Introduction, Specs, Design and Ergonomics
Samsung's Galaxy S II smartphone debuted in the U.S. with Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile in September and we finally got our hands on a review sample. The Samsung smartphone runs on Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" operating system and includes an 8 MP camera with LED flash and 1080p video, front facing 2 MP camera, and Samsung’s custom TouchWiz user interface.
T-Mobile and Sprint’s version sports a 4.52-inch display, but AT&T’s version has a 4.3-inch screen that matches the original international version of the Galaxy S II. We are reviewing T-Mobile's Galaxy S II with 16GB of internal memory (there are two options for 16 and 32 GB). The Sprint and AT&T versions are outfitted with a dual-core 1.2 GHz Orion processor, but the T-Mobile version we are reviewing today sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU.
Subject: General Tech | October 7, 2011 - 12:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Android, ice cream sandwich, Samsung, nexus prime
It looks like the release of the full specs of Samsung's Nexus Prime yesterday was nothing more than a tease as today we find out that the release of the phone and Google's new Ice Cream Sandwich will be delayed. Not only do we not know the new schedule for release, we also do not know the reason for the delay. The Inquirer mentions the possibility that the release of the phone would be overshadowed by the iPhone 4S and iOS 5, though it could also be simply because of the leaks about the phone that have occurred recently. Whatever the true reason, you won't able to snack on a sandwich anytime soon.
"KOREAN HARDWARE GIANT Samsung has confirmed it has pushed back its product announcement that was due to take place next week.
It was extremely likely that the company was going to announce, along with Google, the Nexus Prime smartphone at the Cellular Telephone Industries Association conference in San Diego next Tuesday. The phone will be the first to run Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), but the announcement now has no date or venue."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- TSMC, UMC post revenue drops in September 2011 @ DigiTimes
- Microsoft will patch critical IE and .NET bugs next week @ The Inquirer
- Future Firefox to slurp updates silently @ The Register
- Real World Labs And OCZ Technology Joint Contest
Subject: Memory | October 7, 2011 - 08:52 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: memory, hybrid memory cube, HMC, micron, Intel, Samsung, ram, DDR, DRAM
Micron Technology and Samsung Electronics, in cooperation with Intel, Altera Corporation, Open Silicon, and Xilinx among others have formed the “Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium” to develop and encourage adoption of a new storage interface specification. This new storage technology is based on Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) technology, which is comprised of PCB, a thin logic layer, and stacks of DRAM chips. These memory chips are stacked vertically on top of one another and connected via TSV.
A mock up of a HMC (Source: CNET)
According to Tech Connect Magazine, Micron’s Vice President for DRAM Marketing is quoted in stating “HMC brings a new level of capability to memory that provides exponential performance and efficiency gains.” Hybrid Memory Cube technology is claimed to be capable of using 70% less power than current DDR3 memory modules (DIMMs) while being up to 15 times faster.
Reinforcing Micron’s position is Intel’s CTO Justin Rattner who talked very highly of the technology and it’s massive bandwidth and I/O improvements versus traditional DDR style memory designs. The Hybrid Memory Cube is capable of sustained transfer rates of 1 terabit per second, and is “the most energy efficient DRAM ever built” by a bits transferred per amount of energy consumed.
Both Intel and Micron have expressed that the HMC technology will be a boon for data centers and high performance computing that demands low power and high bandwidth memory storage. Assuming the numbers pan out, the Hybrid Memory Cube will be quite a leap in memory efficiency and will further accelerate adoption rates of so called “cloud” applications as well as more efficient high performance servers used in scientific research endeavors. All in all, the idea of the Hybrid Memory Cube is cool stuff, and it will be interesting to see if the actual memory will live up to its grandeur name.
Subject: Mobile | September 6, 2011 - 04:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Samsung, Series 9, ultraportable
If you are in the market for an ultraportable Intel notebook, instead of waiting to see what becomes of the Ultrabook you could consider the Samsung Series 9. A 13" notebook powered by a Core i5-2537M with 8GB of DDR3-1333 and a 256GB Samsung SSD pretty much matches anything that is on the market. At $1300 it is a bit expensive but for a 12.9" x 8.9" x 0.64" notebook with that much power you have to expect a steep entry fee. The Tech Report were impressed overall with some negative points from the keyboard's quality and the battery life which was not as long as they had hoped, you can't expect much more than four hours from the notebook.
"This 13" notebook has much in common with Apple's MacBook Air—an almost impossibly slim chassis, a very light weight, a low-voltage Sandy Bridge processor, and solid-state storage. Did Samsung hit a home run with this laptop, and is it worth the money?"
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Dell XPS 15z: Sincerely Flattering @ AnandTech
- MSI GE620 Gaming Laptop @ KitGuru
- Samsung Series 9 NP900X3A Notebook Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Lenovo IdeaPad Z370 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Asus U36JC Laptop Review @ Tech-Reviews
- MSI CX640 Back to School Laptop @ Madshrimps
- Mobile CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Mobile GPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Casemate Brushed Aluminium Barely There Case for iPhone 4 Review @ Tech-Reviews
- Motorola Atrix Smartphone Review @ t-break
- First Look: LG Optimus 3D – 3D Recording & Conversion @ t-break
- Running ARM Linux Benchmarks On The HP TouchPad @ Phoronix
- Sony Tablet S and Tablet P hands-on review @ The Inquirer
- Velocity Micro Cruz T301 7-inch Android Tablet Review @ ThinkComputers
Samsung recently released engineering samples of new 32GB DDR3 memory modules for evaluation. Specifically, the new modules are registered dual inline memory modules (RDIMMs) that use a “three dimensional through silicon via (TSV) package technology” that provide higher performance and density.
The new DIMMs are made from Samsung’s four gigabit 30 nanometer class NAND, and is capable of delivering 1,333 Mb/s. Further, they consume 4.5 watts of power per hour, which Samsung claims is among the lowest power consuming enterprise DIMMs. Compared to LRDIMMs (load reduced modules), the Samsung modules offer 30 percent energy savings.
The company claims that these power savings are the direct result of the through silicon via technology that allows them to vertically stack the NAND and maintain power levels comparable to single stacked chips. Further, the company stated that they are working with CPU and controller engineers to hasten the adoption rate of higher capacity DIMMs. No word yet on pricing or whether these DIMMs will ever see full production and enterprise usage in their current form.
Samsung today announced a new lineup of consumer solid state drives (SSD) with the SATA 3 (6Gb/s) interface called the SSD 830 Series. We reported last week on this series of SSD's OEM variant, the PM830 Series, and this week is the unveiling of the consumer versions.
The new 830 SSD series builds on its Samsung 470 predecessors while upgrading the controller interface to SATA 3 (6Gb/s), providing twice the amount of available bandwidth. Further, the consumer drives differentiate themselves from the PM830 OEM versions in three distinct manners, including capacity sizes, exterior design, and bundled components.
On the aesthetic front, the 830 drives have a dark brushed aluminum body with a silver colored Samsung logo and orange corner accent, while the OEM PM830 drives are more simple in design with a dark casing and information sticker.
Further proving that the drives are meant for consumer usage, Samsung provides a full upgrade bundle that (in addition to the SSD itself) includes a copy of Norton Ghost to image an old drive onto the new SSD, a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter bracket, all the necessary cables, and detailed instructions on how to use the drive. A notebook oriented upgrade bundle will also be available that includes the SSD itself, manuals, Norton Ghost software, and a USB to SATA adapter to image the old drive onto the new SSD before switching the new drive into the laptop.
The full upgrade kit for desktops.
The new 830 SSD lineup will come in consumer friendly capacities of 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB (for comparison, the OEM PM830 versions only come in capacities greater than 128GB).
Unfortunately, Samsung has not yet announced pricing or detailed specifications on the new drives, instead opting to withhold that information until the official product launch in October 2011. If the OEM versions are any indication on the speed front; however, the consumer versions are looking at MLC NAND capable of respectable 500MB/s read and 350MB/s write speeds.
Update 8/25/2011: We recently came across a few more tidbits of information on the Samsung 830 consumer SSDs. Specifically, the drives will be powered by a triple ARM9 based controller that is similar to their previous generations. The NAND flash that the drives will use is 20nm class rated, which is marketing speak for any NAND manufacturing node that is between 20nm and 29nm. In Samsungs case, they are likely utilizing 25nm MLC NAND for their 830 series drives. Finally, the company will be releasing their own "software toolbox" to keep the SSDs healthy by performing secure erase, monitoring, and user adjustible over-provisioning. Over-provisioning is a process that reserves a specificied amount of NAND cells so that the SSD controller can replace bad and/or worn out cells and keep performance and capacity at stable levels.
End of Update.
Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more information on the new drives as we get closer to the official launch date.
Image credit: Samsung
Samsung recently announced volume production of a new lineup of SSDs using the fast SATA 3 (6Gb/s) interface and will be available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities. The new SSDs are called the PM830 series, and Samsung expects the drives to replace their SATA 2 (3Gb/s) drives by year-end.
Wanhoon Hong, executive vice president, memory sales & marketing, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics stated that Samsung's new SSDs "will raise the performance bar to the next level for ultra-slim notebooks and tablets." In addition, he believes that the new high capacity drives will spur competition in that segment and increase market interest in SSDs with greater-than 256GB capacities.
The new PM830 drives use Samsung's 20nm class (their term for a process node somewhere between 20 and 29), 32 Gigabit MLC NAND flash with a toggle DDR interface in addition to a proprietary controller. Samsung claims that the controller and flash are able to take advantage of the SATA 6Gb/s interface by delivering 500MB/s sequential read speeds and 350MB/s sequential write speeds. Further, the drive uses AES 256-bit encryption to secure private and corporate data.
The new SATA 6Gb/s solid state drives are targeted at OEMs for use in notebooks and tablets. They are currently only available to OEMs; however, a consumer variant of the drive is forthcoming and will be announced at a later date.
Introduction, Design and Ergonomics
Courtesy of Samsung
Samsung's first product to make a splash into the Android tablet market was the original 7" Tab, and while its performance numbers were on par with other similar tablets produced in 2010, it left many consumers wanting more multimedia, gaming, and productivity features like what was available with Apple's iPad and iPad2. Many vendors, including Samsung, were dealing the same issues and challenges associated with the lack of tablet support in Android-based games and applications because Android's SDK only comes in one flavor for general mobile devices, not tablets with larger displays.
Courtesy of Samsung
After hearing feedback from consumers and hardware reviewers, Samsung completely redesigned the Tab 10.1 to accommodate users eager for enhanced video and gaming capabilities that take advantage of modern technologies like Android's latest Honeycomb OS and NVIDIA's Tegra 2 processor that support higher resolution displays beyond 1024x768 (the Tab 10.1's display runs at 1280x800). They also gave the Tab 10.1 a slimmer profile that is comparable to the iPad2. The Tab 10.1 can be purchased for around $499 for the 16GB version and $599 for the 32GB version, which is also on par with its Apple counterparts. We are reviewing the 16GB version to check out all the new features in Honeycomb and see what surprises Samsung included with the Tab 10.1 that justify the $500 price tag.
Subject: Displays | July 26, 2011 - 02:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: wireless, tn lcd, samsung C27A750, Samsung, 27
The Samsung C27A750 27” Central Station Wireless Monitor is a 27" 1080p TN LCD monitor which is intended to solve your wiring problems. It sports HDMI and D-sub for video, along with a wireless USB 2.0 dongle but there are also a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, a 3.5mm jack for speakers and a network port. Essentially it mimics a multifunctional dock while also being a 27" monitor which can be connected wirelessly to a PC. As positive as this multi-functional base sounds, Hardware Canucks were disappointed with its physical stability as the base is the same size as the 24" model. Their testing revealed good points and bad points about the display and dock, perhaps the biggest being that you should not even consider gaming over the wireless connection. As well, a 27" display at 1080p is not optimal but for use as a secondary display with a laptop, netbook or even smart phone the dock and wireless capabilities are impressive.
"During this year's CES, Samsung debuted their Central Station technology which promised to combine an all in one connectivity and networking hub into a high performance monitor. This centralized approach will surely appeal to notebook, tablet and netbook users since it can expand screen real estate while eliminating the need to attach unwanted wires to an otherwise quick setup. One of the first products to feature Central Station technology is the C27A750 27” monitor."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- Benq BL2400 24" Monitor Review @ t-break
- AMD Six Screen Eyefinity Review @ eTeknix
- Warpia StreamHD SWP120A Wireless HDMI @MissingRemote
- LG Cinema 3D TV 42LW5700 Review @ t-break
Subject: General Tech | July 15, 2011 - 12:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: arm, Samsung, 20nm
Good news for those into shrinkage, as Samsung has rolled out a proof of concept 20nm chip based on the ARM Cortex SoC. The process used includes High-k metal gates in addition to silicon on insulator, neither of which are new technology to CPU enthusiasts, however the process size is. That lends credence to the rumour that Apple might be considering switching to an ARM architecture since they already use Samsung as a major provider and this would allow them to continue that relationship. Then again GLOBALFOUNDRIES is looking at a partnership with ARM as well, so don't count them out. This should also give doubters of Intel's scheduled process shrinkage some reassurance; if Samsung is already doing it then it is hard to doubt Intel's abililty to do so. SemiAccurate has the scoop here.
"Samsung Foundry, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (SEO:005930) is currently testing its entire 20nm process flow and has just taped out a complete test processor that is based on an ARM Cortex-M0 processor that has been combined with ARM Artisan prototype libraries (both 12-track high performance and 9-track high density versions), custom memories, GPIO, and test structures."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Dell's Kace control freak ARMed for SMBs @ The Register
- Microsoft Social Media Site Accidentally Revealed @ Slashdot
- Speed matters: how Ethernet went from 3Mbps to 100Gbps... and beyond @ Ars Technica
- Details on AMD Bulldozer: Opterons to Feature Configurable TDP @ AnandTech
- The science of fanboyism @ The Tech Report
- Just another day in the office - Part #2 @ eTeknix
- Google to release Android 3.2 soon @ DigiTimes
- Maxeler says Intel's Knights Ferry simplicity might not suit HPC @ The Inquirer
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