Tag: 2d

Intel announces Bay Trail tablet CPU, part two

[Part one is here]

Kirk Skaugen, senior VP General Manager PC Client Group at Intel took over in the second half of Wednesday’s IDF Keynote presentation. He began talking about the “2 in 1” computing platform. That raises the question: Have Ultrabooks slipped off Intel’s road map just when HP is announcing its HP ZBook 14 Ultra Workstation?

Kirk Skaugen


Perhaps they are simply not selling in the volume predicted at a couple past IDFs when Ultrabooks were announced? Skaugen put it this way: “Now we’ve stopped counting [OEM designs], and assumed that the entire world has gone thin”. He added that more than 40 percent of all Core notebooks have been designed with touch. Seventy percent of today’s Ultrabooks are touch-enabled, on the way to 100 percent touch later this year.

Skaugen said by this year’s holidays, the 2-in-1 form factor will be selling in the $999 down to $349 price range. He said that by the year’s end, there will be 60 2-in-1 devices in that future marketplace. Examples he showed were the Sony Duo 13-inch slider, the Dell XP 11, the Sony detachable – which only weighs 780 grams and handles both wired and wireless, and the Dell XP 12, which is a flip screen. An application from CyberLink will be provided on Haswell machines by the end of the year to energise content creation.

Skaugen handed over to Tami Reeler, Microsoft VP who discussed the Windows 8.1 released to developers. There was the usual sales story about how wonderful Windows 8 is.

In August, Windows 8 had the highest demand and sales, which was probably prompted by the back to school movement. She discussed Windows XP and its end of support in April 2014. She also claimed that “three quarters of the corporate users have moved to a modern Windows from Windows XP” – but she didn’t specify whether they were using Windows 7 or Windows 8.x.

Tami Reeler talks Windows 8 with Kirk Skaugen

Intel says that it has the business community handled with fourth generation core CPUs, SST Pro 1500 SSD, location-based security in the enterprise, and its new Pro-WiDI plus password free VPN connections – which got a round of applause from the audience.

Mario Müller, VP of IT Infrastructure at BMW, was next to join Kirk Skaugen on stage. There was some banter about a new BMW for everybody in the audience. Müller said that 55,000 of its 120,000 employees will be getting core i5 computers, but none of the audience will be receiving a BMW, unfortunately.

Mario Müller and Kirk Skaugen discussing new BMW i8 Plug-In Hybrid Sports Car 

Skaugen returned to topic saying that Bay Trail has 140 design wins and it runs all operating systems faster – Android, iOS, Chrome, and Linux. He talked about the Cinnabar benchmark using the fourth generation Broadwell 14 nm CPU. The chips will include AVX 3.2, DDR4 and PCI Express 4.0 support among their improved feature set.

Bay Trail SoCs are aimed at tablets and convertibles with screen sizes priced at $599 or below and will ship in tablets running Windows 8 and Android, ranging down to below $100 in price. When Chinese tablet OEMs start selling $100 price point 7-inch tablets with Bay Trail inside, then Intel will have to be taken very seriously by the ARM and MIPS partners.

Sony Duo slider as a tablet 

The discussions turned towards 3D. By Q2 2014, Intel predicts there will be collaboration over a 3D camera specification that will be implemented into Ultrabooks. We were told that Intel has had high numbers of downloads for its 3D SDK. It has the $100,000,000 Experience  and the Perceptual Computing Fund to work with.

Skaugen showed a 2D/3D camera that fits into the bezel of an Ultrabook. He gave an example of 3D functionality with a video showing children playing with an Ultrabook which had a 3D camera installed. Their expressions were of surprised joy.

3D developers should be glad to know that Project Anarchy is a free 3D game production engine and is ready to be downloaded and used.

Gonzague de Vallois, VP Sales and Marketing for Gameloft, showed off the company’s latest Android 3D auto racing game, referred to as Asphalt 8: Airborne, which takes advantage of Bay Trail and 3D graphics. At $4.99 it’s pretty affordable.

Gameloft’s Asphalt 8, for Android

Sundar Pichai, Senior VP Android Chrome & Apps at Google talked about the just-introduced Haswell CPU Chromebook and its stunning performance, extended battery life, and 3D capabilities. He also presented Doug Fisher from Intel’s Software and Services Group with an official Google Beanie cap – what a new hire at Google wears for their first days. After Pichai left the stage, Fisher said something about ‘that is a give away’.

Sundar Pichai gives Doug Fisher a Google Beanie

Over 1,000 Intel engineers are working on Google Android and Chrome.

Research firm NPD says Chromebooks represent 20-25 percent of the $300-or-less computer segment. Clearly, Intel has embraced Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems as a target market to put a lot of “Intel Inside”. 

Intel announces Bay Trail tablet CPU: Part One

Wednesday’s IDF Keynote started by asking the audience to stand for a moment of silence in remembrance of lives lost on 9-11 in 2001. From there, it was business as usual with product hype and promises of future success.

Intel seems to be spotlighting health. It opened with a feel-good video of Jack Andraka, child prodigy and biology whiz. Andraka is a high school sophomore who won the youth achievement Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in December 2012 for inventing a new method to detect a lethal form of pancreatic cancer.

From there, Intel moved into its theme of “The Internet of Things.” One thing that aroused curiosity was a dull white plastic wristband on every seat. It became an attention-getter later in the programme. In the meantime, everyone got a shot at the podium to talk about their pet project.

Doug Fisher, VP General Manager Software and Services Group, gave a few brief remarks, then introduced Dr. Herman Eul, VP General Manager Mobile and Communications Group. He started off with a video about MTV and Intel getting together to improve the audience’s experience because they do not really understand how wireless works, and what are its limitations.

Eul said the goal is to make the mobile platform smarter, the CPU more powerful, and the imaging performance better. He did a brief introduction of “Bay Trail,” the next-generation Atom Z3000 ,  focusing on it being used as a gaming platform. He showed that it is capable of running Windows – which is called heavy legacy software – or running Android OS, Apple OS, Chrome OS, or Linux OS. Bay Trail is a 64-bit processor, built using Intel’s Silvermont 22nm micro-architecture. There will be six variants of the chip available – with dual and quad-core configurations. Clock speeds will range from 1.8GHz to 2.4GHz.

Bay Trail’s Hardware and Software supports:  

  • Windows (32/64-bit) and/or Android and/or Chrome
  • Displays resolutions up to 2500 x 1600 (Retina display)
  • Dual independent displays
  • Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) technology
  • Up to 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM
  • USB 3, HDMI, Displayport, SD card, NFC, 4G, Wi-Fi, GPS
  • X 11, Open GL 3.0 graphics
  • Up to 13MP camera on the rear with Zero shutter lag, burst mode, digital video stabilization, 1080p recording at 60FPS and up to 2MP on the front.

Eul then brought Victoria Molina on stage, a fashion industry consultant and former executive for Ralph Lauren, Levi’s, and the Gap, who explained her virtual shopping experience application. They developed it using the Intel Android SDK in about a week  – but gave no information on the experience level of their programmers.

Molina said the most important part of this application is the fit map, an important factor in making the apparel attractive on the wearer, to attain a “cool” outcome. The application uses an avatar based around the person’s measurements, height and weight, and a facial photograph. The shopper goes out to the web site where they want to shop and chooses the clothing to virtually try on before purchasing. Next, the website pulls up sample clothing from their product lines.

After you build your ensemble of clothing, then you can adjust the clothing so the fit is tight, medium, or loose. After deciding on your look, you go through the “Cat Walk” show-n-tell process. That means the avatar is dressed with each one of the outfits in the size and drape you want and it looks like you are a model on a fashion show runway. Molina said, “This will revolutionise the online shopping experience. Because of the huge “cool factor”.

Next, Intel focused on a Bay Trail small-form-factor tablet running and editing videos. Eul invited Jerry Shen, chief executive of Asus, to introduce its T100, a 2-in-1 Bay Trail notebook with over ten hours of battery life. “We are very excited about the Bay Trail quad-core promise,” Shen said.

Asus is more optimistic than Intel regarding battery longevity. Intel claims Bay Trail tablets could weigh as little 14.1 ounces and offer more than eight hours of battery life when the users are watching high-definition video.

Neil Hand, Dell’s VP of Tablets, showed its  Venue 8-inch, Windows 8.1, Bay Trail tablet that is going to be shipping soon. He said it has 4G LTE.
Eul talked briefly about upcoming Merryfield, a 22nm SoC which is build on the Silvermont architecture specifically for smartphones. We were told that Airmont, a 14nm process engineering SoC with all the features of Bay Trail for tablets, is on schedule for Q3 2014 release.

Finally, Eul satisfied our curiosity by showing his audio DJ idea which activated those dull white plastic bracelets that were sitting on each chair. A video was projected onto the giant screens in the auditorium showing the Keynote audience and the wristbands lighting up in synch with Eul’s music.

The presentation took another turn with Kirk Skaugen, Senior VP General Manager PC Client Group at Intel which will be covered in part two.

YouGov delivers damning 3D verdict

It is almost too easy to kick 3D technology after it has been thrust on consumers which have largely greeted it with a shrug of shoulders, but YouGov has given it a go anyway.

Having spent money on the myriad of crap films that have been released, be it Smurf or shark themed b-movies, the cinema going public has indicated that it doesn’t give two hoots about the technology.

As film critic Mark Kermode pointed out recently, even in the fifties it was the film studios who pushed 3D, not the audiences.  And it seems that this is happening all over again.  Even Sony has been realising this, and this week decided to stop supplying freebie glasses to cinema goers.

Apparently just one in five reckon that it is actually any cop at all.  Makes you wonder if any industry insiders actually thought about asking the public before throwing so much money into 3D promotion.

47 percent of cinema goers thought that 3D at best makes no difference to the film being watched, or even think it made the experience worse.  No matter what the film and TV industry say, watching a film with dark glasses makes the experience less enjoyable, and is only really merited if the 3D is jaw- dropping, which clearly is not the case most of the time.

52 percent of those polled said that they would in fact be more likely to wear them if they didn’t have to wear the annoying glasses.

Overall 41 percent feel that 3D is just a gimmick, which even the head of DreamWorks will readily agree.

One of the most important figures from the survey is that given the choice of seeing a film in 2D or 3D, under half would say that would rather three dimensions are better.  Around the same amount said that they would be willing to shell out any cash for 3D privileges.

And even more damningly around half of those asked believe that the hype around 3D is likely to pass, indeed just as it did in the fifties and eighties.  At this rate we should be due another revival in the future. 

However there is no expectation that 3D will slope quietly off just yet.  Only 16 percent reckon that they will see the end of 3D films in the next five years.

With plans to refit classic films such as Star Wars and Titanic with 3D, it looks like the industry hasn’t given up on floggin this dead horse just yet.

Texas Instruments shows off OMAP 5 for 3D

US chip outfit Texas Instruments (TI) has announced its OMAP 5 SoC (system on a chip) for use in smartphones, tablets and whatever mobile devices humanity may devise.

Texas Instruments went a bit over the top praising the latest OMAP generation, saying it “creates disruptive mobile experiences akin to Henry Ford’s transformative automobile advancements.” Despite all the hot air, it does look very promising.

The OMAP 5 platform features two ARM Cortex-A15 cores at speeds of up to 2GHz in combination with two Cortex-M4 cores, making it a dual dual-core. It also sports a PowerVR SGX544-MPx for 3D graphics, alongside a dedicated TI 2D graphics core, an IVA-HD video accelerator for 1080p HD video and other niceties, such as an audio processor, a C64x DSP and M-Shield system security offering various cryptography functions.

It offers support for up to four displays, or three high-resolution LCD displays and a HDMI 1.4a 3D display. Yes, 3D is hitting the mobile market, Nvidia isn’t the only company making the wares.

TI says the 28nm processors offer three times as much processing bang than its ancestor, while 3D graphics have improved five-fold. At the same time, TI boasts power consumption has been reduced by 60 percent “compared to a sample user experience on the OMAP 4 platform”. It can be presumed watching 1080p videos will nonetheless drain the battery.

Two OMAP 5 SoCs will be shipping soon, the OMAP 5430 is designed for the higher-end smartphone and tablet market, whereas the OMAP 5432 is intended for more “cost-sensitive” products which can be a tad larger.

It’s all part of a conspiracy to reduce the global population. Sometime next year, hospitals will be full of people hit by cars and bikes while walking across the street, staring at their 3D mobile gizmos, unaware of the world around them.

Nikon launches glasses free, Android-powered 3D photo frame

Nikon has launched an Android-powered photo frame which allows you to view pictures in full high-quality 3D without needing 3D glasses.

The My Picturetown 3D NF-300i may look like a simple photo frame at first, but because it’s powered by Android it has some extra features, such as a digital calendar, clock, and weather display. The glasses-free 3D is achieved via a 7.2-inch lenticular display with a horizontal double-density pixel system built into the LCD panel, enabling stereoscopic viewing. 

3D is often criticised for being dull and low in quality, but Nikon promises the images viewable on the NF-300i will be both bright and high-quality, displaying at the same resolution as their 2D counterparts, which can also be displayed on the device.

The NF300i photo frame, which stores up to 4GB of data, comes as part of a photo cloud service that Nikon is hosting which allows users to upload photos and convert them to 3D using Nikon’s online software.

The My Picturetown 3D service allows storage, viewing, sharing, and distribution of 3D content in both photo and movie formats, and to ensure that users can view the content Nikon is loaning an NF-300i digital photo frame to all subscribers.

My Picturetown 3D service is currently open for applications in Japan and is set to fully launch in early December. There is no word yet on a release in other regions.

Rockchip working on 3D Android tablet

Chinese hardware manufacturer Rockchip is developing a 3D Android tablet which does not require glasses and will be showing it off at the IFA electronics fair in Berlin next month.

Rockchip is employing a lenticular autostereoscopic 3D display and a dual-switch which allows users to switch to 2D mode as well, much like Nintendo’s upcoming 3DS, which also uses autostereoscopic technology.

The benefits of this are obvious as no one really likes wearing 3D glasses. Most methods of autostereoscopy work by redirecting images to several viewing regions at a lower resolution, building up a convincing 3D image, but potentially at the risk of quality. However, early indications suggest pretty good quality overall. There are brightness issues as well.

Rockship’s prototype model is being dubbed the Supernova x1, but the sticker on the device had Nova x1, so it could be either.

Not many details are thin, but from the pictures and videos we’ve seen it appears to be a very small device, with a screen size of around three by five inches, making it closer to the Dell Streak than to the iPad. While this will make it ultra portable, the screen size might be a tad on the small size for truly enjoying a 3D movie – but it does suggest that we may end up with 3D smartphones in the near future. 

Initial reports suggest it will run Google’s Android OS, but it’s not clear which version. Since this is a pretty early prototype, however, we expect that Android 3.0 or an even later version will be out by the time it hits the shelves. That doesn’t stop Rockchip from doing a Dell and launching with a really old version of Android, but it would be wise to update to a more recent flavour.

It is also not clear what price range this will aim for, but if Rockchip can keep the price tag down then it may be onto a winner.

Engadget China

3D panel converts 2D images to 3D

A Japanese company claims to have developed a 3D panel that won’t need those ludicrous spectacles to show you everything in gory three dimensional detail.

Newsight, according to Japanese wire nikkei.com, will introduce digital picture frames and digital signage. The first digital frame will come with 2GB of memory and cost around $350 and be available in August.

Later in the year, the company will release digital signage panels at a cost of around $600 or so and which has a wi-fi port.

The panels will use a USB port to import 2D images and the panels autoconverts one image to five, each at a slightly different viewing angle, says nikkei.com.  The panel is overlaid with a lens that makes the images appear as 3D images.

2D barcode turns up on cardboard brick

There are loads of places where you might expect to see a 2D barcode, but on the side of a brick? And it’s not a proper brick either,  it is a cardboard cut-out dreampt up by Austrian pacifist artist, Andreas Balogh. He came up with the idea as a way of protesting against the right-wing Austrian Party, Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ).

The 2D barcode can be read by the vast majority of cameraphones equipped with suitable barcode reading software. It seems to have been designed to work directly with UpCode‘s software but Techeye has successfully tried it with other clients such as the Neoreader from Neomedia.  Once the code is read, it will point the phone’s browser directly at a Facebook page – providing a chance to sign up in protest.

The brick stems from a previous incident where somebody decided to start a group on Facebook  which entitled “Can a soulless brick have more friends than Herr Strache?” [In German: – “Kann dieser seelenlose Ziegelstein mehr Freunde haben als H.C. Strache?”]  Heinz-Christian Strache, is head of the FPÖ, of course.

At the last count, the Group had some 158,000 plus fans – way beyond Herr Strache’s own personal following. Part of the group’s plans, however,  were to follow this up by leaving bricks outside the offices of the FPÖ. The catch was that the protest was intended to be entirely non-violent and leaving bricks around the streets of Austria jarred with this concept.

So a pacifist artist, Balogh, had the idea of creating a ‘pacifist brick. In effect, Balogh produced a colour template for building a brick out of paper or cardboard which you can print out from any computer and fold into a brick. The template can be found here.

As Balogh explains, “Some people had the idea to seize the opportunity and do some kind of a ‘Flashmob’ by laying down bricks in front of every FPÖ office. Since real bricks could easily cause serious damage and we all want this movement to be a peaceful movement, Bernhard and I created the official self made brick including space for a personal message and a link to the Facebook Group.”

It’s a neat idea and shows how the capabilities of 2D barcodes are being appreciated by young people, even if the world of advertising is proving very slow to catch on.

Samsung starts mass producing 3D TV glass

Giant manufacturing combine Samsung said it has started making panels for 3D LED TVs and 3D LCD TCs.

It’s started making panels for 40-inch, 46-inch and 55-inch HD 3D TVs that use its 240Hz technology and will need “3D Active Glasses”.

The 240Hz technology operates at 240 frames a second and Samsung claims delivers full HD viewing in 2D and smooth full HD 3D images.

3D nightmareThe response time of the LCD and LED panels has been cut by 20 percent to less than four milliseconds. That, said Samsung eliminates interference between right eye and left eye images.

The 3D Active Glasses technology is a standard approved by the Consumer Electronics Association. Rather than use polarised glass, 3D Active Glass tech blocks the left and then the right lens when images are displayed to give more lifelike 3D images.

Sounds like a recipe for a headache, but Samsung like other panel makers hopes the 3D market will be worth $17 billion a year in 2018.