Samsung tops Apple for both buying chips and malware

Subject: General Tech | January 23, 2013 - 10:17 AM |
Tagged: Samsung, apple, andriod, Malware, fud

The good news for Samsung last year is that it bought $23.9bn worth of semiconductor orders in 2012, while Apple ordered a mere $21.4bn which implies that Samsung is buying more chips than Apple, or perhaps is just getting a worse deal.  If the information from Gartner that The Inquirer picked up on is correct, Samsung accounted for 8% of the total semiconductor market in 2012, a very impressive feat.  That is more than Dell and HP's market share combined which supports the theory that the falling sales we saw in PCs was not reflected at all in the smartphone and tablet markets. 

Unfortunately that success comes at a price as Samsung's OS of choice, Android, is expected to see more than one million malware threats by the end of 2013.  According to Trend Micro there were about 350,000 malware threats over 2012 with only one in five Android devices actually having any sort of security software installed.  Perhaps it is time to start thinking more about protecting your phone, especially if you have banking apps or the so called "pay by bonk" enabled on your phone.

Sick_Android.jpg

"Apple, thanks in large part to its hugely popular iPhone and iPad products, was the largest consumer of semiconductor chips, that is, until 2012. Gartner claims that Samsung has overtaken Apple to become the largest semiconductor user with eight percent of all chips sold going to the firm."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

CES 2013: Samsung Teases Eight Core Exynos Octa SoC

Subject: Mobile | January 10, 2013 - 03:29 AM |
Tagged: SoC, Samsung, exynos octa, exynos, ces 2013, CES, big.little, arm

Samsung talked up a new ARM SoC during CES that will become the new high-end part of its Exynos 5 lineup. The Samsung Exynos 5 Octa is, as the name suggests, an eight core processor. It is built on a 28nm manufacturing process and employs ARM's big.LITTLE architecture.

Samsung Exynos Octa.jpg

While Samsung is not ready to share all the detailed under-the-hood details, the Exynos 5 Octa has four Cortex A15 cores clocked at 1.8GHz paired with four Cortex A7 cores clocked at 1.2GHz. With big.LITTLE, the SoC has both high performance, high powr cores and lower power cores. The configuration is invisible to the end user, and the chip will use the Cortex A15 cores when in 3D applications or other CPU load intensive applications. Then, while the phone is idle or simply running background applications (notifications, checking email, updating twitter and facebook feeds, ect), the SoC will power down the Cortex A15 cores and use the lower power-drawing A7 cores. Ideally, this will give users a "best of both worlds" situation and a balance of performance and battery life.

Samsung claims that the Exynos 5 Octa offers up to twice the 3D performance of other existing current-generation SoCs. However, we do not yet have details on the GPU improvements (if any) over Samsung's other Exynos 5 chips much less benchmark-able products running this chip yet so it is difficult to say whether that statement is true or not. Also, Samsung claims as much as a 70% improvement in power savings over its dual core Exynos 5 processor, which is certainly a bold claim.

According to Engadget, Samsung plans to reveal all the nitty-gritty details on the eight-core Exynos 5 Octa SoC at the International Solid State Circuits Conference on February 19, 2013. It should give NVIDIA's "4+1" core Tegra 4 a run for its money, at lest on the CPU front (and maybe 3D graphics as well, but it's hard to say at this point).

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PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

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CES 2013 Day 2: Samsung

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2013 - 06:48 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, ces 2013, CES

 

I attended the Samsung press conference today, where several new products were announced. Among these was the 2013 line of Smart TV's:

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The 2013 series is just a minor cosmetic redesign with a thinner (1/4") bezel. The real difference was in the SmartTV functionality, which has a facelift and now runs on a quad core processor. Samsung also announced the first round of the Evolution Kit - an upgrade module that brings the quad core and new UI to the 2012 SmartTV series. The evolution kit is pricey at nearly $500, but that's still way cheaper than buying a whole new set.

Samsung showed some new Series 7 Laptops, with displays upgraded to HD resolution and 10-point multitouch capability. They also showed a new compact camera series boasting interchangeable lenses, one of which Samsung claims can shoot 3D through a single f/1.8 unit:

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They also annunced some appliances, the one catching everyone's ear being a refridgerator called the T9000 (no, I'm not kidding).

The coolest visual was the showing of an 85" 4k OLED TV. Pictures simply do not do this set any justice, but here is one for posterity:

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More to follow as we continue to lap Vegas...

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

 

CES 2013: "Pro-Grade" Monitors, Even One with Touch

Subject: General Tech, Displays | January 5, 2013 - 05:48 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, ces 2013, CES

The storm is coming. The PC Perspective crew are settling their shelter. Press releases are slowly drizzling from the clouds -- at least given the nature of enterprise web hosting these days.

Samsung released a droplet to promote their upcoming premium touch-screen monitors. Why must you choose between a professional-grade display and a touchscreen? Well, you did not need to, but now you have even more options.

Three panels are being showcased with this press release:

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The Samsung Series7 Touch-Sensitive SC770 Monitor allows for up to ten touch-targets to be tracked at the same time. This ensures that a professional who desires to massage their accounting reports can use all ten fingers to firmly work out those deep-tissue trigger points. Also, and much more seriously, software from vendors such as Autodesk and Corel are beginning to take advantage of touch support. Maybe it will be possible to combine touch with stylus input from a graphics tablet to simulate many of the features of the Cintiq 24HD Touch?

The monitor itself is a very thin-bezel 24” FullHD design. Samsung also claims 5000:1 contrast ratio, 5-fold deeper than the 1000:1 ratio of standard displays. You might be used to seeing contrast ratios in the million-to-one realm however that is just a backlight dimming game where apparently this is a true static contrast ratio. It is expected to be available in Q1.

Samsung_-SC7501.jpg

The Samsung Series7 SC750 Monitor keeps the 5000:1 contrast ratio and gains three inches making it a 27” display. It is not touch enabled. It is just 1080p. This display is touted for its thin stand and pivot support to spin into portrait mode.

Samsung lauds the screen as delivering ultra-sharp images due to its high contrast ratio but I just feel wrong about a 27” 1080p computer display. Nothing about that seems ultra-sharp to me. Still if you are interested -- particularly in how it looks -- it will also be available in Q1.

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The last announcement has already been out for quite some time. Samsung will be showing off their S27B970 27” 1440p PLS display which is a much better resolution for a 27” display. No sense speculating when I can just point you to its CNET review.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Samsung

Apple looking to TSMC to replace Samsung as their fab

Subject: General Tech | January 2, 2013 - 10:31 AM |
Tagged: apple, Samsung, TSMC, A6X

According to the news we are hearing from Slashdot and other sources, Apple has finally made the decision to move their chip fabrication from Samsung, for fairly obvious reasons, with TSMC being the lucky fab that will get their business.  They are starting with the current A6X chip, shrinking it to 28nm for the initial run, with the contract for producing the new A7 series dependant on the success of TSMC's trial run.  As the 28nm node is quite familiar to TSMC, barring any production issues that limit availability, they are very likely to win the contract.

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"The test will kick off in Q1 2013, The China Times reports, with TSMC producing a new, 28nm version of the existing 32nm A6X that Samsung has been producing for the full-sized iPad 4th-gen; the smaller chip, which will likely be more power efficient as well, will debut in a new iPad 5th-gen and iPad mini 2."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot

Podcast #231 - Intel NUC, AMD 8000M GPUs, Building a Hackintosh and more!

Subject: General Tech | December 20, 2012 - 12:16 PM |
Tagged: video, virtu, VIA, tegra 4, Samsung, radeon, podcast, nvidia, nvelo, nuc, lucid, Intel, hackintosh, gigabyte, Dataplex, arm, amd, 8000m

PC Perspective Podcast #231 - 12/20/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the Intel NUC, AMD 8000M GPUs, Building a Hackintosh and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Chris Barbere

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:13:41

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. 0:01:50 We are going to try Planetside 2 after the podcast!
  2. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:02:50 Intel Next Unit of Computing NUC
    2. 0:17:55 Corsair AX860i Digital ATX Power Supply
    3. 0:19:00 HP Z1 Workstation All in One
    4. 0:25:00 Building a Hackintosh Computer - A Guide
  3. 0:32:35 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  4. News items of interest:
    1. 0:33:30 Cutting the Cord Complete!
    2. 0:36:10 VIA ARM-based SoCs in upcoming ASUS tablet
    3. 0:42:00 Lucid MVP 2.0 will be sold direct
    4. 0:44:50 Samsung acquires NVELO SSD Caching Software
    5. 0:49:00 AMD announces mobility 8000M series of GPUs
    6. 0:54:15 Some NVIDIA Tegra 4 Details
    7. 0:58:55 NEC Unveils Super Thin Ultrabook
    8. 1:00:30 Win a Sapphire HD 7870 GHz Edition FleX!!
  5. Closing:
    1. 1:02:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Panasonic GH2 Micro 4/3 Camera
      2. Josh: Preparation is key!
      3. Allyn: Cheap RAM
      4. Chris: Had solar panels installed this week
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!

Samsung Acquires NVELO and SSD Caching Software Dataplex

Subject: Storage | December 16, 2012 - 06:59 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Samsung, Nvelo Dataplex, nvelo

Thanks to those of you that sent this in to us as it will likely be very big news to discuss during the upcoming CES in January.  Samsung Electronics announced it has acquired NVELO, a California based SSD technology company most popularly known for Dataplex, software used for storage caching.

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Many of the most popular caching SSDs from companies like OCZ, Corsair, Crucial and Mushkin are currently licensing the Dataplex software to bundle with select lines of drives to enable SSD caching technology without using Intel's Smart Response Technology.  We tested the Dataplex software on the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid back in December of last year and we found no issue with it compared to Intel's tech.

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Simple Dataplex installation process

As of this writing though Samsung does not have a caching system of its own or a line of drives using anyone else's technology.  Samsung in general prefers to have a completely vertical product line in which it can control as many aspects as possible: NAND, design, sales, etc.  It would appear that they have decided that simply buying up the privately held NVELO would be the simplest and surest way to make a splash.

"The acquisition of NVELO will enable us to extend our ability to provide SSD related storage solutions to customers. We are pleased with this transaction as the employees of NVELO share our vision to take SSD storage into the next-generation of performance and reliability," said Young-Hyun Jun, executive vice president of Flash product & technology, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics.

What we don't know of course is how this will affect the competing SSD vendors like OCZ and Corsair.  It seems unlikely that Samsung will kill the deal for currently selling SSDs but I wouldn't expect NVELO to be able to offer the software for license in the future.  Current sellers will need to be on the lookout for another software solution after the new year. 

On the other hand I am very interested to see what Samsung can do with NVELO's technology and what integration methods they'll devise for future products. 

Samsung's off kilter 27" LED LCD

Subject: Displays | November 29, 2012 - 10:56 AM |
Tagged: T27B750, Samsung, led lcd, 27, 1080p

The look of the Samsung T27B750 is certainly unique, though the size and shape of the footprint may turn out to be inconvenient for some desks.  On the other hand it does more than you would expect from your monitor, it has integrated WiFi, internet apps, a built-in browser as well as speakers and it even comes with a remote control.  The connectivity is a little questionable as well, there are HDMI, DisplayPort and DSub but it lacks a DVI input which seems odd, though it can be worked around.  It is too bad that the display is only 1080p and Tweaknews would have preferred that it be a 120Hz display to support 3D, however it does make a decent jack of all trades.

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"With the line between monitors and fully functional TVs becoming blurred with every model release and the ever expanding size of mainstream monitors for home consumers, your average household is rapidly turning to an all in one solution to save space and increase the overall value of their single purchase."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

Source: Tweaknews

A $250 Dual Core Cortex A15 powered Chromebook from Samsung

Subject: Mobile | November 23, 2012 - 11:59 AM |
Tagged: ubuntu, Chromebook, cortex a15, Samsung, linux, exynos 5

At $250 this Samsung Chromebook costs less than most tablets or phones but can outperform previous A9 powered models and the Atom D525 as well.  The processor is Samsung's Exynos 5, a dual core A15 chip running at 1.7GHz with ARM's Mali-T604 graphics  and is accompanied by 2GB of DDR3 and a 16GB SSD.  It can be loaded with Ubuntu 13.04 and offers a compelling and inexpensive alternative to Sleekbooks and Ultrabooks as it weighs 2.5lbs and is 11.4" x 8.09" x 0.69" and promises over 6 hours of battery life.  Check out how it performs at Phoronix.

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"Google recently launched the Samsung Chromebook that for $249 USD features an 11-inch display, a 16GB SSD, a promise of 6.5-hour battery life, and is backed by a Samsung Exynos 5 SoC. The Samsung Exynos 5 packs a 1.7GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor with ARM Mali-T604 graphics. With using this new ARM Cortex-A15 chip plus the Samsung Chromebook not being locked down so it can be loaded up with a Linux distribution like Ubuntu or openSUSE, it was a must-buy for carrying out some interesting Cortex-A15 Linux benchmarks. The Exynos 5 Dual in this affordable laptop packs an impressive performance punch."

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

Mobile

Source: Phoronix

Samsung's new 21nm Toggle TLC Flash based Series 840 SSDs

Subject: Storage | November 20, 2012 - 12:48 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, 840, tlc

As part of their review of the Samsung 840 250GB SSD, The Tech Report covers the specifics of the TLC flash memory which is used in the 840 series as opposed to the MLC we saw in the 830 series.   As well they show off some of the capabilities of the control software, which Samsung has dubbed the SSD Magician utility.  Of course from there the benchmarking begins which showed performance continually below the similarly priced 830 series which hurts the new SSDs on the price to performance chart.  Overall they are hard pressed to recommend the drive over the previous models, not only because of the performance but also the shortened lifespan of TLC flash.  As that flash technology matures we may see those concerns fade, as Allyn pointed out in his review.

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"Samsung's 840 Series SSD combines a next-gen fabrication process with an extra bit per cell to lower the cost per gigabyte. We take a closer look at the implications and see how the drive stacks up against the competition."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage