Rumor: Qualcomm getting ready to prepare 4G LTE chips for next-gen iPhone handset

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Date: Friday, June 15th, 2012, 11:32
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

You’re probably going to need components if you’re going to build a snazzy new thing.

Per DigiTimes, Taiwanese chip maker Qualcomm is said to be providing high-speed 4G long-term evolution chips produced using a 28-nanometer process.

The company is expected to build its 4G LTE chips at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, supply chain sources shared with DigiTimes. Qualcomm will need about 10,000 28-nanometer 12-inch wafers, representing one-third of the 28-nanometer capacity at TSMC, just to produce 4G chips for the next iPhone, the report said.

Also relying on TSMC’s 28-nanometer process for the next iPhone will be Broadcom, which is expected to provide Wi-Fi chips to Apple. And OmniVision is also said to be looking to get in on TSMC’s 12-inch fabrication process.

The report noted that TSMC’s “tight production capacity” for its 28-nanometer process will also have customers Nvidia, Texas Instruments, Altera, Xilinx and others. It’s expected that it will be difficult for TSMC to meet market demand for the 28-nanometer process until it can produce 50,000 units a month around the fourth quarter of 2012.

With supply constraints in mind, STMicroelectronics is said to be ramping up output of MEMS devices for Apple’s next iPhone. Similarly, NXP Semiconductors and Texas Instruments are reportedly stockpiling inventory of analog integrated circuits to meet Apple’s demand.

In March it was said that Apple was in the process of reviewing potential components for the company’s next-generation LTE 4G iPhone. Among the parts Apple was expected to utilize by Barclays was Qualcomm’s “MDM9615” LTE chip, which supports both voice and data connections on high-speed 4G networks.

Analysts at Barclays also said at the end of May that Apple had “locked down” suppliers of important radio chips for the sixth-generation iPhone. Companies said to have been selected by Apple included Skyworks, Avago Technologies, and TriQuint.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Opera web browser updated to 12.00

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Date: Friday, June 15th, 2012, 06:54
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, Opera Software released version 12.00 of its web browser. The new version, a 23.3 megabyte download, boasts the following fixes and changes:

New Features:
– Opera now runs plug-ins as a separate process, allowing for more control when a plug-in misbehaves. This feature will enhance security and stability.

– The 64-bit version of Opera will offer performance improvements for some functions and allow Opera more freedom in allocating memory.

– New, lightweight themes make it easier to customize the browser. Install or change themes at the click of a button, without restarting the browser.

Numerous improvements to the address bar have been made:
– Improved address field and address bar drop-down suggestions.

– Smart URL shortening in the address field drop-down.

– The page title and the page excerpt will be used for full page search results
URL and page content columns in the address field drop-down have been combined
Hardware acceleration allows Opera to offload graphics rendering from the processor (CPU) to the graphics card (GPU), making graphics intensive operations such as animations faster.

– RTL support will bring additional stability for certain languages. Persian, Urdu, Hebrew, and Arabic languages added.

– Extensions will now be able to interact with tabs, create tab groups, and manage windows.

– Opera Unite and Opera Widgets will be off by default in Opera 12.00, and will eventually be phased out of the Opera browser in the future. Voice support will be removed as of Opera 12.00, as the voice-detection library is no longer supported by the third-party vendor.

– Opera 12.00 will include changes in the Opera Presto 2.10 engine up to core-integration-point 289.

– Initial support for real-time communication has been added. Allowing the source of HTML5

– Drag and drop enables webpages to have elements that the user can drag from one page to another, or from their desktop to the webpage.

– Support for animations and transitions has been updated and expanded.

– Added support for the Do Not Track (DNT) HTTP header.

– An innovative new set of CSS constructs that allow webpages to be split up into paged media, revolutionizing the Web reading experience.

– CORS enables more secure and flexible communications between websites.

Improvements:
– General and User Interface.

– Appearance dialog improvements and cleanup.

– Sandboxing enabled for Mac App Store builds.

– A custom user agent preference has been added to opera:config.

Display and Scripting:
– Improved pipelining, JavaScript, and Turbo.

Fixes and Changes:
– Mail, News, Chat.

– Removed IRC client, start bar, navigation bar, main bar, and BitTorrent support.

Security:
– Fixed an issue where hidden keyboard navigation could allow cross site scripting or code execution, as reported by Jordi Chancel.

– Fixed an issue where a combination of clicks and key presses could lead to cross site scripting or code execution, as reported by Jordi Chancel.

– Fixed an issue where cross-domain JSON resources may be exposed as JavaScript variable data.

– Fixed an issue where carefully timed reloads, redirects, and navigation could spoof the address field, as reported by Jordi Chancel.

– Fixed a moderate severity issue; details will be disclosed at a later date.

– Fixed an issue where pages could prevent navigation to a target page, spoofing the address field, as reported by Code Audit Labs of vulnhunt.com.

Opera 12.00 is available for free and requires and Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Skype updated to 5.8.0.865, adds Mac OS X 10.8 support, refined contacts list

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2012, 10:18
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, version 5.8.0.865 of the Skype VoIP application was released. The new version, a 23.5 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

– Support for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

– Reintroduction of a slimmer contact list, which can be resized and repositioned as necessary.

– When talking to people using the iOS or Android apps, the Mac software will now automatically detect when a person has rotated their mobile device, and adjust incoming video on a Mac automatically. Auto-rotation was already supported for incoming Windows Phone video; Skype is notably owned by Microsoft. Premium subscribers, meanwhile, can now see photos and live video simultaneously during Screen Sharing.

– The company has promised that a future Mac release will add the ability to open chats in separate windows, and talk to multiple contacts at once.

Skype 5.8.0.865 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know in the comments.

Cocktail updated to 5.3.2

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2012, 06:50
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 5.3.2 of CocktailCocktail (Lion Edition), the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 3 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

– Added clearing of /System/Library/Caches/com.apple.IntlDataCache.le and /System/Library/Caches/com.apple.IntlDataCache.le.kbdx caches to the clear system caches procedure

– Launch time optimization.

– Fixed registration issues some users encountered when registering.

– Various minor bug fixes and improvements.

– Updated Automator actions.

Cocktail 5.3.2 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later to install and run.

Apple releases MacBook Air (Mid 2012) Software Update 1.0 firmware upgrade

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2012, 06:54
Category: MacBook Air, News, Software

It never hurts to pin down the bugs within the early days.

Early Thursday, Apple released its MacBook Air (Mid 2012) Software Update 1.0 firmware upgrade. The update, a 167 megabyte download, can also be found, snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and offers the following fixes and changes for the newly-released notebooks:

– The update includes fixes that improve graphics stability, flash performance, and external display support.

The update requires a mid-2012 MacBook Air and Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the firmware update and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

VMWare releases Fusion 4.1.3 update

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2012, 05:39
Category: News, Software

Late Wednesday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 4.1.3 of its Fusion software for the Mac.

Similar to other virtualization software packages, VMWare allows users to run alternate operating systems such as Windows and Linux distributions on Intel-based Macs at native speeds. Other features, such as Unity, allow users to run and minimize Windows applications from the Mac OS X Dock.

The new version, a 182 megabyte download, can be found here and offers the following fixes and changes:

– Resolved an intermittent issue with an unreleased version of Mac OS X.

– Fixed a race-condition when starting VMware Tools in some OpenSUSE virtual machines.

Fusion 4.1.3 retails for US$49.99 and requires an Intel-based Mac, 2 GB of RAM, Mac OS X 10.6.7 or later (10.7 recommended) and a copy of Windows (if you’ll be installing Windows).

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Apple signs deal, goes with TomTom for iOS 6 mapping functions

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Date: Wednesday, June 13th, 2012, 10:47
Category: News, Software

It’s not you…it’s me.

Per Macworld, digital maps provider TomTom announced on Tuesday it has signed a global agreement with Apple for maps and related information.

Apple announced Monday at its World Wide Developers Conference that an upcoming version of its iOS mobile operating system will feature a rebuilt maps app with Apple-designed cartography, turn-by-turn navigation, and interactive 3-D views, placing the company in competition with Google’s Maps product.

Apple demonstrated some of the capabilities of its rebuilt Maps app for iOS 6 at Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
TomTom already supplies its maps and related data to companies including Samsung, Research In Motion, and Google, but expects its relationship with Apple to be deeper, said company spokesman Taco Titulaer on Tuesday.

TomTom claims up-to-date digital maps that cover more than 200 countries and territories. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company also offers an up-to-date route planner, including live traffic information. Other products include portable navigation devices, in-dash infotainment systems, and fleet management services. Its customers include Internet companies, mobile handset makers, and network operators, besides government and enterprise, the company said on its website.

TomTom will be the primary but not the only supplier of maps and related data to Apple, as the company does not have mapping data for some countries such as China, Titulaer said.

The upcoming iOS 6 includes vector-based map elements that make graphics and text smooth, and panning, tilting and zooming fluid, according to Apple. The maps app will also feature turn-by-turn navigation with spoken directions, interactive 3D views, realtime traffic information with alternate time-saving routes if traffic conditions change significantly, and local search for over 100 million businesses.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple quietly updates Mac Pro, adds modest speed boost

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Date: Wednesday, June 13th, 2012, 10:39
Category: Hardware, Mac Pro, News

This sort of slipped in under the wire.

Albeit it wasn’t officially announced at WWDC, the Mac Pro was updated via the Apple Store on Monday with a modest speed boost.

The standard-configuration 12-core Mac Pro features two 2.4 gigahertz 6-core Intel Xeon E5645 processors and 12 megabytes of fully shared L3 cache per processor. The 12-core model starts at US$3,799 with 12 gigabytes of memory, a 1-terabyte hard drive and ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics with 1 gigabyte of GDDR5 memory.

The quad-core Mac Pro features one 3.2 gigahertz quad-core Intel Xeon processor and 6 gigabytes of memory. It also features a 1-terabyte hard drive and ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1 gigabyte of GDDR5 for US$2,499.

A Mac Pro server configuration is also available, featuring one 3.2 gigahertz quad-core Intel Xeon processor and 8 gigabytes of RAM standard. For US$2,999 it features two 1-terabyte hard drives, the ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1 gigabyte of GDDR5 RAM, and it comes installed with OS X Lion Server.

Somewhat disappointingly, the Xeon E5 chip was actually found to be a two-year-old Westmere-EP chip.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

iFixit posts full teardown of mid-2012 Retina Display MacBook Pro, finds significant changes in architecture

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Date: Wednesday, June 13th, 2012, 09:48
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, News

Well…that was speedy.

Late Tuesday night, the cool cats at iFixit posted a full teardown of the new Retina Display MacBook Pro.

The company apparently had little trouble maneuvering past Apple’s proprietary pentalobe screws and by Step 6 in the process, the inside of the unit was unveiled for all to see online.



Among the discoveries made:
– The battery is no longer screwed into the machine, but rather glued.

– The 512GB flash storage chips were marked as Samsung, but the chips themselves appear to be proprietary, something new for the MacBook Pro line.

– The RAM itself seems to be soldered to the logic board.

– The proprietary SSD also is not yet replaceable.

– The “display assembly is completely fused, and there’s no glass protecting it,” iFixit writes. “If anything ever fails inside the display, you will need to replace the entire extremely expensive assembly.”

So, yeah, if you’re tinkering with your brand new Retina Display MacBook Pro, please be careful.

Additional details as they become available.

Apple releases MacBook Pro (Retina) Trackpad Update 1.0 as quick fix for new product line

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Date: Wednesday, June 13th, 2012, 07:43
Category: MacBook Pro, News, Software

There’s always an initial glitch or two with a new product line…

Apple on Tuesday released the first software update for the Retina Display MacBook Pro to fix possible trackpad input issues a little over 24 hours after the new machine was debuted on Monday.

Per AppleInsider, MacBook Pro (Retina) Trackpad Update 1.0 addresses an issue where the next generation notebook’s “trackpad may not respond consistently to user input,” according to Apple’s Support Page.

The update comes only a day after Apple’s chief of marketing Phil Schiller unveiled the hotly-anticipated device onstage at WWDC 2012.

While shipments of the Retina Display-sporting 15-inch MacBook Pro have slipped to two to three weeks, some early adopters have already gotten their hands on the first units sold. The number of affected machines is unknown and the issue itself has so far gone largely unreported.

The 1.26MB update can be downloaded through this link or Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and is only applicable to users of the new Retina Display MacBook Pro.

If you’ve gotten your mitts on the new Retina Display MacBook Pro and had a chance to try this update, please let us know.