors. Microsoft will release an Unified OS Binary for WOA – That means one binary will run on all platforms (be it TI, Nvidia or Qualcomm). That seems impressive, and something Linux is not capable of, although much work is done on that and a unified linux kernel should […]

Vuforia: Qualcomm Augmented Reality Platform

Qualcomm named its Augmented Reality Platform “VuForia” at CES 2012. I was a bit confused reading the press release and thought it was a new product. Actually, it is the augmented reality platform whose Beta SDK has been released in December 2011. Qualcomm explains that “Vuforia’s computer vision functionality will recognize a variety of 2D and 3D visual targets. With support for iOS, Android, and Unity 3D, Vuforia will allow you to write a single native app that can reach over 400 models of smartphones and tablets.” To showcase the AR platform, Qualcomm and Sesame Workshop, the producer behind Sesame Street, have joined forces to explore augmented reality experiences for children and created a prototype playset that brings physical toys to life. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and […]

Qualcomm Releases Augmented Reality SDK 1.5 Beta for Android

Qualcomm has just announced the availability of QCAR SDK version 1.5 Beta 1 for Android. is now available for download. The Key features and improvements in this version of the QCAR SDK include: Video background texture access: The SDK now provides a simple and streamlined way of accessing the video background texture. Developers can now write custom special effects using powerful shaders resulting in far more exciting application experiences. Swapping datasets at runtime: If your app needs to augment more than 60 images, you can now create multiple datasets – using the web-based Target Management System (My Trackables tool)- and load the appropriate dataset at runtime. You no longer have to upgrade your app to change the target dataset, and you can now build AR experiences that work on a large number of images. Improved tracking performance: The new SDK features several enhancements that reduce jitter in the augmentations, speed […]

Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon S4 Liquid Mobile Development Platform Tablet

Following their new Snapdragon S4 processors announcement, Qualcomm also unveiled the Snapdragon S4 Liquid MDP Tablet for developers based on MSM8960 with 2GB LPDDR2 system memory, 32 GB eMMC and 1 MB NOR Flash. This reference design features a 10.1-inch 1366 x 768 (16:9) 10-finger capacitive multitouch display,  on-die LTE modem, dual 1080p cameras (front:13 MP / rear: 2MP) and another two for 3D, 7 (!) microphones, surround stereo speakers and lots of sensors: dual 3D accelerators, 3-axis gyro, a compass, ambient light and proximity sensor, temperature and pressure sensor and a fingerprint sensor. It also supports haptic feedback thanks to two dual independently-controlled linear vibrator motors. Although Android Honeycomb and ICS can do without, the S4 MDP comes with its fair share of (physical) button: combo volume / zoom rocker, power button, screen rotation lock, home button and reset button. External connectors include a docking station port, micro USB […]

Qualcomm Announced 8 New Snapdragon S4 Processors

During an investor conference, Qualcomm announced eight new Snapdragon S4 mobile processors: MSM8660A, MSM8260A, MSM8630, MSM8230, MSM8627, MSM8227, APQ8060A and APQ8030. All are using Qualcomm’s Krait CPU architecture. Here’s an excerpt of the press release: NEW YORK – November 16, 2011 – Qualcomm Incorporated announced today the expansion of its Snapdragon S4 class of next-generation mobile processors… The addition of new Snapdragon S4 processors, which are aimed at lowering design, engineering and inventory costs while bringing leading-edge 3G and 4G Internet connection speeds, will allow OEMs to introduce S4-based devices with next-generation mobile architecture throughout their respective device roadmaps-from basic smartphones to high-end smartphones and tablets. The enhanced S4 processors are also optimized for use with a suite of software solutions available from Qualcomm that help enable OEMs to deliver industry-leading feature sets for multimedia, connectivity, camera, display, security, power management, browsing and natural user interface design. The Krait CPU […]

Qualcomm Fast Computer Vision SDK

Qualcomm introduced FastCV (Fast Computer Vision), a mobile-optimized computer vision (CV) library that includes the most frequently used vision processing functions for use across a wide array of Android mobile devices. FastCV provides computationally intensive vision processing APIs, with hardware acceleration and better performance on mobile devices. FastCV is designed for efficiency on all ARM-based processors, but is also especially tuned to take advantage of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors (Qualcomm S2 and above).  That’s because FastCV for Snapdragon can offload processing onto various subsystems within the processor, whereas FastCV for ARM is limited to acceleration on the CPU. FastCV is the framework at the heart of Qualcomm’s vision-based Augmented Reality (AR) SDK, because AR is much more precise and useful when it’s based on camera input than on location-based estimates. Qualcomm anticipates that FastCV will be used to build additional frameworks that will allow developers of computer vision apps to build […]

Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI) Linux Kernel for Consumer Electronics

The Linux Foundation announced a new project, the Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI), created by the Consumer Electronics Workgroup (CE WG) at Linuxcon Europe 2011 in Prague. LTSI aims at reducing duplication of effort in maintaining separate private industry kernel trees. The LTSI project intends to deliver an annual release of a Linux kernel suitable for supporting the lifespan of consumer electronics products and regular updates of those releases for two to three years. The project is backed by several companies in the consumer electronics industry including Hitachi, LG Electronics, NEC, Panasonic, Qualcomm Atheros, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Toshiba. LTSI will allow device makers to spend less time doing significant back-porting, bug testing and driver development on their own, which carries substantial cost in terms of time-to-market, as well as development and engineering effort to maintain those custom kernels. In some ways, this is similar to Linaro, […]

Qualcomm Snapdragon S4: MSM8960

Qualcomm initially announced the Snapdragon S4 is a blog post back in August. They have now released a white paper providing further information on this processor. The Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (MSM8960) is composed of  two Krait CPUs clocked between 1.2 and 1.5 Ghz, an Adreno 225 GPU and a modem subsystem with LTE, GPS, Wifi, Bluetooth and FM support. It will be manufactured using 28nm technology and provide much lower power consumption compared to previous generations. Key features and improvements: New CPU micro-architecture: The Krait CPU offer a 60% performance improvement compared to the scorpion CPU used in previous generations. SIMD/VFP performance: Multimedia instructions (SIMD) and floating point operations have also been improved, but no metrics have been provided. Optimized memory subsystem: Krait includes dual-channel memory. Dual-channel memory is critical in order for the processor to being able to handle the large bandwidth requirements in multicore systems. 25/40% power improvement: […]

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