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January 17 2011

Next iPhone and iPad Will Have a Dual-Core Graphics Chip [RUMOR]

The next generation of the iPhone and iPad will sport a new version of Apple’s A4 chip with a dual-core graphics processing unit that should enable even higher resolutions on these devices, as well as support for HD (1080p) video playback, AppleInsider reports citing sources familiar with the matter.

More precisely, the chip in question should be a dual-core SGX543 GPU from Imagination Technologies. The rumor goes hand in hand with another rumor that claims the iPad 2 will have a much higher resolution screen than its predecessor, although the jury is still out on the exact number of pixels it’ll have.

The SGX543 graphics chip will most probably be paired up with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, which should make the iPad 2 a very powerful machine, more than capable of playing HD video.

As far as the iPhone 5 goes, the most recent rumor has it that it will also sport a multi-core CPU, and that it will be completely redesigned compared to iPhone 4.

[via AppleInsider]

More About: apple, Chip, chipset, dual-core, graphics, ipad, iphone, smartphone, Tablet

January 06 2011

Intel Shows Tiny PCs With Surprising Graphics Power [PICS]

We just visited the Intel booth at CES and saw some laptops and tablets that are packing a serious punch.

Stroll around the booth with us as we take a close look at the array of laptops and tablets Intel is showing off, as the company touts the benefits of its latest processors inside. Some are running Windows, and others run Android. Don’t be fooled by the diminutive size of these devices; many are small enough to fit into a coat pocket.

Stay tuned, because we have video on the way. Meanwhile, here’s a gallery with the coolest examples Intel had on display, complete with descriptions of each:

Intel at CES 2010: Booth Coolness

The Intel booth is bathed in constantly changing light, with LEDs everywhere. Intel always goes all-out on its booth, and we especially like the hovering cubes above, lit by constantly changing colors.

Intel at CES 2010: Booth Coolness

The Physically Smart Experience is running on Intel's second-generation Core processors. Check back later for video of this spectacular graphic display.

Intel at CES 2010: Booth Coolness

This Gemtek tablet has a front-facing camera for video conferencing. It's designed to be a multimedia phone in the home, to be used with VoIP phones over Wi-Fi.

Intel at CES 2010: Booth Coolness

This Razer laptop has a sharp-looking OLED keyboard that changes according to the context of your work. It's small enough to fit in a coat pocket.

Intel at CES 2010: Booth Coolness

Razer laptop with an OLED keyboard

Intel at CES 2010: Booth Coolness

Razer laptop with an OLED keyboard

Intel at CES 2010: Booth Coolness

This Avaya PC is running Android. It's meant to be stationary, interacting with a digital phone.

Intel at CES 2010: Booth Coolness

Here's the side of that Avaya Android slab. It's all VoIP, there's no standard phone jack.

Intel at CES 2010: Booth Coolness

Viliv is a 3G tablet running Windows 7 Home Premium, with an Oak Trail chipset. It can output 1080p video. It ships sometime during the second quarter of this year, and pricing should be somewhere between $500 and $600, or $200 to $300 with a contract.

Intel at CES 2010: Booth Coolness

The back of the Viliv tablet

Intel at CES 2010: Booth Coolness

Fujitsu Cider Oak Trail-based tablet outputs 1080p on its 10.1-inch 1280x800 screen. There's an SD card slot and a fingerprint reader on the back.

Intel at CES 2010: Booth Coolness

Fujitsu Cider tablet

More About: 1080p, ces2011, graphics, intel, Oak Trail, OLED keyboard, tablets

For more Tech coverage:

September 15 2010

Unreal Engine Games Coming to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Epic Games announced at the Korea Games Conference that the developer kit for its popular Unreal graphics engine will soon “generate iOS applications.” In other words, one of the most popular and advanced 3D engines used by console and PC video games will soon be used to produce graphically impressive iPhone, iPod touch and iPad games.

Epic demonstrated a tech demo game running the Unreal engine called Epic Citadel [iTunes link] at Apple’s event unveiling the new iPod touch earlier this month, then made the demo available as a free download from the App Store. The demo has since been downloaded one million times, so the unprecedented graphics must have impressed iPhone and iPod-wielding gamer geeks.

Apple has been trying to make the iPod touch and the iPhone the biggest and best portable gaming devices, and depending on how you measure success, the company might have done just that. Casual games and remastered classics have performed well on the platform, and Apple just launched an Xbox Live-like social gaming platform called Game Center.

Epic Games revealed its iOS developer kit plans because it recognizes the potential of the smartphone gaming market. It also revealed that it is running the engine on the Android platform, but it didn’t say when or if that platform would be publicly supported in the developer kit.

Do Unreal and iOS Match?

First introduced with the 1998 PC game Unreal, the Unreal engine has since been used for dozens and dozens of popular games on virtually every major platform, from Xbox to Wii to PlayStation 3. Hit games that have used the Unreal engine include Gears of War, BioShock, Mass Effect, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3, Red Steel, Mirror’s Edge, Deus Ex, Borderlands and several Harry Potter franchise games.

The iPhone is better known for casual games such as Diner Dash, Plants vs Zombies and Angry Birds. Those games are cheaper to develop and arguably have broader appeal than the hardcore, gamer-culture titles the Unreal engine is best known for. While a few graphics-intensive, “hardcore” games like NOVA and Madden NFL 11 have been successful on the platform, it remains to be seen whether there is a large market for console-style games that take large teams and money coffers to develop.

Epic Games hasn’t announced the licensing costs or other practical details behind Unreal engine development for iOS, but it did reveal in vague terms what kind of effort it took to produce Epic Citadel; a “small team” created the technology, while “the demo content was almost entirely the work of Principal Artist Shane Caudle, who created the Citadel in just eight weeks.” Caudle received some on-the-side help from the QA department and other team members as needed.

There haven’t been enough big success stories to date to prove that $5 games are a reliable bet for high-end 3D game development, but if Epic is able to make the tools easy to use for small teams and keep the licensing and development costs very low, we could see some very technically impressive games on Apple’s mobile devices in the near future.

Reviews: Android, App Store, harry potter, iPhone

More About: 3D, engine, epic, epic games, graphics, iOS, ipad, iphone, iPod Touch, korea games conference, udk, ue3, unreal, unreal developer kit, unreal engine, unreal engine 3, video games

For more Tech coverage:

September 03 2010

NVIDIA Updates Mobile Lineup with GeForce 400M Series GPUs

Today, NVIDIA announced the GeForce 400M Series, a major addition to its lineup of mobile graphics processing units (GPUs).

The 400M series features seven new processors, including the GTX 470M and GTX 460M monsters aimed at “enthusiast users,” as well as the GT 445M, GT 435M, GT 425M, GT 420M and GT 415M, intended for real-world use.

If you’re questioning why NVIDIA is releasing five GT GPUs, you’re not alone. While there will likely be a noticeable difference between GT and GTX models, the variations between any two of the GT processors are likely to be minimal.

Like all things currently graphics-related (or so it seems), the 400M will support stereoscopic 3D video. Those of you with a 3D TV will be pleased to know that the 400M GPUs include NVIDIA 3DTV Play software, which enables 3D content playback on compatible TVs.

More important, though, is the inclusion of NVIDIA Optimus, a technology that switches the GPU off in order to conserve battery power when its not processing graphics-heavy materials. This allows for flexibility in notebook longevity, while not degrading performance.

The GeForce 400M GPUs will be available in upcoming notebooks from Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung and Toshiba.

More About: 3D, Acer, Asus, dell, GeForce, GPU, graphics, Hardware, lenovo, mobile computing, NVIDIA, samsung, Toshiba

For more Tech coverage:

September 02 2010

10 of the Web’s Most Insightful News Infographics

New Infographic

A picture is worth a thousand words. But if you include an entire database, make it interactive, and add filtering options, the word-to-picture exchange rate is even better.

Infographics at their best are more than just pictures — they can provide new understandings, succinct summaries, or just plain old fun.

In that respect, reading newspaper archives isn’t the only way to get a deeper understanding of current events. Infographics can help us get a better grasp on what’s going on.

Check out these 10 visualizations to learn more about the news with a quick look.

1. Google’s Appetite for Acquisition

Last month alone, Google acquired social-search service Angstro, visual shopping search engine like.com, and social currency company Jambool. Google has been on an acquisition binge for some time, and it’s getting tricky to keep track of its appetite.

This graphic shows a timeline of Google’s activity in three categories: “Building Revenue Streams,” “Cutting Competition,” or “A Little of Both.”

2. Gay Marriage Chronology

The campaign for gay marriage has passed a multitude of milestones over the last decade. Unfortunately for those trying to keep track of them, the victories and setbacks vary drastically by state. Decisions are reversed and in some cases overturned by higher courts, which makes progress hard to track.

This map from the LA Times shows the status of gay marriage in each state by month. Click on a state for its most recent ruling or watch the country change from being legally similar in its treatment of same-sex couples in 2000 to sharply divided in 2010.

3. IED Attacks from Wikileaks’ Afghanistan War Logs

The frequency and fatality of IEDs (homemade bombs) in Afghanistan was highlighted when WikiLeaks published more than 90,000 secret documents about the Afghan war. Anti-war activists published this illustrative video that includes all of the incidents reported in these leaked documents.

4. Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

On April 20, an explosion on a BP drilling rig started what has become the largest accidental oil spill in history. Despite numerous strategies that were deployed to plug the leak, it wasn’t capped until July 15.

This video graphic by New Orleans online newspaper NOLA wraps timeline, graphic, and cumulative damage data into one easy-to-digest piece of media.

5. CIA World Factbook Dashboard

The CIA World Factbook has always been a great resource for putting news stories into the context of their geographic location. But now it’s also easy to get the information at a glance.

The World Factbook Dashboard allows you to color code the countries of the world by population, population growth, infant mortality, agricultural GDP, industry GDP, services GDP, total GDP, GDP/inhabitant, or inflation. Clicking on a country zooms in for more information.

6. Geography of a Recession

This map from The New York Times illustrates not only which areas suffered the highest unemployment rate after the recession, but also offers the option to filter data by metropolitan areas, areas with housing bubbles, rural areas, and manufacturing centers.

7. Afghanistan and Pakistan Regional Violence Map

The Wall Street Journal updates this map constantly with violent conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. If you want to learn about the day-to-day details of the war or understand its scope, there’s no better visual resource.

8. What Does the Health Care Bill Mean to Me?

Even if you read through every health care bill article, it could be hard to exactly pick out what the law would change about your insurance coverage and taxes. The Washington Post made it easy by providing this nifty tool. Input whether you have insurance coverage, your family size, your income, and your marital status, and it will tell you how health care reform will impact your life.

For the broader picture on healthcare reform, see this subway-style map from GOOD Magazine.

9. Obama’s $787 Billion Economic Stimulus Plan

The government is still busy spending much of the $787 billion it allotted for the economic stimulus in February of last year. This infographic effectively illustrates how that huge chunk of change is being distributed.

10. American Casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Beyond

This chilling interactive graphic from USA Today simply illustrates the deaths in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Information seekers can search deaths by personal factors like name, age, gender, race, or home town as well as by military service details, date, cause, or place.

CNN has a more elaborate version here.

More Graphics Resources from Mashable:

- 5 Fab Twitter Follower Visualization Tools
- 10 Beautiful Social Media Infographics
- 5 Amazing Infographics for the Health Conscious
- 10 Essential Free E-Books for Web Designers
- 12 Beginner Tutorials for Getting Started With Photoshop

More About: afghanistan, bp, current events, gay rights, graphics, healthcare reform, infographics, iraq, News, oil-spill, stimulus, visualizations, wikileaks

For more Tech coverage:

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