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Audio-Technica Introduces Its Truly Wireless ATH-CKS5TW and Its ATH-CK3TW Headphones at IFA 2019

At IFA 2019 Audio-Technica is introducing its ATH-CKS5TW and its ATH-CK3TW truly wireless in-ear headphones, which eliminate all connecting wires for the ultimate in comfort and on-the-go listening convenience. Both models combine Audio-Technica's 57 years of audio engineering expertise with compact, lightweight designs, long-lasting battery life, Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology and outstanding audio quality.

The ATH-CKS5TW and ATH-CK3TW both feature a new Auto Power On/Off feature that automatically turns the headphones on and connects to a paired smartphone, portable digital audio player or other compatible device when they're removed from their case. Both models will also turn off automatically when placed back in their case. Both headphones are charged via an included USB-C connection and the cases feature LED battery status indicators.

Experience the New Era of Mobile Computing with Galaxy Book S

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today introduced Galaxy Book S, a game-changing mobile computing device built for high-performing users who don't want to be weighed down by excessive size and features of traditional laptops. Built for the new achievers - the innovators, the go-getters, those who do things differently to push themselves forward - Galaxy Book S empowers the next generation of mobile moguls.

With Galaxy Book S, Samsung ushers in a new era of mobile computing with a device that harnesses the mobility and connectivity of a smartphone and the powerful productivity of a PC. Developed in collaboration with leading technology companies, Galaxy Book S takes Samsung's position as a mobile leader and unites it with the best-in-class workforce platform powered by Microsoft and industry-leading mobile performance from Qualcomm. This new category device offers Gigabit LTE connectivity, instant-on capabilities and a premium design, powered by Windows 10 and the cutting-edge Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx compute platform. With Galaxy Book S, experience the freedom of a new type of mobile device that lets you work anywhere and everywhere, without tethering you to your desk or couch.

Qualcomm and Lenovo Unveil World's First 5G PC Powered By The Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, announced in conjunction with Lenovo the world's first 5G PC2 today at its Computex Press Conference. Project Limitless encompasses a strong technology collaboration between Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. a leader in 5G connectivity, and Lenovo, the leader in PCs, to bring innovation to the always on, always connected PC ecosystem. Project Limitless is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx 5G compute platform and is the world's first 7nm platform purpose-built for PCs that offers 5G connectivity.

The new platform is running on Windows 10 for ARM. It promises multi-day battery life and 7GBps transfer speeds with a Snapdragon x55 5G modem.
Image Source: Tom's Hardware

AMD Takes a Bigger Revenue Hit than Microsoft from Huawei Ban: Goldman Sachs

The trade ban imposed on Chinese tech giant Huawei by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and ratified through an Executive Order by President Donald Trump, is cutting both ways. Not only are U.S. entities banned from importing products and services from Huawei, but also engaging in trade with them (i.e. selling to them). U.S. tech firms stare at a $11 billion revenue loss by early estimates. Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs compiled a list of companies impacted by the ban, and the extent of their revenue loss. It turns out that AMD isn't a small player, and in fact, stands to lose more revenue in absolute terms than even Microsoft. It earns RMB 268 million (USD $38.79 million) from Huawei, compared to Microsoft's RMB 198 million ($28.66 million). Intel's revenue loss is a little over double that of AMD at RMB 589 million ($84 million), despite its market-share dominance.

That's not all, AMD's exposure is higher than that of Intel, since sales to Huawei make up a greater percentage of AMD's revenues than it does Intel's. AMD exports not just client-segment products such as Ryzen processors and Radeon graphics, but possibly also EPYC enterprise processors for Huawei's server and SMB product businesses. NVIDIA is affected to a far lesser extent than Intel, AMD, and Microsoft. Qualcomm-Broadcom take the biggest hit in absolute revenue terms at RMB 3.5 billion ($508 million), even if their exposure isn't the highest. The duo export SoCs and cellular modems to Huawei, both as bare-metal and licenses. Storage hardware makers aren't far behind, with the likes of Micron, Seagate, and Western Digital taking big hits. Micron exports DRAM and SSDs, while Seagate and WDC export hard drives.

U.S. Tech Industry, Including Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Qualcomm, Ban Huawei

The United States tech industry has overnight dealt a potentially fatal blow to Chinese electronics giant Huawei, by boycotting the company. The companies are establishing compliance with a recent Executive Order passed by President Donald Trump designed to "stop the import, sale, and use of equipment and services by foreign companies based in countries that are potential adversaries to U.S. interests," particularly information technology security. Google has announced that it will no longer allow Huawei to license Android, and will stop updates and Google Play access to Huawei smartphones. Huawei can still equip its phones with open-source Android, but it cannot use Google's proprietary software, including Google Play Store, Chrome, and all the other Google apps. Intel decided to no longer supply processors and other hardware to Huawei, for use in its laptops and server products. Sales of AMD processors will stop, too. Qualcomm-Broadcom have decided to stop supply of mobile SoCs and network PHYs, respectively. Microsoft decided to stop licensing Huawei to use Windows and Office products.

The ban is a consequence of the U.S. Government placing Huawei on a list of banned entities, forcing all U.S. companies to abandon all trade with it, without prior approval from the Department of Commerce. Trade cuts both ways, and not only are U.S. firms banned from buying from Huawei, they're also banned from selling to it. Huawei "buys from" over 30 U.S. companies, (for example, Windows licenses from Microsoft). CNN reports that U.S. firms could lose up to $11 billion in revenues.

Apple to Pay Qualcomm Up To $4.7 Billion in Licensing Fee Arrears

Qualcomm in its quarterly earnings results posted late Wednesday disclosed that it expects Apple to pay it anywhere between USD $4.5 billion to $4.7 billion in licensing fee arrears incurred over the past two years when the two companies were locked in a bitter wireless technology IP licensing dispute. This figure, however, is significantly less than the $7 billion Qualcomm earlier claimed Apple owed. Apple had alleged that Qualcomm unfairly used its market position to inflate costs of cellular modems, and had withheld payments since Q2 2017. Qualcomm's investors are interested in knowing how the two companies arrived at $4.5 billion to $4.7 billion, particularly if Apple scored a discount as part of the settlement.

EnGenius Introduces New ESR530 Smart Mesh Router Powered by Qualcomm

EnGenius Technologies Inc., a multinational networking manufacturer known for its vast range of sophisticated wireless products expands with a new consumer Wi-Fi networking solution with the long-awaited smart router called ESR530. The wireless smart router provides stable Wi-Fi connections in high-demand home Wi-Fi network environments. The ESR530 utilizes Qualcomm's most recent consumer technology and is specially built to easily transfer data through known Wi-Fi signal structural impediments. The ESR530 is built to empower smart homes and comes with a simplified configuration, deployment, remote cloud storage, and recovery capabilities. The latest product by EnGenius is a direct solution for budget-conscious families who want reliable single-network Wi-Fi signal delivered to every part of their home.

beyerdynamic Drives Wireless Innovation with Xelento

beyerdynamic, one of the world's leading manufacturers of headphones, microphones and conferencing products, announces Xelento, a wireless, in-ear headphone combining outstanding quality and cutting technology to create an exciting musical experience. The Xelento wireless features beyerdynamic's innovative, miniaturized Tesla drivers, aptX HD Bluetooth technology and MOSAYC sound personalization by Mimi Defined.

beyerdynamic's Xelento wireless bridges the gap for convenient on-the-go solutions and sophisticated luxury headphones by creating a single solution to combine two worlds. Xelento's drivers and acoustic design provide uncompromising sound with Bluetooth connectivity to enable comfortable listening in any environment. Xelento's breathtaking Tesla drivers are recognized among audio enthusiasts for their incredible sound, precise impulses, exceptional transparency and acoustic balance ranging from tight bass to detailed highs. Featuring a sleek design, the Xelento wireless is both an exquisite piece of jewelry and an audiophile listening device creating a platinum state for in-ear headphones.

Sennheiser introduces MOMENTUM True Wireless

Sennheiser's iconic MOMENTUM range of headphones continues to change the game through its fusion of advanced technology, uncompromised sound performance and the highest quality materials. Now, the audio specialist brings the MOMENTUM ethos to an exceptional new product, the MOMENTUM True Wireless: these exquisitely crafted Bluetooth earphones set new standards for audio quality, with characteristic MOMENTUM style and comfort.

The first model in a new generation of the iconic MOMENTUM family redefines the audio benchmark for true wireless earphones with superior stereo sound performance that is guaranteed by Sennheiser's audiophile 7 mm dynamic drivers. With the latest Bluetooth technology, AAC codec support, and Qualcomm aptX compatibility, this exceptional hi-fi sound is delivered without any compromise. "The MOMENTUM range has always stood for a fusion of excellent sound, progressive technology and craftsmanship. We are pleased to now introduce the newest member of the family, which brings the essence of MOMENTUM to a truly wireless form for the first time", said Frank Foppe, Product Manager at Sennheiser.

A Christmas Gift: Intel Accuses Qualcomm of Stifling Competition

An Intel Newsroom post penned by the company's Steven Rodgers takes a stab at Qualcomm over their patent litigation cases. Titled "Qualcomm's Patent Litigation Campaign isn't Really about Vindicating Intellectual Property Rights", Rodgers cites the number of times Qualcomm has been fined by various authorities around the world, "nearly a billion dollars in China, $850 million in Korea, $1.2 billion by the European Commission and $773 million in Taiwan (later reduced in a settlement) for anti-competitive practices." Citing consequences such as reduced innovation and raised prices for consumers, Intel calls out Qualcomm in that its goal isn't to "vindicate its intellectual property rights, but rather to drive competition out of the market for premium modem chips, and to defend a business model that ultimately harms consumers."

Now, the collective hardware enthusiast memory isn't one to be trifled with, so I will leave it to you to figure out exactly where the irony is in these accusations. Of course, bad history on a company's part doesn't preclude any responsibility from any other company that is currently employing anti-competitive tactics that do, ultimately, stifle innovation and increase prices for consumers. As some Portuguese humorists would say, "one thing is one thing, another thing is another thing". But I'd say, jibbing my way through this, that it takes one to know one.

TSMC's 7nm Production Likely to Be Underutilized in 2019 as Smartphone Chip Demand Weakens

DigiTimes, citing a Chinese-language Commercial Times report, cites TSMC's 7 nm foundry capacity as likely being underutilized in 2019. After TSMC announced it expected cutting-edge 7 nm designs to correspond to around 20% of the company's revenues in 2019, the company will likely have to review those projections, as lower demand from smartphone chip manufacturers will likely leave TSMC with less actual output than that which it can churn out.

Due to a cutback in orders placed by Apple, HiSilicon and Qualcomm, concerns regarding TSMC's ability to be the sole 7 nm chip fabrication tech for the industry can likely be laid to rest. That the smartphone market is reaching saturation is a well-known quantity - it's becoming harder and harder to cram new technologies that justify the yearly smartphone upgrade that most companies vie for - and one of the reasons for the launch of various brand-specific smartphone subscription services. The difference isn't scandalous - TSMC will still be making use of 80-90% of its total 7nm process capacity during the first half of 2019, the report quoted industry sources as saying.

VIA Partners with Lucid to Develop Industry-Leading VIA Edge AI 3D Developer Kit

VIA Technologies, Inc today announces that it is partnering with AI vision startup Lucid, to deliver AI-based depth sensing capabilities to more dual- and multi-camera devices in the security, retail, robotics and autonomous vehicle space. With Lucid's proprietary 3D Fusion Technology embedded into the VIA Edge AI 3D Developer Kit, security and retail cameras, robots, drones, and autonomous vehicles will now be able to easily capture accurate depth and 3D with dual- or multi-camera setups while reducing the costs, power, and space consumption of previous hardware depth solutions. As VIA builds out its long-term Edge AI solutions roadmap, Lucid is adding camera- and machine-learning based depth capabilities on top of every platform.

The AI-enhanced 3D/depth solution developed by Lucid, known as 3D Fusion Technology, is currently deployed in many devices such as 3D cameras, security cameras, robots, and mobile phones, including the RED Hydrogen One which is launching in November without any additional emission or laser-based hardware components. In the VIA Edge AI 3D Developer Kit, the AI depth solution runs on the Qualcomm APQ8096SG embedded processor, which features the Qualcomm AI Engine along with support for multiple cameras to help Lucid provide superior performance compared to other hardware depth solutions and deliver an industry-leading and unique pure machine learning-based software solution.

TSMC to Tape Out 100 7 nm Chip Designs by 2019

TSMC has become the de facto leader when it comes to manufacturing technology. The company is on the forefront of new process technologies, and provides solutions for some of the biggest players in the industry, like Apple, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and AMD, just to name a few. This process leadership means that TSMC is being courted by numerous fabless silicon designers so as to produce their silicon chips with the latest process technologies - part of the reason why TSMC has seen increasing revenues and profits forecasts.

By the end of 2018, TSMC will have taped out 50 7 nm designs, and plans to double that number in 2019. And these design wins don't stand solely on the shoulders of TSMC's first 7 nm technology (which should account for 20% of the company's revenue by 2019); the company will also tape-out chips built upon their 7 nm + EUV process, which will begin production in 2019.

Qualcomm Dramatically Extends Wi-Fi Experiences to the 5G Era with 60GHz 802.11ay

(Editor's Note: This new wireless technology and particular frequency of operation make it especially interesting for VR scenarios, since the high data throughput within an enclosed space seems to be one of the ideal applications for this technology.)

Qualcomm Technologies today announced a family of 60GHz Wi-Fi chipsets, the QCA64x8 and QCA64x1, delivering 10+ gigabit-per-second (Gbps) network speeds and wire-equivalent latency, while setting the industry low-power benchmark for extended device battery life. As a new connectivity era dawns, reliance on high-bandwidth mmWave spectrum will increase, bringing powerful new wireless experiences like ultra-high-definition video streaming, Virtual/Augmented Reality (VR/AR), mobile screen casting and fixed wireless mesh backhaul.

Synology Showcases New Mesh Router and Enterprise Data Backup Solution

Synology Inc., a leading maker of network-attached storage, video surveillance and networking products, unveiled the company's latest hardware and software innovations at their annual event Synology 2019 in New York. Synology debuted its first mesh Wi-Fi router, MR2200ac, along with the updated Synology Router Manager (SRM) 1.2. Another focus of the event was Synology's new enterprise-level data protection solution, Active Backup for Business.

Synology's first mesh router, MR2200ac, comes with a Qualcomm IPQ4019 quad-core CPU, tri-band Wi-Fi, and the latest version of its operating system SRM 1.2, which includes more granular configurations, such as user profile creation, detailed traffic management, advanced web filters, and whitelisting features aimed at providing tools for users to further understand, monitor and protect their network. The MR2200ac can work alone as a single router or be added to a RT2600ac or additional MR2200ac units to extend Wi-Fi coverage.

Razer Announces the Sila Gaming Grade Wi-Fi Router

Razer , the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced the Razer Sila, a high-performance WiFi router designed for home users requiring WiFi service optimized for high-performance gaming, streaming and downloading multimedia content. With the upsurge in mobile gaming, and with many homes unable to run a wired network to every room, fast and reliable WiFi is more important than ever. The Razer Sila router is designed to deliver lag-free gaming and smooth, interruption-free streaming over a fast wireless network, meeting the needs of today's mobile, console and laptop users.

The Razer Sila features a suite of technologies designed to give gamers the fastest, most reliable WiFi connection within their home or office with Razer FasTrack, Multi-Channel ZeroWait DFS and Mesh capability with a dedicated backhaul. Setup and management through a mobile app makes Sila installation and use simple and quick. The Razer FasTrack software featured in the Razer Sila is a proprietary QoS engine for smart traffic management. By using deep packet inspection and adaptive learning technology, Razer FasTrack allows users to prioritize traffic based on application and device types, from mobile phones and smart TVs through to laptops, PCs or consoles. With built-in detection for PlayStation, Xbox and Switch consoles, users can easily fine tune their networks for the smoothest gaming or streaming experiences. Razer FasTrack also features a one-touch gaming mode, to automatically reserve bandwidth for online gaming.

VIA Launches ALTA DS 3 Edge AI System Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820E

VIA Technologies, Inc., today announced the launch of the VIA ALTA DS 3 Edge AI system. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820E Embedded Platform, the system enables the rapid development and deployment of intelligent signage, kiosk, and access control devices that require real-time image and video capture, processing, and display capabilities.

The VIA ALTA DS 3 harnesses the cutting-edge compute, graphics, and AI processing capabilities of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820E Embedded Platform to facilitate the creation of vibrant new user experiences by allowing customers to combine their own AI applications with immersive multimedia signage display content in a compact, low-power system.

Qualcomm and New H3C Ship 802.11ax Enterprise Access Point

Today, at Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and Tsinghua Unigroup Subsidiary New H3C (New H3C), announced the availability of the H3C WA6628, an 802.11ax enterprise grade Access Point (AP), based on Qualcomm Technologies' IPQ8078 802.11ax chipset. This new solution is designed to offer one of the fastest throughput rates for an enterprise AP, by supporting 12 stream channels that serve data to up to 1000 client devices simultaneously. The WA6628 is targeted to begin shipping to customers in September 2018.

Qualcomm Technologies' IPQ8078 chipset is based on a powerful networking platform that supports up to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) wide-area networks and up to 6 Gbps peak physical (PHY) layer rates on Wi-Fi. The WA6628 makes full use of IPQ8078 capabilities, with a 10G Ethernet port and built-in Bluetooth. WA6628 can improve wireless network transmission rates by at least three times more than the mainstream 11ac Wave 2 AP.

TSMC is Ramping Up 7nm Production, 5nm Next Year

At their technology symposium in Taipei, TSMC CEO CC Wei has made remarks, dismissing speculation that their 7 nanometer yield rate was not as good as expected. Rather the company is ramping up production capacity for 7 nm quickly, up 9% from 10.5 million wafers in 2017, to 12 million wafers in 2018. They plan to tape out more than 50 chip designs in 2018, with the majority of the tape outs for AI, GPU and crypto applications, followed by 5G and application processors.

Most of their orders for the 7 nanometer node come from big players like AMD, Bitmain, NVIDIA and Qualcomm. Apple's A12 processor for upcoming iPhones is also a major driver for TSMC's 7 nanometer growth. These orders will be fulfilled in early 2019, so it'll be a bit longer before we have 7 nm processors for the masses.

Next-gen 5 nanometer production will kick off next year, followed by mass production in late 2019 or early 2020. The company will invest as much as USD 25 billion in their new production facilities for this process node.

ASUS Announces the ROG Phone: Changing the Game for Mobile

Since its inception in 2006, the Republic of Gamers has pursued a mandate to push boundaries to deliver a better gaming experience. We started with motherboards, spread to virtually every DIY desktop component, and have been building hardcore gaming laptops for more than a decade.

The smartphones in that early era barely qualified as such, but they started a revolution that transformed the computing landscape. We watched closely as these digital sidearms became increasingly capable gaming machines and all-around computers, and we saw how developers harnessed their growing power to take mobile gameplay and graphics to the next level. We also gained insight from esports professionals, regular players, and game developers on how mobile gaming devices could be improved.

Qualcomm Reveals Snapdragon XR1 Platform for AR and VR

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, debuted the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 Platform, the world's first dedicated Extended Reality (XR) platform during a launch event leading up to the Augmented World Expo (AWE). XR1 is a next-generation platform offering mainstream users high-quality XR experiences while enabling OEMs to develop mainstream devices. The XR1 platform also has special optimizations for Augmented Reality (AR) experiences with Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities offering better interactivity, power consumption and thermal efficiency. Qualcomm Technologies also announced that Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) Meta, VIVE, Vuzix and Picoare already developing on the first dedicated XR1 platform.

"As technology evolves and consumer demand grows, we envision XR devices playing a wider variety of roles in consumers' and workers' daily lives," said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, Mobile Business Unit, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "By integrating powerful visuals, high-fidelity audio, and rich interactive experiences, XR1 will help create a new era of high-quality, mainstream XR devices for consumers."

VIA Launches VIA Edge AI Developer Kit

VIA Technologies, Inc., today announced the launch of the VIA Edge AI Developer Kit, a highly-integrated package powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820E Embedded Platform that simplifies the design, testing, and deployment of intelligent Edge AI systems and devices.

The kit combines the VIA SOM-9X20 SOM Module and SOMDB2 Carrier Board with a 13MP camera module that is optimized for intelligent real-time video capture, processing, and edge analysis. Edge AI application development is enabled by an Android 8.0 BSP, which includes support for the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE) and full acceleration of the Qualcomm Hexagon DSP, Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU, or Qualcomm Kryo CPU to power AI applications. A Linux BSP based on Yocto 2.0.3 is set to be released in June this year.

Broadcom Gives Up on Acquiring Qualcomm

After being blocked via an executive order by President Trump, Broadcom has given up on their quest to acquire Qualcomm. The chipmaker will also be withdrawing the slate of independent director candidates that they were planning to nominate at Qualcomm's 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Although highly disappointed with the outcome, Broadcom respects President Trump's decision. The company also wants to thank the stockholders for their unconditional support during the entire process. With this whole Qualcomm takeover business out of the way, Broadcom will concentrate on their redomiciliation process.

President Trump Blocks Broadcom-Qualcomm Deal Through an Executive Order

US President Donald Trump blocked the potentially-$117 billion Broadcom-Qualcomm merger through an executive order. The White House considered damning observations by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which had been studying potential national security implications of this merger. "There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that Broadcom Ltd. [by acquiring Qualcomm] might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States," wrote President Trump in the order.

Broadcom expressed shock and disbelief over the order. The company, in a statement, said that it "strongly disagrees that its proposed acquisition of Qualcomm raises any national security concerns." Qualcomm, meanwhile, battened down the hatches for any press comments. The American chipmaker had been wrestling an increasingly Broadcom-slanted board that was all but ready to sell the company to Broadcom at an undervalued price. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, the Trump administration has shot down ten similar deals since it came to power, in which foreign companies - overwhelmingly Chinese in national origin - had attempted buy out American high-technology firms. Californian Intel is still in the foray to swallow Broadcom, as CFIUS doesn't concern itself with American companies buying out foreign firms.

Intel Considers Buying Out Broadcom

In a sequence of events perfectly illustrated by the stock image below, Intel is reportedly mulling the acquisition of Broadcom, which is still making efforts to acquire Qualcomm; the Wall Street Journal reported late last week. Shares of Intel fell 1 percent on this report. A successful acquisition of Qualcomm by Broadcom would result in a seemingly-American silicon supergiant that could pose a threat to Intel's position in the industry, observes CNBC. Both Intel and Broadcom spokespersons refuse to comment the WSJ report, terming it as "deal chatter."

Broadcom recently swayed Qualcomm board its way ahead of a crucial vote for the acquisition, prompting a CFIUS investigation, by American regulators, which has the legal power to halt the acquisition if national security implications emerge. Taking advantage of this, and its relatively stable outlook despite the recent CPU vulnerability mess, Intel is looking to mop up a seemingly foreign Broadcom. Other industry giants such as Microsoft and Google have expressed extreme concern with the developments in this deal, particularly with Apple's "sway" over it.
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