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MediaTek debuts new mid-range phone chips

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MediaTek has announced the Helio P23 and P30, designed to deliver high performance LTE connections, power efficiency and support for next-generation dual-camera features.

MediaTek has introduced two new members to the Helio chipset family, the Helio P23 and Helio P30 system-on-chips (SoCs). The new chipsets, designed to deliver performance and power efficiency, dual camera photography, dual SIM and dual 4G VoLTE capabilities, support the explosion of innovation in mid-range smartphones.

“Reaching the mid-market means bringing people affordable devices that power and perform with the latest features, like dual-cameras and 4G LTE connectivity,” said TL Lee, General Manager of MediaTek’s Wireless Communication business unit. “In the rapidly growing arena of new premium mid-range devices, mobile technology innovators know they need to stand out in a crowded field – P23 and P30 enable them to do that.”

For developed and emerging markets, P23 and P30, both 16nm chipsets, deliver powerful combinations of premium photography experiences with outstanding connectivity, power-savings with amazing performance, and simultaneous 4G on dual SIM cards.

MediaTek provided the following information:

Featuring Dual Camera Support

The P23 and P30 bring dual-camera support to the MediaTek Helio line, delivering software and hardware-backed dual-camera features that guarantee a superior photography experience. The MediaTek Helio P23 features support for 13+13 megapixel dual-camera setups, while MediaTek Helio P30 supports up to 16+16 megapixels.

Incorporating MediaTek’s Imagiq 2.0 technology suite, the chipsets are equipped to minimise aliasing, grain and noise, reduce chromatic aberration and more – resulting in clear, crisp, high-quality images across a number of lighting conditions. Additionally, a new hardware Camera Control Unit (CCU) – with auto exposure convergence speed up to twice as fast as competitors – ensures users never miss the moment they want to capture.

The P30 also features a new Vision Processing Unit (VPU), a dedicated 500MHz digital signal processor paired to the Image Signal Processors. This frees up system resources and delivers a number of key advantages including:

·         Programmability and Flexibility: The VPU provides a platform that allows original equipment manufacturers the ability to customise camera functionality and drive product differentiation.

·         Huge Power Reduction: The VPU is a dedicated camera-assisting hardware unit. It performs real-time processing functions that were typically assigned to the CPU or GPU, but at a tenth of the power usage.

·         Performance Boost: The VPU can be used in isolation or as part of a team with the CPU/GPU. This provides a true heterogeneous computing environment on the same memory subsystem for advanced multi-application or multi-function tasks.

·         With the VPU on board, combined with our Imagiq ISP, P30 can deliver real-time image and video both with ease.

Delivering Dual 4G VoLTE Connectivity

The MediaTek Helio P23 delivers the world’s first dual SIM, dual 4G VoLTE/ViLTE support. This allows faster, more consistent connectivity for users who use two SIM cards. The P23 and P30 feature MediaTek’s latest generation 4G LTE WorldMode modem, offering superior power efficiency and performance, with a unique combination of Cat-7/13 speeds at 300 Mbit/s download and 150Mbit/s upload. TAS 2.0 (Transmitting Antenna Switching) smart antenna technology further enhances performance and user experience, by using the best antenna combination to provide optimal signal quality.

High Performance Backed by MediaTek’s CorePilot Technology

Powered by MediaTek’s CorePilot technology, the P23 and P30 are built on eight Arm Cortex-A53 processors operating up to 2.3 GHz for sustained high performance and unparalleled user experience. Both chipsets feature the new Mali G71 MP2 GPU, clocked at 770MHz in the P23 and 950MHz in the P30, delivering high-end graphics performance.

MediaTek’s CorePilot 4.0 technology with power-aware scheduling, thermal management and UX monitoring enables sustained high-performance and reliably consistent user-experience. The P23 and P30 deliver fast performance and connectivity without sacrificing battery life.

In Q4 of 2017, the MediaTek Helio P23 will be available globally and the MediaTek Helio P30 will launch first in China. For more details, visit MediaTek and MediaTek Helio P23 and P30.

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Dell plans 50/50 gender split; 1:1 recycling and reuse

Dell Technologies has unveiled an ambitious 2030 target for a social impact plan called Progress Made Real.

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Dell Technologies has declared a decade of responsibility and innovation to ramp up the company’s social impact worldwide. At the company’s Dell Technologies Summit in Austin, Texas, last week, chairman and CEO Michael Dell unveiled a set of ambitious goals in a plan called 2030 Progress Made Real.

“Unlocking the power of data will advance humanity more than any other force over the next decade,” said Dell. “We are committed to making that power broadly available to communities around the world, so we can all move forward together.”

Over the next decade, he said, Dell Technologies will use its global scale, broad technology portfolio and expertise to yield meaningful and measurable impact on society and the planet. 

The plan sets the following goals for the company:

Advance sustainability 

·        Recycle an equivalent product for every product a customer buys

·        Lead the circular economy with more than half of all product content being made from recycled or renewable material 

·        Use 100% recycled or renewable material in all packaging 

·        Deliver future-ready skills development for workers in their supply chain

·        Drive a comprehensive science-based climate program, setting emissions goals across facilities, supply chain and operations to customer use of our products including partnering with suppliers to meet a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 60% per unit revenue by 2030

Cultivate inclusion

·        Acquire, develop and retain women so they account for 50% of the company’s global workforce and 40% of global people managers

·        Acquire, develop and retain black/African American and Hispanic team members so they account for 25% of the company’s U.S. workforce and 15% of U.S. people managers 

·        Educate 95% of all team members on an annual basis about unconscious bias, harassment, micro-aggressions and privilege 

Transform lives

·        Advance the health, education and economic opportunity of 1 billion people

·        Digitally transform 1,000 nonprofit organisations

·        Achieve 75% team member participation in charitable giving and volunteerism in communities

The company says ethics and privacy are foundational to its corporate and social impact strategies and are essential to executing the 2030 goals. To this end, it is fully automating data control processes, making it easier for customers to access, delete or share their personal data. The company will use digital tools to make it easier to get insights from, measure and monitor compliance issues using digital data. 

In addition to seeking customer input, Dell Technologies engaged third parties, considered the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and Business Roundtable’s Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, and surveyed team members to assess the most critical issues and opportunities they see in their work and the world.

“We have a great responsibility to apply the full power of Dell Technologies to transform lives and society,” said Karen Quintos, chief customer officer at Dell Technologies. “By combining our technology portfolio, global scale, team member talent and customer partnerships, we can drive significant positive impact. Our 2030 agenda is comprehensive and deeply embedded across the business. The moonshot goals stretch us to go far beyond incremental change. In some cases, we’re still working to uncover how we’ll get there – but we know that significant change and innovation starts with deep commitment.”

In June 2019, Dell Technologies announced early completion of many of its 2020 goals. For example, through a global recycling network, it reached a 2020 goal of recycling 2-billion pounds of used electronics.  Through partnerships with the Government of India and Tata Trusts, it deployed a cloud-based analytics solution to deliver preventive healthcare to remote villages, reaching 11 million people who would otherwise not have these services. A range of additional social impact goals have also been reached (see graphic below)

* For the full list of 2030 goals, see delltechnologies.com/2030goals

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Behind the scenes of Netflix SA’s Queen Sono

South Africa’s first Netflix Original TV show, Queen Sono, is almost ready to air. Gadget’s BRYAN TURNER spoke to the show’s creators on set.

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In the heart of Johannesburg, a house is about to make history as one of the first homes to have a South African Netflix Original filmed inside. During filming, it’s surrounded by a dozen large trucks that carry props, camera equipment, set equipment and equipment needed to make this production a reality. 

We chatted with Queen Sono’s writer, director, and showrunner, Kagiso Lediga, on set recently. He also heads up Diprente, the Johannesburg-based production company behind the show.

“[Being writer and director] gives one the ability to carry out the vision,” says Lediga. “I mean, it’s not just that I’m wearing many hats. But there’s the other creators, other HODs: from production designer to cinematographer, to the other writers that I work with. So it’s great, I guess that being a showrunner you kind of have to touch on all of those.

“It’s a huge responsibility in terms of carrying out the narrative. You know, sometimes what’s great is when you come up with an idea, and then when you see it when, either you’re sitting behind the monitor, directing, or while you’re sitting and editing, and you’re like ‘Whoa, that’s exactly how we imagined it’.”

The show is an action-packed series that follows Queen Sono, a highly trained top spy in a South African agency whose purpose is to better the lives of African citizens. While taking on her most dangerous mission yet, she must also face changing relationships in her personal life.

Of course, the gravity of being a Netflix Original means that Queen Sono will be put on a global stage, and will be available to stream in over 40 countries. We asked the show’s Director of Photography, Motheo Moeng, how the show’s image has been carefully crafted for a local and global audience.

“Overall, the treatment of the show is based on the characters we have written, naturally, and other spy films that we have looked at,” says Moeng. “So the treatment of her visually, and the look to the show visually, had that in mind. So as much as you wanted to treat it as an African show, we were well aware that it had to have international appeal.”

It’s also dangerous work getting the show to be perfect, Moeng says.

“It’s like being in a boxing ring, so there are days when you’re getting punched, there are days when you have to stand up and go. But overall, I guess the banter between myself and the first aiders is interesting. Our jobs are a direct contrast to each other; I’m trying to constantly light and make things look pretty, and he has to make sure we make the day, so if you stick around for long enough, you’ll see the love-hate relationship between us.”

Stunt Coordinators Grant Powell and Filip-Ciprian ‘Chip’ Florian have us a quick insight into how to get the actors (and film crew) ready for a spy movie’s action.

“[Most productions] have the same demands because they all have the same elements,” says Powell. “It doesn’t matter how big the movie, they’re still an actor. An actor still has to be trained. I still have to deal with the psychology of that. Convincing them that they can do it. So it really doesn’t matter the scale of the film, you’re still dealing with the same elements, which is training an actor from scratch sometimes.

“There was a combat scene with Queen Sono and the baddies, and she kicks one of them out the window, which is Chip by the way. So he goes through plate glass, goes over the balcony, three stories up and lands on a car. I thought that was cool. We had three weeks prep, which is great for a local show. You never get that, you’re usually learning on the day. That’s why the audience will instantly see the quality will be better because of this preparation. That’s what’s going to make this show stand out over and above anything that’s ever been done locally.”

Queen Sono is expected to be released exclusively on Netflix in 2020.

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