Monthly Archives: May 2016

Apple expected to double base storage on iPhone 7 to 32GB

Posted by on 31 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

One of the biggest criticisms of the iPhone 6 and 6S’ entry-level models is that they’re  well behind the RAM and ROM curve with just 1GB of memory and 16GB of NAND flash. Many rival smartphones offer twice as much or more.

Apple has chosen to leave its base model memory capacities unchanged since the debut of the iPhone 5 in 2012.

That, however, is about to change, according to an IHS analyst who described Apple plans to double both the RAM and ROM on the next iPhone release, which is expected to be unveiled in September as the iPhone 7. 

Kevin Wang, director of market research at analytics firm IHS Technology, posted on the Chinese website Weibo that “supply chain research shows that the new iPhone’s RAM is 2GB, ROM 32GB.”

While Apple left the iPhone 6 and 6S base models alone, it did double NAND flash on the next highest model from 32GB to 64GB.

Earlier this month, a separate site leaked photos of alleged iPhone 7 components that appeared to crush hopes that Apple would up the smartphone’s base memory. That leak displayed several key upgrades to the iPhone 7, including three SanDisk NAND flash solid state drives with 16GB, 64GB, and 256GB storage capacities, which indicated Apple plans on increasing the upper storage capacity while maintaining the base capacity over three iPhone model lifespans.

By comparison, competing smartphones released a year ago, such as the Galaxy S6, come with a base 3GB of RAM and 32GB NAND flash storage.

NAND flash and DRAM prices have continued to drop sharply over the past two years, according to marketing research firm DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce.

A significant uptick in the density of NAND flash due to triple-level cell (3 bits per cell) NAND flash combined with 3D NAND, which stacks layers of NAND flash one atop another like a microscopic skyscraper, have allowed manufacturers to drastically cut production costs.

Prices for NAND flash chips sold to device makers dropped 10 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2016, according to DRAMeXchange.

Two major storage options in the iPhone 6 and 6S series and iPhone 6/6S Plus — 64GB and 128GB — make up over 60 percent of the cumulative shipments of iPhone line from their market releases to now, according to Sean Yang, research director of DRAMeXchange.

Consequently, the iPhone as an individual product accounted for the largest share of the overall NAND consumption in 2015 at 15 percent, up from 12 percent in 2014.

Yang corroborated reports that Apple is expected to raise the maximum storage capacity of the next iPhone to 256GB, so the first wave of related stock-up demand will likely give a huge boost to the NAND flash market.

This story, “Apple expected to double base storage on iPhone 7 to 32GB” was originally published by Computerworld.

Posted Under: Mobile
Apple expected to double base storage on iPhone 7 to 32GB

Posted by on 31 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

One of the biggest criticisms of the iPhone 6 and 6S’ entry-level models is that they’re  well behind the RAM and ROM curve with just 1GB of memory and 16GB of NAND flash. Many rival smartphones offer twice as much or more.

Apple has chosen to leave its base model memory capacities unchanged since the debut of the iPhone 5 in 2012.

That, however, is about to change, according to an IHS analyst who described Apple plans to double both the RAM and ROM on the next iPhone release, which is expected to be unveiled in September as the iPhone 7. 

Kevin Wang, director of market research at analytics firm IHS Technology, posted on the Chinese website Weibo that “supply chain research shows that the new iPhone’s RAM is 2GB, ROM 32GB.”

While Apple left the iPhone 6 and 6S base models alone, it did double NAND flash on the next highest model from 32GB to 64GB.

Earlier this month, a separate site leaked photos of alleged iPhone 7 components that appeared to crush hopes that Apple would up the smartphone’s base memory. That leak displayed several key upgrades to the iPhone 7, including three SanDisk NAND flash solid state drives with 16GB, 64GB, and 256GB storage capacities, which indicated Apple plans on increasing the upper storage capacity while maintaining the base capacity over three iPhone model lifespans.

By comparison, competing smartphones released a year ago, such as the Galaxy S6, come with a base 3GB of RAM and 32GB NAND flash storage.

NAND flash and DRAM prices have continued to drop sharply over the past two years, according to marketing research firm DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce.

A significant uptick in the density of NAND flash due to triple-level cell (3 bits per cell) NAND flash combined with 3D NAND, which stacks layers of NAND flash one atop another like a microscopic skyscraper, have allowed manufacturers to drastically cut production costs.

Prices for NAND flash chips sold to device makers dropped 10 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2016, according to DRAMeXchange.

Two major storage options in the iPhone 6 and 6S series and iPhone 6/6S Plus — 64GB and 128GB — make up over 60 percent of the cumulative shipments of iPhone line from their market releases to now, according to Sean Yang, research director of DRAMeXchange.

Consequently, the iPhone as an individual product accounted for the largest share of the overall NAND consumption in 2015 at 15 percent, up from 12 percent in 2014.

Yang corroborated reports that Apple is expected to raise the maximum storage capacity of the next iPhone to 256GB, so the first wave of related stock-up demand will likely give a huge boost to the NAND flash market.

This story, “Apple expected to double base storage on iPhone 7 to 32GB” was originally published by Computerworld.

Posted Under: General
Dell PowerEdge R710 Server Xeon L5520 2.27GHz 6GB 8 x 146GB 2.5″ Missing Int Fan

Posted by on 31 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

SHORT DESCRIPTION:

Dell PowerEdge R710 Server Xeon L5520 2.27GHz 6GB 8 x 146GB 2.5″ Perc 6/i Dual Power Supply – Missing 1 Internal Fan. Rails and bezel are not included.

MANUFACTURER PART NUMBER:

Dell-R710-L5520-6x300GB-MissingFans

PROCESSOR:

2.27GHz

MEMORY:

6GB

OPTICAL DRIVE:

DVD-ROM

PROCESSOR TYPE:

Intel Xeon

Posted Under: General
Intel beefs up integrated graphics in Skylake server chips

Posted by on 31 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

If you are not happy with the quality of streaming video, it’s perhaps because your providers server doesn’t have a good graphics processor.

To address that, Intel is improving the integrated graphics processor in its new Xeon E3-1500 v5 family of server chips. Servers with the chips will be able to deliver multiple 4K video streams over the Internet to PCs and mobile devices.

The chips are based on the Skylake design and have the Iris Pro Graphics P580, which Intel claims is its best integrated GPU.

Intel says that about 80 percent of the Internet traffic is video, and better GPUs are needed to improve the quality of streams.

Many servers use discrete GPUs like AMD’s FirePro and Nvidia’s Quadro to process streaming video. Intel’s Iris Pro isn’t as powerful, but is a power-efficient alternative that won’t use up a PCI-Express slot in a server.

The quality of graphics in servers will also matter as cloud-based virtual reality applications become mainstream. HP has said it will make VR available on Chromebooks via the Internet.

The server chips are capable of delivering two 4K video streams simultaneously at 30 frames per second. The integrated GPU has hardware-based decoding of HEVC video.

Servers can be configured with up to 64GB of DDR4 memory and NVMe storage. That helps speed up video delivery over the Internet.

The lineup includes four new chips with the Iris Pro P580 GPU. The fastest is the Intel Xeon E3-1585 v5, which offers a CPU clock speed from 3.5GHz to 3.9GHz, and a GPU clock speed from 350MHz to 1.15GHz. The chip draws 65 watts of power. The other processors have clock speeds from 35 watts to 45 watts, with CPU clock speeds topping out at 3.7GHz and GPU speeds at 1.15GHz.

Posted Under: General
44% off LOOP International Travel Plug with USB Charging and Power Bank – Deal Alert

Posted by on 31 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

If you travel internationally, or know someone who does, this may be one to consider. LOOP Electronics travel adapter is an all-in-one travel plug that not only keeps you powered in over 150 countries, but also includes dual USB charging ports and a battery backup (power bank) for when you need power or charging but can’t locate a plug. The adapter has a built-in fuse, is made of fire-resistant materials, and comes with an 18-month warranty. It currently averages 4 out of 5 stars from 99 customers (read reviews). With a regular list price of $40, it’s currently discounted to just $22.45. See this discounted travel plug now on Amazon to learn more and explore buying options.

This story, “44% off LOOP International Travel Plug with USB Charging and Power Bank – Deal Alert” was originally published by TechConnect.

Posted Under: Mobile
IDG Contributor Network: From infrastructure-as-a-service to workforce-as-a-service

Posted by on 31 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

Cloud computing was originally devised as an alternative to deploying racks of servers in company-owned (or shared) data centers. However, the technology services that have grown on top of the concept — to finally become quintessential to the concept — have changed the game.

The cloud stack: IaaS, PaaS, SaaS

Cloud technology is typically segmented into three layers, or service models:

  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provides infrastructure like physical computing resources, location, data partitioning, scaling, security, backup etc.
  • Platform as a service (PaaS) offers a development and deployment environment to application developers.
  • Software as a service (SaaS), sometimes referred to as on-demand software, provides access to application software for end-users.

While IaaS remains primarily a way for IT infrastructure to scale and adapt to changing requirements, the latter two (PaaS and SaaS) have become the key for companies to quickly build and deploy applications (and also complex business processes) that are easily and instantly accessible by users.

From SaaS/PaaS to platformization

Thanks to PaaS, any company can easily assemble business services, accessible through APIs, link these services with their custom logic or secret sauce, and quickly release these features to the market. And with SaaS, deploying a Web front end (and companion mobile apps) has really become the easiest part of building a software stack.

Together, PaaS and SaaS enable the platformization of the economy: building business models and their supporting technology with speed and agility and at minimal cost, and enabling the fast deployment of these businesses to their target.

Meeting an on-demand workforce

Typically, service-oriented business models fall into two categories: direct service and intermediation. In the former case, the service is rendered directly by the provider (for example, credit scoring, or fitness tracking). In the latter case, the provider is a middleman that contracts third parties to render the service: chauffeured cars, food delivery, or crowdsourced software vulnerability testing are examples.

One of the keys to success for an intermediation platform is to achieve quickly critical mass for the providers of the service. When you look for a ride from the airport, if the app does not show any driver around, you will probably resort to jumping in a cab or on mass transit. If you are hungry and ready to order dinner, a 2-hour delivery time won’t fly. And any crowdsourcing requires … well, a crowd.

Beyond recruiting clients, the platform also becomes the way the company interacts with its workforce: an increasingly mobile, agile workforce, that chooses when they work, who they work for. A workforce that doesn’t mind testing software by day and delivering meals in the evening. A workforce that becomes a service for company: a workforce as a service.

A paradigm shift

This workforce-as-a-service paradigm triggers passionate debates in many industrialized countries. On one hand, it brings great flexibility to both the order-giver and the worker. On the other hand, it creates a high degree of insecurity for the workers — probably even more than what existed in the early industrial era. And of course, because it is a paradigm shift, it is still a gray area from the legal and tax perspectives — probably the most visible examples would be the legal battles that Uber is fighting in California or France to avoid having its drivers reclassified as employees.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?

Posted Under: Cloud Computing
Microsoft’s investing arm is back on the market, but will entrepreneurs bite?

Posted by on 31 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

After laying dormant for quite some time, Microsoft has announced that it is getting back into directly investing in startups. Microsoft Ventures has been overhauled, though it’s not clear why Microsoft has decided to get back into investing — or if the company is in it for the long haul.

Nagraj Kashyap, the corporate vice president of Microsoft Ventures, laid out his vision for the investing arm in a blog post Monday, saying that the fund will be used to support early-stage companies and help Microsoft be more involved in new technology developments.

Microsoft’s existing series of startup accelerators, and its BizSpark program to offer discounts on software, will be rolled into a new Microsoft Accelerator organization. For larger business partnerships and acquisitions, Microsoft will rely on a different team. This version of Ventures is supposed to fill in a gap Microsoft left open when it stopped directly investing in companies.

Kashyap said that Microsoft is interested in a wide variety of technologies, especially cutting-edge companies focused on complementing and accelerating the global transition toward using the cloud.

“Companies developing product and services that complement Azure infrastructure, building new business SaaS applications, promoting more personal computing by enriching the Windows and HoloLens ecosystems, new disruptive enterprise, consumer productivity, and communication products around Office 365 are interesting areas from an investment perspective,” Kashyap said.

Kashyap’s pitch isn’t the first time that the company has tried to be a part of the investing ecosystem. That started in 2012 with the launch of the Bing Fund, an investment fund aimed at getting developers to use special tools from Microsoft’s search engine.

In 2013, that morphed into Microsoft Ventures, which included a venture investing arm, along with the company initiatives that are being rolled into the Microsoft Accelerators.

One of the risks of taking money from Microsoft is that the company may still decide to compete with a startup that it invests in. Take the case of SkyGiraffe, a company that makes tools to enable everyday employees to build mobile apps using company data. It’s currently facing competition from Microsoft’s PowerApps product, despite being the first investment from Microsoft Ventures when it was introduced in 2013.

SkyGiraffe CEO Boaz Hecht said that he’s happy to see Microsoft get back into investing, but that he doesn’t expect to work together with the Ventures arm at the moment.

“Our paths may cross with them again in the future given the core technologies we are both focusing on, but at this point we see them more as a competitor than a partner,” Hecht said in an email.

Microsoft is far from the only tech giant with an investing arm. Kashyap himself came to Microsoft Ventures after spending 12 years at Qualcomm Ventures. Google parent company Alphabet has both GV and Google Capital under its purview, while Intel, Salesforce, and others also offer funding to investors.

Right now, the company hasn’t funded any firms as part of the new Microsoft Ventures push, but Kashyap’s blog post would seem to indicate that there’s at least more news coming from Microsoft Ventures in the near future.

Posted Under: General
HPE wants Oracle to pay $3 billion for breach of Itanium contract

Posted by on 31 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise is asking a jury to award the company $3 billion from Oracle after the database giant stopped supporting HPE’s Itanium-based hardware, even though it allegedly signed a contract to do so.

A jury trial in the 5-year-old legal dispute between the tech giants is scheduled to begin Tuesday, nearly four years after a California judge first ruled that Oracle must continue porting its software to HPE’s Itanium platform. The new trial is scheduled in Santa Clara Superior Court in California.

HP, which has since split into two companies, sued Oracle in 2011, saying the database company’s decision to stop offering future versions of its popular database software for Itanium violated a deal the partners signed in 2010. Oracle argued parts of the deal were “a corporate handshake” and didn’t impose long-term support obligations. 

Oracle’s decision to drop support for HP products using the Itanium chip had a huge impact on sales, HPE has argued. Oracle’s decision led to $1.7 billion in pretrial lost sales at HP/HPE and an estimated $1.3 billion in future lost sales, HPE’s lawyers have estimated.

The case revolves around “Oracle’s failure to live up to a clear and simple promise to work with HP in the interests of both companies’ mutual customers,” HP lawyers wrote in the original complaint. In an eight-month period, Oracle went “from arm-in-arm ‘partnership’ with Hewlett-Packard to bitter antagonist.”

The damages phase of the trial was delayed after Oracle filed a so-called anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) motion that said HP was infringing on its free speech. 

Oracle’s lawyers argued that, after the first phase of the trial, “HP received exactly what it sought: Oracle issued a press release announcing that it would deliver future software for Itanium on the same schedule as its software for other platforms.”

HPE’s request to the jury in the second phase of the trial is that it find Oracle violated an ill-defined “something” in an agreement between the two companies, Oracle’s lawyers wrote in a pretrial brief. 

HPE is asking the jury to support “new and unsubstantiated” contract breaches not brought up in the first trial, Oracle’s lawyers wrote. “HP intends to assert a number of eleventh-hour theories of liability, even though it claims no damages for them,” they wrote.

Posted Under: Database
HPE wants Oracle to pay $3 billion for breach of Itanium contract

Posted by on 31 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise is asking a jury to award the company $3 billion from Oracle after the database giant stopped supporting HPE’s Itanium-based hardware, even though it allegedly signed a contract to do so.

A jury trial in the 5-year-old legal dispute between the tech giants is scheduled to begin Tuesday, nearly four years after a California judge first ruled that Oracle must continue porting its software to HPE’s Itanium platform. The new trial is scheduled in Santa Clara Superior Court in California.

HP, which has since split into two companies, sued Oracle in 2011, saying the database company’s decision to stop offering future versions of its popular database software for Itanium violated a deal the partners signed in 2010. Oracle argued parts of the deal were “a corporate handshake” and didn’t impose long-term support obligations. 

Oracle’s decision to drop support for HP products using the Itanium chip had a huge impact on sales, HPE has argued. Oracle’s decision led to $1.7 billion in pretrial lost sales at HP/HPE and an estimated $1.3 billion in future lost sales, HPE’s lawyers have estimated.

The case revolves around “Oracle’s failure to live up to a clear and simple promise to work with HP in the interests of both companies’ mutual customers,” HP lawyers wrote in the original complaint. In an eight-month period, Oracle went “from arm-in-arm ‘partnership’ with Hewlett-Packard to bitter antagonist.”

The damages phase of the trial was delayed after Oracle filed a so-called anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) motion that said HP was infringing on its free speech. 

Oracle’s lawyers argued that, after the first phase of the trial, “HP received exactly what it sought: Oracle issued a press release announcing that it would deliver future software for Itanium on the same schedule as its software for other platforms.”

HPE’s request to the jury in the second phase of the trial is that it find Oracle violated an ill-defined “something” in an agreement between the two companies, Oracle’s lawyers wrote in a pretrial brief. 

HPE is asking the jury to support “new and unsubstantiated” contract breaches not brought up in the first trial, Oracle’s lawyers wrote. “HP intends to assert a number of eleventh-hour theories of liability, even though it claims no damages for them,” they wrote.

Posted Under: General
Hands-on review: Computex: Asus ZenBook 3

Posted by on 31 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

There’s a saying that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – but not for Asus. The ZenBook 3 is the Taiwanese electronics firm’s latest 12.5 inch MacBook-killing Ultrabook. It doesn’t just so much imitate as it does completely destroy Apple’s ultrathin laptop in specs and price.

Weighing in at a scant 2 pounds and 11.9mm (0.46-inches) thick, it’s both thinner and lighter than 0.51-inches (13.1mm) and 2.03 pounds (0.92kg) Apple MacBook. And while Apple had to sacrifice key travel and performance components to make its laptop as thin as possible, Asus says nay to all of that and goes with the full might of Intel Core i7 processors and a lower price to boot.

Asus ZenBook 3 review

Design

If you’ve seen a Rose Gold MacBook before, this particularly colored ZenBook should look awfully familiar. Both machines share an almost identical silhouette, that said there are some distinct differences if you look closely enough.

For one thing the ZenBook 3 is thinner, but it’s also a bit wider and not as deep thanks to its 16:9 screen ratio as opposed to the 16:10 Apple MacBook. Asus has also reversed the position of its ports, moving the charging/data USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port to the right and headset jack on the left.

Asus ZenBook 3 review

The ZenBook’s distinctive spun metal finish makes a return and you’ll also find a radial pattern concealing two of the laptop’s four speakers – the other two are located on the machine’s underside.

The model 3 also takes Asus’ diamond cut chamfered edges to the nth degree. You’ll find the chamfered edge starts on the inside at the top of the screen lid, it rolls onto the outside as it makes its way to the hinge.

MacBook imitations aside, the ZenBook 3 is a sharp little Ultrabook. It features an all-metal body, but Asus used a specially blended form of aerospace-grade aluminum alloy, which it claims to be 40 percent stronger than the material used in other Ultrabooks.

Asus ZenBook 3 review

Specs

Aesthetics aren’t what really set the ZenBook 3 apart, it’s hard core specs that do. Despite also being thinner and lighter than the ZenBook UX305, this ultra-slim system is a powerhouse starting with Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256GB SSD for $999 (about £687, AU$1,379).

Users can also get a richly specced machine with an added Core i7 processor, 1TB SSD and 16GB of RAM and an added fingerprint scanner built into the corner of the touchpad for $1,999 (about £1,374, AU$2,760).

Asus ZenBook 3 review

While, other notebooks this thin have often gone with Intel Core M-series chips, Asus managed to get away with Core I-series CPUs thanks to integrating a newly developed 3mm fan. The 12.5-inch display has also been fitted with a sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for extra durability, though, screen resolution is limited to Full HD only.

Asus claims users can expect nine hours of usage and they should be able to top off an empty machine back to 60% in 49 minutes thanks to fast charging through the USB-C port.

Asus ZenBook 3 review

Early verdict

The Asus ZenBook 3 sounds like a winner on paper. How can you go wrong with Intel Core I-series power in a two-pound laptop? I’m chiefly wary of battery life and how much Asus really managed to squeeze into such a thin design and it’s something I look forward to finding out in my full review.

Additional reporting and photography by Lucy Wang

Posted Under: Tech Reviews
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