Upping the ante on tenable celluar signals

Subject: General Tech | November 8, 2012 - 01:20 PM |
Tagged: antenna, 4g, LTE, 3g, GSM

The duties of a mobile phone have changed drastically over the past decade, starting as a simple voice communications tool and evolving into today's video phones, movie players and occasionally productivity tools.  There is one thing inside every cell phone which has not changed at the same pace but is vital to the functionality of the phone, the antenna.  As the expectations of fast transfer speeds rise with the advent of new communication standards like LTE, phone manufacturers are faced with two growing problems.  The first is the diminishing tolerances allowed on the antennas, while less than perfect tuning was acceptable for GSM you cannot let the tuning slip with higher bandwidth standards.  The second is the growing electronic background noise which is omnipresent and growing each year, causing degradation of your cellular signal. The solution might be RF-MEMS ( Radio Frequency Micro-ElectroMechanical Systems) antennas with software controllable tuning which could ease the difficulties of providing tighter tolerances and boosting signals.  The Inquirer covers two companies working on this technology here.

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"Smartphones nowadays come with big screens, megapixel-packed cameras and, thanks to apps, many, many more features than anyone could have dreamed of in the early days of mobile telephony. It has even reached the stage where making telephone calls is just one small part of a modern phone. And yet the need to support all the radio technologies punters expect to be able to use, for voice and for data, ensures that wireless communications is still the hardest part of a phone’s design to get right."

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Source: The Register

With the growing cellular bandwidth, maybe your phone can join a botnet too?

Subject: General Tech | August 24, 2012 - 12:50 PM |
Tagged: symantec, 4g, cell phone, fud

While this could be a bid to convince people that they need to purchase an anti-virus product for their phones, it is also possible that the increase in bandwidth expected from the roll out of 4G in North America could lead to increased attacks on phones.  If Windows 7.5 and 8 become popular, it is reasonable to assume that phones running those OSes will be vulnerable to the same types of attacks that would infect their desktop equivalents. Now that phones often sport four cores, sometimes with a companion, they actually have enough processing power that they might worth infecting especially with the added bandwidth that would be available to them.  Take a peek at The Inquirer and see if you think this is a valid concern or just an attempt to sell Norton Cellular Protector.

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"THE ROLLOUT OF 4G later this year could give way for more high-risk mobile security implications, Symantec has warned.

Speaking to The INQUIRER in an exclusive interview today, the firm's security strategist, Sian John said that threats such as botnets seen in popular desktop operating systems such as Windows could start shifting to mobile devices due 4G's new capabilities."

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Source: The Inquirer
Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Samsung

Introduction, Design and Ergonomics

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Droid. When the brand launched, this was a name that stood for something. While the iPhone enthralled consumers with a friendly, easy, but ostensibly restrictive experience, Droid retaliated with the motto “Droid Does.” It was all about superior functionality, and in that regard it was a success. Today we’ll be looking at the Droid Charge, a phone coming by way of Samsung. 

The Droid Charge is the second 4G LTE phone to hit Verizon’s network, making it an obvious competitor to the HTC Thunderbolt (along with the recently released LG Revolution). Like the Thunderbolt, the Charge is a member of a breed of single-core flagship phone that is already in the process of becoming extinct. Let’s have a look at what else powers Samsung’s Droid. 

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Many buyers are too quick to dismiss phones based of hardware specs, however – the single core tells us little about the Charge’s performance as a phone. As the first Droid to come from Samsung’s stable, this is actually quite an interesting device. Will the brand remain meaningful on a device from this manufacturer? Or is it being diluted?

Keep reading our review of the Samsung Droid Charge for all the info!!

Sprint Shows Off Its First 4G Dual Core Tegra 2 Super Phone

Subject: Mobile | June 9, 2011 - 06:43 PM |
Tagged: Tegra 2, super phone, Sprint, Photon, nvidia, arm, 4g

If desktop processors are advancing at the speed of sound, then mobile processors are advancing at somewhere near the speed of light. Just a year ago, a 600MHz Ti processor was very fast; however, in the age of dual core 1GHz+ processors that seems to be rather slow by comparison. Speaking of the speed of photons, Sprint has recently unveiled a new Motorola smart phone called the Photon 4G that is packed with lots of hardware and powered by Android 2.3.

What makes the Photon 4G special; however, is that it is the first NVIDIA Tegra powered "super phone" on Sprint's 4G cellular network. The 2.6 inch x 5 inch device has a depth of .5 inches and weighs in at 5.6 ounces. This rather hefty chassis holds a large 4.3" "qHD" display with a resolution of 540x960.  Further, the phone has two cameras with the rear camera being capable of capturing 720p HD video and the front facing camera sporting a VGA (480x640) resolution.  An HDMI output port, a microSD card slot supporting up to 32GB cards, and a metal kick stand also have a place on the device.

Internally, the phone features a 1GHz dual core Tegra 2 processor, 16GB of on-board storage, and 1GB of RAM.  A 3G/4G radio supporting International GSM frequencies as well as a Bluetooth and Wifi 802.11 b/g/n radio are also present.  This hardware is in turn backed by a 1700 mAh Lithium Ion battery.

According to the NVIDIA blog, the device is made further desirable due to it's ability to play "multi-platform, console-class Android OS games with the kind of experience you expect from a game console."  The Photon 4G also supports Bluetooth controller input, enabling it to act as a sort of portable gaming console by hooking it up to a large display via HDMI and playing games using a Bluetooth controller.  NVIDIA demonstrated playing Riptide GP on the phone using a Wii controller.  It will likely support the dual shock controller down the road as well.

NVIDIA shows off the Wii controlled super phone's gaming abilities

Sprint claims a nine to ten hour talk-time for the phone, depending on the network the phone is using (3G/4G); therefore, it will be interesting to see if this phone will have the battery life in real world tests to be a good portable gaming machine.  It may even steal some market share from the Playstation Vita if Android can keep new games flowing.  What do you think about the Photon 4G?

Source: Sprint