Tag Archive | "wireless display"

Intel’s Mobility Event at Computex was packed with info and goodies.

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Although I wasn’t at Computex last week I covered it like a hawk both here and at Ultrabooknews. Yesterday I went through the complete video recording of the Intel mobility keynote and it was well worth it.  If you have any interest in mobile computing at all you should watch the whole video, embedded below. The first part of the video is about gaming, AIO and 4K monitors. There’s some impressive stuff going on there but that’s not what I want to focus on. Skip past that (about 12 minutes in) and it’s tablets, 2-in-1s, RealSense, WiGig, wireless charging, Llama Mountain and even a new Acer 2-in-1 that will come at a $199 price point, possibly. Here’s some detail, background and thoughts on what I saw.

Hardware

Llama Mountain and the Core-M announcement (made in the Day 1 keynote) were the main topic of discussion on most sites covering the events but I noticed a few additional points worth highlighting. Core-M at 10-inch will have “about twice the performance of an arm tablet.” By saying that, Intel have admitted that their Core-M brand is in the same fighting ring as ARM. That’s not good for Core in my opinion. Core-M is a re-branding of the Y-series Core i3/i5/i7 that we’ve seen before on Ivy Bridge and Haswell. It’s down clocked with tight ‘Turbo’ controls and it gives designers an easier and cheaper way to work with Core in the mobile PC arena. Interestingly for my websites is that it bridges the two by crossing over both Baytrail and Core U-series (Ultrabook) solutions. What’s not exactly clear here is whether Core-M is just Broadwell Y-series or whether it will cover some high-end Atom products too. If it does it will be quite the trick. Personally I think it’s just Broadwell Y for powerful tablets and 2-in-1s. Note that this is not just a Windows play. Android is included and I suspect Chromebooks/tabs too. The Llama Mountain 10-inch reference design with Core-M at 550 grams is impressive. We’ve seen Clovertrail and Baytrail-based 10-inch tablets at this weight but not Y-series. I have a Y-series Haswell fanless tablet here and it’s heavy so this is a great step forward. 600 grams is the maximum I think that any tablet (of any size that targets consumers) should be. Llama Mountain is impressive and inspiring and Intel should turn this into a developer kit item (and of course, give them away at their developer conference in September!)



One product that really opened my eyes was this. Intel say that this Acer product, which I’m sure is a 2-in-1 due to the frame controls, will come to market for $199. $199 for a 2-in-1? They’ve just launched the Switch 10 at …but wait a minute. This is the Switch 10! Did Kirk accidentally pick up the wrong device on stage? How can they make it cheaper than most cheap 8-inch Windows tablets? The lowest cost netbooks cost $199. This can’t be right? If it is right, it might even be wrong to do this from a business perspective.


Wireless

I was hoping for WiGig news at Computex but I wasn’t expecting Intel to put their weight behind it like this. Intel wants to be “number 1 in WiGig silicon in the world” TX/RX. WiGig (more info) is important and could enabled CPU-less tablets if it works out as planned. “…We’ll build reference designs to eliminate all cables from Ultrabook and 2-in-1 PCs.” This is something Intel are planning post-Broadwell and it not only allows a tablet to be thinner but it could save a lot of costs. Get an integrated WiFi/WiGig card inside and you save a lot of port, space and design costs. Waterproofing becomes easier too. Expect some sort of demo mid-late next year. Intel’s WiGig silicon is known as Maple Peak. WiGig docking is coming in the first half of 2015. (Actually it’s already available from Dell but I think Intel is referring to docks made with Intel inside.


On WiDI – the consumer-grade screen mirroring and extending solution – Intel highlighted a new product from Actiontec. Screenbeam Mini 2 is looking like the Chromecast of WiDi solutions and it’s badly needed. Current solutions are big , expensive and problematic. The Screenbeam Mini launched in Taiwan during Computex and is on sale there for about $US 50. It needs to be cheaper in my opinion but maybe this version 2 is going to reduce the price.  My Actiontec ScreenBeam testing here.


It’s noteworthy that Intel said that WiDi is the “best Miracast experience. ” They’ve taken second row on wireless display. I don’t like wireless charging. It’s very lossy and that goes against the grain when it comes to by focus on efficient computing. However, having seen the 20W charging pad working with an Ultrabook I may be about to change my mind. The Dell Venue 8 Pro was demonstrated with wireless charging too and it’s all under A4WP standards.


Also worth seeing is the RealSense live beautifying webcam demo. Check it out in the video.

WiDi – Wireless Display Overview, Specifications, Testing and Demos

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screenbeamWe’ve tested a number of Windows tablets here at UMPCPortal and one of the biggest issues we hear is on video output. People like their HDMI ports and when it’s not available on their ‘PC’ they’re not happy.  There are questions to be asked about how often you’d really use it on a device that’s targeted at consumption, yes, but these Windows tablets do more than just help users consume content and that’s the point. Luckily there are options for those that don’t have the port. They come with limitations, yes, but they can also have advantages. Take the wireless video solution WiDi for example. In this article I take a deep-dive into this wireless display technology that you’ll find on many new Intel-based Tablets, 2-in-1s and Ultrabooks.

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CES2014 Ultrabook Round-Up. Ultrabook 2014 Thoughts.

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embedded-cam-dellThe big CES2014 Ultrabook news summary is that there isn’t really anything major to talk about, which needs talking about.

Given that there were no major Ultrabook announcements or evidence of Ultrabook marketing at CES2014 we now have to think about the future of the Ultrabook and leading-edge notebooks. Importantly, who’s going to carry the flag for new PC technologies? Or was CES2014 just a break in the project to allow Intel to promote themselves in newer emerging technologies? What’s next for the Ultrabook, Ultrabook 2014.

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Intel Wireless Display now at V3. Netgear launches Low-Cost Mini Receiver

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Supporting 1080p wireless transfer, including protected content, using H.264 hardware encoding over 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz Wi-Fi networks in Version 3, Intel Wi-Di is becoming more and more interesting. There are now TVs and monitors available with Wi-Di built in and the new Netgear Push2TV 3000 (PTV3000) is breaking new ground in size and price.

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I took a look at the latest low-latency version of the product and got hands-on with the tiny Netgear PTV3000 which is launching at $59.

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ASUS Preparing Lower-Cost UX32A and UX32Vd, Potentially Killing the UX21 and UX31

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I don’t believe any of the Gen-1 Ultrabooks should be taken off the market to be replaced with Ivy Bridge models but there’s a risk that they will be if manufacturers adopt a two-prong approach with low and high-end Ivy Bridge devices. News just in via The Verge says that new Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks, the UX32A and UX32Vd, will start at $800. Does that leave any space for price drops on the UX21 and UX31?

While old stock may go for cheaper prices in Q3 we think it’s unlikely that the UX21 and UX31 will continue on the production line.

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New ASUS Ultrabooks UX31A and UX21A–Full HD and New Specs Uncovered

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As reported previously, there will be new ASUS Zenbook Ultrabooks with Full HD displays soon. The previously reported news has been confirmed by The Verge who have picked up a full spec sheet for the new ASUS UX31A and UX21A models that will launch when Ivy Bridge goes into production.

The Verge is also confirming the backlit keyboard but adding information on various screen options that range from matte to gloss with different brightness ratings. I can’t imagine that all the variants (including 2GB and 4GB RAM versions and three Ivy Bridge CPU versions) will all make it to productions but it’s great to see that ASUS are attempting to raise the bar. There’s also a switch to an Intel WiFi module that supports Wireless Display. Let’s hope it’s a high-end Centrino module although to be honest, the UX21 and UX31 already have good quality Qualcomm Atheros WiFi modules.

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WiDi – Important Value for Tablets, Netbooks and Ultrabooks

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widi logoI believe Intel Wireless Display (also known as Wi-Di) could be one of the best ‘value-add’ technologies Intel has implemented for years. Not because of any technical skill (it’s an extension of the Wi-Fi Direct ‘soft AP’ standard implemented in their Centrino network cards and Core processors) but because it adds capability to the PC platform that makes real sense and doesn’t require any extra interfaces or radios. Wireless display is going to be something that, once you’ve used it, you probably won’t wouldn’t want to lose. Expect to see this on most Ultrabooks next year.

Intel have been working on this for a number of years now [good background story here] and although it’s available in Ultrabooks and other PCs based on Core architecture, it’s also coming to Cedar Trail and Medfield as an option.

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Oaktrail-based Product Highlights “Wireless Display”

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I’m following Oaktrail product releases closely and this one, like other Oaktrail products, has some interesting specs.

Its the Pioneer Dreambook ePad F10

dreambook F10 2

Full specifications are now in our database but here are a few highlights that you don’t often see together on a Windows tablet. 15mm, 700gm, 8hrs. Obviously you should Chippy’s Marketing Correction Factor of 30% on that battery life but hey, even 6 hours would be pretty good for a 700gm Windows tablet with a 10 – inch screen. I don’t know what battery they have inside but 40 Wh would be about the maximum size. Also note that there’s an HDMI port. Oaktrail, the platform that this is built on, supports 1080p decoding in hardware.

There’s one other specification that I find even more interesting though Intel WIDI wireless display technology. It’s currently shown on the specification page at Pioneercomputers.

I was speaking to Intel at CES about wireless display on netbooks and they said, yes, it’s coming but they were quoting requirements that included dual-core Atom and Broadcom HD display module. I wonder if Oaktrail, with its built-in 720p HD encoding, is going to offer wireless display without the Broadcom and dual-core requirement. I sincerely hope so because wireless displays make so much more sense with a tablet than on a desktop or laptop.

We’ve got a query out to Intel on this and hope to bring you confirmation soon.

One other interesting thing about this tablet is that it is possible to buy it without an OS meaning it could make an interesting Meego development device. Or even open-source Android. Wait for details on the touchscreen before buying tho because some of them don’t play well with Linux.

The big question remains. Is a 1.5Ghz single-core Atom CPU enough to drive Windows 7 smoothly. With 2GB, a fast SSD and the GMA600 it’s possible but it’s going to take a well-designed unit to pull it off.

Core Leaves a Gap, Shows Technology for Intel Atom.

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Although Intels ‘Core’ products rarely reach down into our mobility segment here on UMPCPortal, I attended the launch of the second-gen Core CPUs at CES today to get some idea of what technologies could be coming down the road and how it might affect the positioning for Atom-based products.

Before the main announcements this morning though, Paul Otellini took a few minutes to talk about other products in the Intel portfolio. Two of those apply here.

Firstly, 100 new atom-based netbooks and tablets will launch in the first half of this year. Secondly, Paul announced that Meego and smartphone product announcements will be made at MWC in Barcelona. That’s in about 5 weeks.

The Core architecture of CPU+Graphics+Memory controller on one piece of silicon is being echoed in the Atom world and one of the main messages today was that on-chip graphics can be as good as discreet graphics and that over the last 4 years, the solutions have got 25x more powerful. Unfortunately we’re not told how much that affects power ratings. I have no details of the ultra-low power versions of these CPUs but there was no mention of this in the press conference so it’s probably fair to say that the first wave of 2nd-gen Core products won’t be anything for even high-end netbook, tablet or ultra mobile PC devices. The performance gap above Atom and below Core is getting very big now!

We saw an interesting content delivery product being announced today that could potentially make it to Atom. Intel Insider. This isn’t a store concept like AppUp but a silicon-based security solution that is giving film studios the confidence to deliver early release HD content to PCs. We already know that Atom is 1080p-capable so it would make a lot of sense to bring Intel Insider to Atom. It’s a closed-wall delivery mechanism which some people won’t like but it could help bring badly-needed content to Intel-based tablets and netbooks. We could potentially see the technology being used by AppUp too.

Wireless Display got a boost with the announcement of the 2nd generation of the product. It now includes 1080p support. I’m hoping that this reaches Atom platforms because cables and small, mobile devices don’t go together so in my opinion, Atom products need this technology more than the laptops and desktops.

The netbook and tablet platforms slipped behind a bit today leaving a huge gap in terms of performance. I hope we’ll hear something very soon that addresses this, especially at the performance end of the ultra-mobile market.

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