Android C/C++ development with Android Native SDK

HyperDevBox is a Japanese based software development company, developing games for Android. They are presenting their new Android game called “Spectral Souls”, the first tactical RPG game for Android. The interesting part is that this Android gamewas not developped with Java, but only using C/C++ programming with Android Native SDK (NDK) (Currently revision 5). Using the NDK means you’ll have to adapt your software to several hardware platform contrary to java development. They now only support Qualcomm and PowerVR GPU for now, and they are working on supporting NVidia Tegra platform and other upcoming GPU. The advantage of native code is a potential performance improvement and code re-use if you have already applications developed in C/C++, the inconvenience is that more work is need to support different hardware. Currently the NDK is only available for ARM platforms (ARMv5TE  andARMv7-A), future releases will support x86 instructions. The video below is an interview with Carlo Perconti, the founder of HyperDevBox explaining how …

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Freescale Wireless Charging Systems

Freescale showcased two wireless charging systems at Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelena. The first product – Energizer’ InductiveCharger – is  based on Freescale MC56F8006VLC and follows the Qi 1.0 Wireless Charging Standard. You simply need to use a specific casing (with a wireless power receiver) for your mobile device that integrates the necessary hardware to “communicate” with the power pad. The second product – PowerMat – is based on Freescale MC9S08Q2 andMC9S08K4 to provide intelligent control in the charging mat and phone receiver. It does not follow the Qi standard but works basically the same way. Both systems are available on the market and can be purchased on Amazon and other retailers. You’ll normally need to buy two pieces, the mat and the casing for your phone (for around 75 to 100 USD). Powermat also have one position mat together with the receiver for 37 USD. Watch the video below for a demo of those two wireless charging systems. …

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MHL: Mobile High Definition Link

Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) is a new standard that allows to connect your MHL-enabled phone to an MHL-enabled device (e.g. a TV) to output video, connect power and allows communication between both device with only one cable (micro-usb to HDMI cable with MHL signalling). The MHL Consortium has just been setup last year by Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, Silicon Image and Nokia. The MHL™ Consortium is committed to enhancing the multimedia capabilities of mobile and portable devices. MHL specification version 1.0 is an HD video and digital audio interface for connecting mobile phones and portable devices to HDTVs and other home entertainment products. It utilizes established connectors and features a single cable with a 5-pin interface, supports 1080p HD video and digital audio, and simultaneously provides power to the mobile device. It also enables the TV remote to control the mobile phone and access its contents. They have a few devices that will be MHL compatible soon, but the only …

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Linaro Development Board “Snowball” by ST Ericsson

ST Ericsson unveiled a development board based on Nova A9500 (dual ARM Cortex A9 processor and MALI 400 GPU) at MWC 2011 called Snowball (or SKY-S9500-ULP-CXX) for the embedded Linux community and professional developers. This board was designed by CALAO Systems and can be pre-ordered on their website for 200 USD (SKY-S9500-ULP-C11 / Software Development Kit – SDK) or 300 USD (SKY-S9500-ULP-C01 / Production development Kit – PDK). The difference between the SDK and PDK is that the former has no expansion connectors, no battery backup for RTC and only support serial over USB port (for Linux console). First, some pictures with description of the snowball development board. The full documentations for Snowball development board can be found in Calao Systems File Repository, where you’ll get the bottom and top assembly diagrams for both C01 and C11, the major components datasheet, documentation and some photos. The specifications of the boards: – ARM Dual Cortex A9 @ 1GHz, – 1x Serial Port …

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NVidia Processors Roadmap: 75 times the performance of Tegra 2 within 3 years

I have to say I was already impressed with Texas Instruments OMAP 5 announcement and even more so with Qualcomm Quad Core Snapdragon APQ8064, but NVidia new quad core processor and their processor  roadmap really blew my mind. NVidia Kal-El Quad Core Processor NVidia was already 1 year ahead compared to other companies with the Tegra 2, the first dual core mobile processor, so the others are playing catch up.  Whereas competitors quad core will be available later this year or early 2012, the new NVidia Quad Core processor codenamed Kal-El (Tegra 3?)  is already sampling and is being demo’ed at MWC 2011 in Barcelona. One the video below you’ll see a web browser benchmark (NVbench) making use of all four cores. Kal-El also have a new Geforce GPU with 12 cores, giving 5 times greater performance than Tegra 2. NVidia also provided benchmark results (Coremark 1.0) showing that Kal-El was faster than an Intel Core2 Duo T7200. NVidia Tegra …

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Another Monster Processor: Qualcomm Quad Core Snapdragon APQ8064

Qualcomm SnapDragon APQ8064 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5 GHz, will make NVidia Tegra 2 look like your (grand-) father processor and even make Texas Instrument OMAP 5 processor look slow. This new processor will available in earlier 2012 and will probably make it to devices by end 2012, beginning 2013. Here’s a press release excerpt: Barcelona, Spain – February 14, 2011 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced its quad-core Snapdragon™ chipset designed to meet the requirements of next generation tablets and computing devices. The new quad-core APQ8064™ is the flagship chipset in the new family of Snapdragon chipsets and is based on the new micro-architecture code named “Krait.” With the purpose of being built for mobile devices, this 28nm micro-architecture will redefine performance, achieving speeds of up to 2.5GHz per core and minimizing power consumption and heat generation to enable new, thin and light form factors. The Snapdragon APQ8064 chip will be designed to enable the next generation of …

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Samsung at MWC 2011: Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy S 2

Samsung will showcase two highly expected products at Mobile World Congress 2011, in Barcelona: The Galaxy S II smartphone with a 4.3″ Super AMOLED Plus display and dual-core processor and the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 (aka Galaxy Tab 2) with a 10.1″ display (1280×800) running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). Samsung GALAXY S II Product Specifications are as follows: Network GSM 850/900/1800/1900 HSPA+ 21 850/900/1900/2100 OS Android 2.3 Gingerbread Display 4.27” WVGA (480×800) Super AMOLED Plus Processor ( BB& AP ) 1 GHz Dual Core Application Processor Camera Main(Rear): 8.0-Mega Pixel Camera AF with LED Flash Front: 2.0-Mega Pixel Camera Single Shot, Beauty Shot, , Panorama Shot, Smile Shot, Action Shot, Cartoon Shot Video Codec : MPEG4/ H.264/ H.263/ DivX VC-1 Playback : FULL HD(1080p)@30fps Recording : FULL HD(1080p)@30fps Audio MP3, AAC, AAC+, eACC+ 3.5mm Ear Jack & Speaker, Stereo FM Radio with RDS, Voice Recorder Hub Social Hub – Integrated Contacts, Integrated Calendar, Unified Inbox – Premium: SNS push notification, Push …

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