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Thread: Anandtech News

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    Anandtech: MWC 2019: Qualcomm Press Conference Live Blog (9:00PM UTC)

    We’re live here from MWC in Barcelona – Qualcomm is about their press conference event and we have front row seats. The press conference should start at 10PM CET / 9PM UTC. We should hear some exciting news about 5G and new upcoming WiFi solutions by Qualcomm.


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    Anandtech: Huawei Mate X vs. Samsung Galaxy Fold: Ask the Press

    One of the biggest talking points this year at Mobile World Congress is the emergence of folding phones. The two largest smartphone vendors in the world, Samsung and Huawei, both announced their next generation foldable devices. We asked a number of press and analysts in the industry for their initial comments on the new handsets.


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    Anandtech: Nubia at MWC 2019: Wearable OLED Smartphone Coming to a Wrist Near You

    Nubia, a division of ZTE, is prepping to release its first wearable watch-like smartphone. The device is currently being showcased at MWC in Barcelona, Spain, but the company is keeping the details about it under wraps until its official introduction later tonight (European time).
    Gallery: Nubia at MWC 2019: Wearable OLED Smartphone Coming to a Wrist Near You


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    Anandtech: Nokia Launches Nokia 9 PureView at MWC 2019: So I Heard You Like Cameras

    HMD Global has introduced its new Nokia flagship smartphone at MWC 2019. The key feature of the Nokia 9 PureView is its six-module camera (five lens + Time-of-Flight) co-designed with Zeiss and Light that promises to deliver quality of photos never-before-seen on smartphones. The handset is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845, comes with a large pOLED display, and has an eye-catching design.
    When it comes to smartphones, the Nokia brand is renowned for two key qualities: high-clarity displays, and advanced imaging capabilities. Being the 2019 flagship offering from HMD, the Nokia 9 PureView features both.
    A Custom ASIC for Dissecting Image Data

    The Nokia 9 is the world’s first handset to use a camera featuring six sensors/modules: two 12 MP RGB sensors featuring Zeiss optics, three 12 MP monochrome sensors using Zeiss lenses, and a time-of-light (ToF) depth sensor. The camera is controlled by a tiny 14 mm2 ASIC developed by a company called Light that specializes on imaging solutions using 6, 12, or 18-camera arrays.
    The Light ASIC independently controls all camera modules in order to focus them, adjust exposure levels per aperture, calculate white balance, etc. Once the cameras capture their images, the ASIC fuses them together into a single ‘RAW’ image (as Nokia puts it, ‘HDR image’) containing both color and lighting/shadows information. Then the chip transfers the ‘RAW’ data using two MIPI transmitters to a host for further processing. Since contemporary Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs do not natively support six camera modules, Nokia needed the ASIC from Light not only because it controls the sensors, but also because it packs the data into a format that a mobile SoC can consume and process.
    Once the data gets to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon, the magic from Nokia kicks in. The company developed algorithms that use Qualcomm’s general purpose, ISP, and DSP hardware to process the image data from the sensors. According to Nokia, use of the ASIC as well as various hardware capabilities provided by the Snapdragon enable the Nokia 9 PureView to do some serious image processing without dramatically harming battery life.
    Combining data from five 12 MP sensors, according to the company, enable the Nokia 9 PureView to capture a gargantuan amount of color and light details. Obviously, using the data available, the phone itself can apply various effects to photos on-the-fly using the Pro Camera UI, including the popular depth-of-field (bokeh effect), various kinds of blur, tilt, shift, etc. What is, perhaps, more important is that RAW (DNG to be more precise) images that the Nokia 9 PureView produces can be later edited in all ways possible, focal points may be changed and so on using pre-installed Adobe Lightroom app (or Google Photos depth editor). With its six-module camera, Nokia essentially unlocks possibilities previously only available to photographers with high end cameras practically to everyone.
    Powerful imaging capabilities of the Nokia 9 PureView do not end with the highly-custom camera on the rear. The smartphone has a 20 MP sensor on the front to make selfies. The imaging software also works with this camera as well.
    The 5.99-Inch PureDisplay

    The handset is equipped with a custom 5.99-inch pOLED display that covers almost the entire surface of the phone’s front side, but still has a small notch. The screen features a 2880x1440 resolution (537 PPI), as well as a very high contrast ratio common to OLED-type displays. In a bid to make the screen standout from the crowd, Nokia did a number of PureDisplay enhancements to further improve quality of the display it uses on its top-of-the-line offering.
    For biometric security, Nokia installed an in-screen fingerprint scanner. Meanwhile, the display is protected using Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
    The Hardware

    The Nokia 9 is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 application processor (four Kryo Gold 385 cores at 2.8 GHz, four Kryo Silver cores at 1.7 GHz, Adreno 630 GPU) accompanied by 6 GB of LPDDR4X memory as well as 128 GB of NAND flash storage (for full specs, please check the table below). The choice of the previous-gen high-end platform may look a bit odd, but keep in mind that Nokia had to ensure that all of its custom imaging capabilities/algorithms work well with a particular SoC, which required a lot of time to work correctly.
    When it comes to wireless connectivity the Nokia 9 PureView offers everything that its SoC does: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, 4G/LTE Cat 16 with 4x4 MIMO, GPS/AGPS+GLONASS+BDS, NFC, ANT+. On the wired side of things, the phone has a USB Type-C connector for data and charging.
    The Nokia 9 PureView comes with an integrated 3320 mAh battery and supports Qi wireless charging, just like the majority of today’s high-end smartphones.
    The Looks

    The Nokia 9 PureView comes in a chassis featuring an aluminum frame and Corning Gorilla Glass on both sides. The frame is rounded with chamfered edges which look rather exquisite, enough to compete for the style-minded crowd addressed by the Nokia 8 Sirocco, HMD’s former flagship. The handset will be available in deep — almost black — blue color, which is to emphasize positioning of the device while still being different from black and grey flagships from other companies.
    Style has always been an important feature of higher-end Nokia phones, so this one is clearly not an exception. Meanwhile, the handset is IP67 water and dust resistant.
    Price & Availability

    The Nokia 9 PureView will be available starting later March at a price of $699, which does not look too expensive for a unique flagship smartphone with very advanced imaging capabilities.
    The Nokia 9 PureView
    Display pOLED
    Corning Gorilla Glass 5
    SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
    Four Kryo Gold 385 cores at 2.8 GHz
    Four Kryo Silver cores at 1.7 GHz
    Adreno 630 GPU
    Storage 128 of NAND flash
    Local Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ac Wi-Fi
    Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0
    Data/Charging USB 3.0 Type-C
    Audio No 3.5 mm jack
    NFC Yes
    LTE X16 Modem
    Rear Camera 2 × 12 MP RGB sensor with Zeiss optics, f/1.8, 1/2.9", 1.25µm
    3 × 12 MP RGB sensor with Zeiss optics, f/1.8, 1/2.9", 1.25µm
    1 × TOF depth sensor
    1 × dual-LED/dual-tone flash
    Front Camera 20 MP, 1.0µm
    Battery Capacity 3320 mAh
    Expected Life ?
    SIM Size Nano SIM
    Sensors accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
    Biometric Security Fingerprint In-screen sensor
    Facial Recognition -
    Dimensions Height 155 mm | 6.2 inches
    Width 75 mm | 2.95 inches
    Thickness 8 mm | 0.31 inches
    Weight 172 grams | 6.07 ounces
    Colors Midnight Blue
    Protection Drop Protected
    Water, Dust IP67
    OS Google Android 9.0
    Launch Countries EMEA, APAC, USA
    Price €620, $699
    Related Reading:

    Source: Nokia


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    Anandtech: 512 GB of UFS 3.0 Storage: Western Digital iNAND MC EU511

    Western Digital said that it has now completed development and started sampling its first UFS 3.0 storage solutions for ‘5G era’ smartphones. The new embedded flash drives (EFDs) provide up to 512 GB of storage space, use the company’s latest 3D NAND memory, and support its proprietary iNAND SmartSLC Gen 6 technology to maximize sequential write speeds.
    The Western Digital iNAND MC EU511 storage devices are based on the company’s 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory as well as an in-house-developed controller that supports a UFS 3.0 HS Gear 4 two-lane interface. The controller supports the company’s iNAND SmartSLC Gen 6 technology (which presumably works like pseudo-SLC cache mode in case of SSDs) to ensure a maximum sequential write speed of up to 750 MB/s.
    The amount of data generated and processed (both locally and in the cloud) in the upcoming 5G era is expected to be considerably higher than the amount of data generated and processed today, which will naturally increase requirements for performance of all edge devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, etc.). Therefore, ensuring solid write speeds of internal storage is important, which is why Western Digital incorporated its iNAND SmartSLC into the new EFDs.
    Western Digital's UFS 3.0 Storage ICs
    64 GB 128 GB 256 GB 512 GB
    NAND Type 96-Layer BiCS4 3D TLC NAND
    Controller Developed in-house
    Interface UFS 3.0
    two full-duplex HS-Gear3 lanes
    11.6 GT/s per lane
    up to 2900 MB/s
    Sequential Read Speed ?
    Sequential Write Speed Up to 750 MB/s with SLC caching
    Operating Temperatures ?
    Health Status Monitor ?
    Data Retention ?
    Thermal Sensor Yes
    Voltage Memory 2.5 V - 3.3 V
    Interface 1.2 V for VCCQ, 1.8 V for VCCQ2
    Package Type FBGA-153 (?)
    Width 11.5 mm
    Length 13 mm
    Height 1 mm
    Sample Availability Starting from February 2019
    When it comes to other features, Western Digital’s EFDs support UFS 3.0 error history, thermal notification, and RPMB multi-region configurations. The firmware of the devices is designed to be field-upgradeable.
    Western Digital plans to offer its iNAND MC EU511 UFS 3.0-powered EFDs in 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB configurations, thus targeting smartphones of different price classes. What is noteworthy is that all of the storage devices will be available in industry standard 11.5 × 13 × 1 mm packages, something that contrasts with high-capacity EFDs from other makers that use larger packages.
    Western Digital said that it had started to sample its iNAND MC EU511 UFS 3.0-powered EFDs with OEMs, although which capacities are sampling today is unclear. We expect commercial products to use the devices in the coming quarters.
    Related Reading:

    Source: Western Digital


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    Anandtech: OnePlus 5G Prototype: Living Large

    Here at Mobile World Congress, a number of companies are showing off 5G-enabled smartphones or prototypes. We've seen devices from most of the top smartphone global manufacturers, and despite suggesting they won't show anything new here at Mobile World Congress a few weeks ago, Oneplus showcased its 5G prototype.
    The company has announced that it will be the first to offer a 5G enabled device in the UK, based on trails with EE, using Qualcomm's solution. The demonstration at the show involved only two aspects, however. First, the demonstration showed that the device can receive information from sub-6 GHz sources. Second, that the device was able to render a flight simulator game at a decent framerate, and stream it to a TV.
    OnePlus is tight-lipped about everything regarding this device. It is camouflaged heavily, so we cannot even find out the aspect ratio of its display, the size of the bezels, the rear camera arrangement, etc. The only thing we were able to determine is that the display looked suitable for a large sized flagship.
    Related Reading


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    Anandtech: Alcatel 3T 10 Launched: An Entry Level Android Tablet

    Entry-level Android-based tablets are a relatively minor market, which is why companies offering such products tend to aim them at a specific geographical markets in a bid to avoid head-to-head competition with other makers. These devices tend to address very specific needs without trying to make a one-size-fits-all kind of device. This is exactly what the Alcatel 3T 10 tablet is all about.


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    Anandtech: BlackBerry Acquires Cylance, Gets AI & ML Security Technology

    BlackBerry Limited has announced that it had completed acquisition of Cylance, a company developing machine learning and artificial intelligence-based security technology. The move adds valuable IP and technologies to BlackBerry’s vast portfolio of security solutions for the connected world.
    Cylance reports that it uses sophisticated AI and ML algorithms to predict, detect, and prevent, known and unknown threats. Such technologies are expected to enhance BlackBerry’s QNX and Spark platforms for connected cars as well as IoT devices. Since many of these new product markets did not exist until several years ago, potential threats that can harm them remain largely unknown. As a result, advanced algorithms that that can predict and detect them should make a great sense for software platforms that are used to run these emerging devices, when applied appropriately. Meanwhile, the same algorithms can be embedded into other products offered by BlackBerry, thus enhancing the whole portfolio of solutions.
    BlackBerry paid $1.4 billion for Cylance, a company founded in 2015 by former employees of Intel, and McAfee. Stuart McClure, the founder of Cylance, will continue to serve as the president of BlackBerry Cylance (which will operate as a separate unit within BlackBerry Limited) and apply his 30+ years of experience in security and technology to math-based approach to tackle security threats.
    Cylance is a yet another firm that BlackBerry acquired in the recent years in an attempt to boost its portfolio of security-related technologies. Back in 2014, the company took over Secusmart GmbH to gain high-security voice, anti-eavesdropping, and on-the-fly data encryption technologies.
    Related Reading:

    Source: BlackBerry


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    Anandtech: Micron and Western Digital Unveil 1 TB microSD Cards with A2

    The evolution of 3D NAND memory had enabled storage device makers to offer rather unprecedented capacities. To that end, this week at Mobile World Congress, Micron and Western Digital their first 1TB microSDXC cards, marking the point where the pint-sized storage cards have become too big to be measured in mere gigabytes. Besides offering loads of storage space, the cards also feature SD Association’s A2 capabilities and support running Android applications directly from the card.
    The c200 1 TB microSDXC card from Micron and the SanDisk Extreme 1 TB microSDXC card from Western Digital are based on 96-layer 3D NAND flash memory from the respective companies as well as controllers designed in-house. Both cards are also compatible with existing SDXC hosts. While Micron confirms that its card uses 3D QLC NAND, Western Digital is somewhat reluctant to disclose the type of memory it uses. It is logical to assume that the SanDisk card also uses the company’s second -generation 3D QLC NAND devices, but this information is not official.
    Moving on to performance offered by the products, both cards support the A2 app performance class specification. This means they can provide random performance of at least 4000 read IOPS and 2000 write IOPS, as well as support for such capabilities as command queuing (with a minimum depth queue of 2 and a maximum depth queue of 32) to optimize random read performance, caching to hit write performance targets, as well as self-maintenance capabilities.
    Micron says that its c200 1 TB microSD card is capable of up to 100 MB/s sequential read speeds as well as up to 95 MB/s sequential write speeds. The card also supports the V30 video speed class specifications, so this means its minimum write speed is at least 30 MB/s.
    Meanwhile for their part, Western Digital says that its card is capable of 160 – 170 MB/s read/write speeds, which makes it the "world’s fastest microSDXC 1 TB UHS-I card." There is a catch though: the UHS-I bus only supports up to 104 MB/s throughput, so SanDisk Extreme 1 TB microSDXC cards can only hit the advertised speeds on hosts supporting DDR-200 transfer rates. While there are some smartphones that can do this, it is usually not advertised. So in the vast majority of cases the card will hit the maximum that the bus offers: around 100 MB/s reads and writes. Meanwhile, the card also carries the V30 badge and its minimum write speed is 30 MB/s.
    Western Digital plans to start selling its 1 TB microSDXC card in April at a price of $449.99. As is usually the case for storage products, this is a bit of a price premium for the top capacity model; by comparison, WD's 512 GB microSDXC product costs $199.99.
    Meanwhile Micron does not disclose MSRP of its 1 TB microSDXC card, but the company indicates that it will be “competitive for the target audience”. The product will be available sometime in the second quarter.
    Related Reading:

    Sources: Micron, Western Digital


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    Anandtech: SK Hynix Details DDR5-6400

    SK Hynix this week revealed some additional technical details about its upcoming DDR5-6400 memory chip at the International Solid State Circuits Conference. The die size of the company’s 16 Gb DDR5 chip is at a high end of historical DRAM die sizes, so the cost of the device will likely be quite high. However, the increased DRAM density per square millimeter will likely enable SK Hynix to build rather cost effective 8 Gb DDR5 ICs.


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