Will Qualcomm Give Some Workers The Boot?

July 23, 2015 by admin  
Filed under Computing

Comments Off

Qualcomm is undergoing major restructuring and one side-effect of the overhaul is that some 4,000 jobs might be slashed.

The company, according to our well informed industry sources, will announce this during the upcoming Qualcomm Q3 FY15 earnings conference call that Is scheduled for July 22. We could not find out which jobs will be affected, but we expect that the company will shad more light on it during the call.

In December 2014 the company announced that it would slash some 900 jobs and it ended up slashing roughly 1,500 jobs. This will be the first major announcement and it comes at a bad time, as the company’s sales numbers are not that great. Qualcomm lost its highest end customer, Samsung, and companies like HTC who are using the Snapdragon 810 are not too happy about company’s highest end SoC offering.

Qualcomm has around 31,300 employees, which is still not that much considering that Intel has some 100,000, but its main SoC competitor, MediaTek, has just over 10,000 employees making its operational costs much smaller.

If the number of employees 31,300 didn’t change in recent months, slashing 4,000 jobs would mean cutting the 12.8 percent of the workforce. This is a major adjustment, no question about it.

Still, we believe that the server division will start making some money in 2016 and the new Snapdragon 820 is expected to start shipping later this year. In the long run, the company is more than fine, it is just that the competitors have changed from Nvidia and Intel to MediaTek.

Source

Qualcomm Has No Plans To Split

July 16, 2015 by admin  
Filed under Computing

Comments Off

US chipmaker Qualcomm has told the world that it will not be dumping its “essentially useless chip making” business.

Hedge fund Jana Partners said in April that Qualcomm would make a pile more dosh if it just stuck to being a patent troll and stopped trying to flog “essentially worthless” chips.

Apparently Qualcomm thought about it. Executive Chairman Paul Jacobs the idea has been talked about for a long time, but came to the conclusion that the status quo contained a lot more “synergies.” Apparently synergies are a good thing to have about the place, particularly if you have a breeding pair.

Jacobs was less optimistic about Jana Partners’ idea which was apparently full of dis-synergies which might eat the synergies – or just diss them in public.

Executive Chairman Paul Jacobs said all this intensifying industry competition was not enough to spin off his chip business from its patent-licensing business.

Jacobs said, however, that the company is always evaluating its options and that the situation could change in the future, so maybe there a future for a Qualcomm troll walloping other companies with dis-synergies.

Source

RedHat Goes PaaS With Linux

July 7, 2015 by admin  
Filed under Computing

Comments Off

Red Hat has announced the release of OpenShift Enterprise (OSE) 3, a new version of its Platform-as-a-Service offering.

Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)7, Openshift is built on Docker Linux containers with Kubernetes orchestration using technology developed in collaboration with Google.

The news comes in a busy week for Red Hat, which has also announced a new productivity tie-up with Samsung and taken a leading role in the formation of a new alliance known as the Open Container Project to standardise containers.

Users will have access to a wide range of apps via the Red Hat Container Certification Programme. Middleware solutions including Red Hat JBoss Enterprise, Web Server (Tomcat) and JBoss A-MQ messaging are also included.

Included are a number of tools to help developers create and collaborate, with web, command line, and integrated development environment interfaces. Options include direct code-push from GIT and source to image building. There is also flexibility for deployment, rollback and integration.

In addition, a preview of Openshift Dedicated has been released. The public cloud service based on OpenShift 3 will succeed Openshift Online, which already hosts 2.5 million applications online, allowing businesses to quickly build, launch and deploy bespoke apps.

Ashesh Badani, vice president and general manager, OpenShift, Red Hat, said, “This release of OpenShift Enterprise 3 employs open source containers and orchestration practices to change the developer experience and move the platform in the direction of what customers are asking for – a flexible platform for a microservices architecture.

“Our continued upstream work in the Docker and Kubernetes communities enable us to deliver the most updated technology platform for developers and operators, enabling them to remain competitive through quicker innovation.”

To assist users, Red Hat is offering a range of enterprise administrator courses to teach users how to deploy, configure and manage the system, which can result in a Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Platform as a Service – a worthy certificate for any office wall.

OpenShift 3 is available now with bespoke pricing models based of socket and core pairings.

Source

Facebook To Require Stronger Digital Signature

June 16, 2015 by admin  
Filed under Security

Comments Off

Facebook will require application developers to adopt a more secure type of digital signature for their apps, which is used to verify a program’s legitimacy.

As of Oct. 1, apps will have to use SHA-2 certificate signatures rather than ones signed with SHA-1. Both are cryptographic algorithms that are used to create a hash of a digital certificate that can be mathematically verified.

Apps that use SHA-1 after October won’t work on Facebook anymore, wrote Adam Gross, a production engineer at the company, in a blog post.

“We recommend that developers check their applications, SDKs, or devices that connect to Facebook to ensure they support the SHA-2 standard,” Gross wrote.

SHA-1 has been considered weak for about a decade. Researchers have shown it is possible to create a forged digital certificate that carries the same SHA-1 hash as legitimate one.

The type of attack, called a hash collision, could trick a computer into thinking it is interacting with a legitimate digital certificate when it actually is a spoofed one with the same SHA-1 hash. Using such a certificate could allow an attacker to spy on the connection between a user and an application or website.

Microsoft, Google, Mozilla and other organizations have also moved away from SHA-1 and said they will warn users of websites that are using a connection that should not be trusted.

The Certificate and Browser Forum, which developers best practices for web security, has recommended in its Baseline Requirements that digital certificate issuers stop using SHA-1 as of Jan. 1.

Source

Broadcom Aquired?

June 8, 2015 by admin  
Filed under Computing

Comments Off

It is starting to look Broadcom will get bought out by its rival Avago as deep throats within both outfits think a deal is close.

Avago is in advanced buyout talks to acquire Broadcom, which manufacturers chips for both the smartphone and broadband industries. The two companies are more or less the same size, but at the moment Broadcom is the weaker partner

It has been the subject of previous speculation regarding acquisitions. The company is among the largest maker of chips for mobile systems such as smartphones, tablets and wearables, Internet of things (IoT) devices and automotive technology products.

Such capabilities could give Avago greater traction in fast-growing markets like IoT and mobile devices.

Broadcom announced last year that it was closing its baseband cellular chip business after being unable to gain inroads against such competitors as Qualcomm. The company had $8.4 billion in revenue last year.

It seems everyone wants a lot more consolidation in the chip industry. Intel reportedly resumed buyout talks to acquire Altera earlier this month, with the parties eyeing a potential price that could reach $13 billion. Micron was tipped as a potential buyer of rival SanDisk.

An April report cited a note from Bernstein analyst Mark Newman. According to this report, Newman pointed to SanDisk’s current valuation as making it a prime takeover target for rival NAND chip maker Micron, as well as other players in the market.

Source

Qualcomm Strengthens IoT Lineup

June 5, 2015 by admin  
Filed under Computing

Comments Off

Qualcomm is wedging its foot more firmly in the Internet of Things (IoT) door by announcing a range of moves to secure its position in the market.

The first announcement sees the firm expanding its Internet of Everything (IoE) platform with the addition of six new ecosystem providers: Ayla Networks, Exosite, Kii, Proximetry, Temboo and Xively by LogMeIn.

“This will further simplify the development of devices that use WiFi to connect to the IoE by increasing cloud service flexibility and making these solutions available in a broader global reach,” Qualcomm said.

Qualcomm has also introduced two connectivity solutions, the QCA401x and QCA4531, which bring WiFi capabilities to connect products across development platforms and “give customers an expedited and cost-effective path to deployment”.

The QCA401x is designed to ease manufacturer demand for increased computing and memory while lowering size, cost and power consumption, Qualcomm said.

It features a fully integrated micro controller unit with up to 800KB of on-chip memory and an expanded set of interfaces to directly interconnect with sensors, display and actuators, further reducing system cost, size and complexity.

The QCA401x also includes a suite of communication protocols including Wi-Fi, IPv6, and HTTP, as well as an advanced security feature designed to maximise security in IoT devices.

The QCA4531 is a low-cost turnkey solution that brings high-performance connectivity with a user-programmable Linux/OpenWRT environment.

It is designed to serve as an IoT node taking advantage of the Linux framework and as a hub to enable an IoT Ecosystem.

“As the [IoT] ecosystem expands, the QCA4531 is ideal for multi-protocol bridging and communication, bringing together multiple wireless medium and bridging between different ecosystems,” said Qualcomm.

The QCA4531 can function as an Access Point supporting up to 16 simultaneous devices, and is also power-optimised to enable appliances to meet international standards for energy efficiency.

The firm also banged on about the development of its subsidiaries Qualcomm Technologies, Qualcomm Atheros, Qualcomm Life, and Qualcomm Connected Experiences, and their progress across its range of IoT technologies.

Broadly, this includes an increased focus on providing better connectivity in the smart home with the AllSeen Alliance, as well as the development of more wearables in more countries, deploying more connected cars, more active engagements in smart city developments and partnering with more customers for connected healthcare.

“Driven by the significant growth and diversity of interconnected devices, Qualcomm companies are delivering the solutions and collaborating with technology leaders to empower manufacturers to create the best connected experiences in homes, businesses, cars and cities,” the firm said.

Qualcomm also announced additional features in its AllPlay smart media platform, including Bluetooth to WiFi re-streaming, custom audio settings and optimised synchronisation. The new AllPlay feature combines Bluetooth and WiFi for “whole home streaming”.

This means that all local or cloud-based music on a consumer’s smartphone can be streamed to any Bluetooth-compatible AllPlay speaker and then re-streamed over WiFi to multiple AllPlay speakers, all in sync.

This allows simple wireless connectivity to individual speakers or an entire home audio system over the user’s existing home WiFi network, providing an advantage over Bluetooth-only speakers which are limited to one-to-one streaming.

“The range and capacity of WiFi, coupled with the ubiquity of Bluetooth, is a game-changing combination for manufacturers and consumers alike,” said Sy Choudhury, senior director of product management at Qualcomm.

“AllPlay device manufacturers like Hitachi and Monster can now offer their customers more connectivity options and access to myriad streaming services throughout their home with this new capability.”

Qualcomm announced last month that it has teamed up with Dutch semiconductor maker NXP to bolster its near field communication offering, expanding the technology outside the smartphone and into IoT devices.

NXP’s embedded secure element will be integrated across Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800, 600, 400 and 200 processor-based platforms.

The new offering features a module variant derived from the recently launched NXP PN66T NQ220 module, now named the NQ220.

Source

Sharp Pinning Hopes On In-car Displays

June 4, 2015 by admin  
Filed under Around The Net

Comments Off

Struggling display manufacturer Sharp, reeling from cutthroat competition in mobile phones, will push car makers to incorporate vehicle dashboards that have gestural commands, thin bezels and other next-generation features.

It’s hoping cars will be controlled, in part, through high-resolution displays that can fit any two-dimensional surface area, such as dashboard panels with rounded contours.

The company has shown off the wavy screens for cars and consoles in recent months, and has tried to woo automakers to use them. Under the firm’s new medium-term strategy, the push has taken on greater urgency.

Thin-bezel dashboard LCDs, as well as screens that can provide multiple views to different passengers in a car depending on their perspective, could prove to be a lifeline for Sharp, which hasn’t been able to command a dominant market position despite cutting-edge technology.

Sharp is an Apple supplier and is said to be a maker of iPhone 6 screens, along with Japan Display, and LG Display of South Korea.

Apple sources some of its screens from Sharp’s Kameyama plants in central Japan, which produce the maker’s flagship IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) transparent crystalline semiconductor displays. IGZO displays, which Sharp began producing for smartphones in 2013, have smaller pixels than conventional LCD screens and feature low power consumption.

Last month, Sharp showed off a 5.5-inch display with 3860 x 2160 or 4K pixel resolution, which was part of a 12.5-inch IGZO panel. But there were no immediate plans for mass production.

Sharp’s ability to generate dazzling phone graphics hasn’t saved its bottom line. The firm announced a US$1.7 billion bailout from banks this week, its second lifeline in three years, and posted a dismal earnings performance for the year to March 31 with a net loss of ¥222.3 billion ($1.8 billion). It blamed declining prices in small and medium-sized LCDs.

In contrast, Sharp sees prices for automotive and industrial automation displays as more stable because the barriers to market entry are higher due to the technological know-how that’s required. Now it needs to play for time.

Source

Samsung Buys LoopPay

March 5, 2015 by admin  
Filed under Around The Net

Comments Off

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has acquired U.S. mobile wallet startup LoopPay, signaling its intention to launch a smartphone payments service to compete with rival Apple Inc.

Mobile payments have been slow to catch on in the United States and elsewhere, despite strong backing. Apple, Google, and eBay Inc’s PayPal have all launched services to allow users to pay in stores via smartphones.

The weak uptake is partly because many retailers have been reluctant to adopt the hardware and software infrastructure required for these new mobile payment options to work. These services also fail to offer much more convenience than simply swiping a credit card, Samsung executives said on Wednesday.

LoopPay’s technology differs because it works off existing magnetic-stripe card readers at checkout, changing them into contactless receivers, they said. About 90 percent of checkout counters already support magnetic swiping.

“If you can’t solve the problem of merchant acceptance…, of being able to use the vast majority of your cards, then it can’t really be your wallet,” said David Eun, head of Samsung’s Global Innovation Center.

Injong Rhee, who is leading Samsung’s as-yet-unannounced payments project, said the Asian giant will soon reveal more details of its envisioned service. He would not be drawn on speculation the company may do so during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

He said new phones such as the upcoming, latest Galaxy would support the service.

Apple Pay, launched in September, allows iPhone users to pay at the tap of a button. Executives have lauded its rapid rollout so far, including the fact that more than 2,000 banks now support it and the U.S. government will accept Apple Pay later this year.

But Apple Pay requires retailers to install near-field communication and some have been reluctant. In addition, many retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and CVS Health Corp, back their own system, CurrentC.

Samsung had invested in LoopPay, along with Visa Inc and Synchrony Financial, before its acquisition. Terms of the deal, which Samsung negotiated over several months, were not disclosed.

It’s unclear how else Samsung could differentiate its service versus Apple’s or other rivals.

Source

Raspberry Pi Making Moves

March 2, 2015 by admin  
Filed under Computing

Comments Off

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced that its pint-sized computer has now sold a whopping five million units.

The announcement came via Twitter, where the official Raspberry Pi account boasted that the five million milestone makes it the big-selling computer manufacturer in the UK of all time.

Just confirmed the big news we’ve all been waiting for: we’ve now sold more than 5 million Raspberry Pis.

— Raspberry Pi (@Raspberry_Pi) February 17, 2015

We think that this means that in just under 3 years, we’ve gone from zero to being the biggest selling UK computer manufacturer ever. Yowza.

— Raspberry Pi (@Raspberry_Pi) February 17, 2015

This comes just two weeks after the firm announced sales of 4.5 million Raspberry Pi computers, suggesting that its latest model, the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, has proved popular since it went on sale on 2 February.

Raspberry Pi said previously that it aims to ship three million units of the new model within 12 months, and Tuesday’s announcement suggests that it’s on track to smash that target.

The firm has yet to announce exactly how many Raspberry Pi 2 models have shipped, but we are likely to hear official figures in the next few weeks.

The second-generation device was unveiled at the beginning of this month, improving on the original Raspberry Pi with 1GB RAM and support for Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system.

It also boasts expanded GPIO pins and advanced power management and connectivity, making it possible to connect up to four USB devices, including powered devices such as hard drives.

Source

Is Qualcomm Overheating?

February 2, 2015 by admin  
Filed under Computing

Comments Off

South Korean smartphone maker LG Electronics Inc said on Thursday that it has not experienced any overheating problems with Qualcomm Inc’s new Snapdragon processor that is powering a curved-screen device going on sale later this month.

“I am very much aware of the various concerns in the market about the (Snapdragon) 810, but the chip’s performance is quite satisfactory,” Woo Ram-chan, LG vice president for mobile product planning, told reporters at a press event for the company’s G Flex2 smartphone.

The comment came after Bloomberg reported a day earlier that Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world’s top smartphone maker, decided not to use the new Qualcomm processor for the next flagship Galaxy S smartphone after the chip overheated during testing. Samsung and Qualcomm have declined to comment on the report, which cited unidentified sources.

Samsung is widely expected to unveil the new Galaxy S smartphone in early March, and Bloomberg reported that the Korean firm will use its own processors instead.

But LG’s Woo said on Thursday that internal tests for the G Flex2, powered by the new Qualcomm processor, show that the new product emits less heat than other existing devices. The new phone is scheduled to start selling in South Korea on Jan. 30.

“I don’t understand why there is a issue over heat,” he said.

Source