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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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Epic Games brings a
Nite-mare to Android

Epic Games’ decision to not publish games through Google Play inadvertently opens a market to Android virus makers, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, decided to take the high road by skipping Google Play’s app distribution market and placing a third-party installer for its games on its website. While this is technically fine, it is not recommended for the average user, because allowing third-party installers on one’s smartphone opens up the possibility of non-signed and malicious software to be run on the smartphone. 

In June, malware researchers at ESET warned Android gamers that malicious fake versions of the Fortnite app had been created to steal personal information or damage smartphones. A malware researcher demonstrated how the fake applications works in the Tweet below.

While the decision to bypass Google Play was a bold move on Epic Games’ part, it has been a long time coming for app developers to move their premium apps off Google’s Play Store. The two major app distributors, Google Play and Apple’s App Store, take a 30% cut of every purchase made through their app distribution platforms. 

The App Store is currently the only way to get apps on a non-modified iOS device, which is why Epic Games had no choice for Fortnite to be in the App Store. On the other hand, Android phones can install packages downloaded through the browser, which makes the Play Store almost unnecessary for the gaming company. 

The most interesting part of this development is that Google is not the “bad guy” and Epic Games is no saviour to other game developers. Epic Games is a company with a multi-billion dollar valuation and has resources like large-scale servers to distribute and update its games, a big marketing budget to ensure everyone knows how to get its games, and server security to protect against malware. 

Resources of this scale allow the game company to turn a cold shoulder to Google’s Play Store distribution and focus on its own, in-house solution. 

That said, installing packages without the Google Play Store must be done carefully, and it is essential to do homework on where a package is downloaded. Moreover, when a package is installed outside of the Google Play Store, a security switch to block the installation of third party apps must be turned off. This switch should be turned back on immediately after the third party package is installed. 

This complex amount of steps makes it less worthwhile to install third party apps, in favour of rather waiting for them to reach the Play Store.

From a consumer perspective, ESET recommends not installing packages outside of the Google Play Store and to ignore advertisements to download the game from other sources.

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How to take on IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is coming, whether you like it or not and organisations today will look to platforms and services that help them manage and analyse the streams of data coming from connected devices, says RONALD RAVEL, Director B2B South Africa, Toshiba South Africa.

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Today, we are witnessing an explosion in IoT deployments and solutions and are moving towards a world where almost everything you can imagine will be connected. While this opens the door to many possibilities it also comes with its own challenges such as privacy and security.

The Internet has become an integral part of everyday life; it has been a free for all on a daily basis. IoT is a difficult concept for many people to wrap their minds around. Essentially, nearly every business will be affected.

Managing vast quantities of data across increasingly mobile workforces can be tremendously beneficial if done well, but equally can be cumbersome and ineffective if not managed properly. This is why technologies such as mobile edge computing are becoming increasingly popular, helping to increase the prevalence of secure mobile working and data management in the age of IoT.

Unlocking IoT

The evolution of IoT, despite rapid and ongoing technological innovation, is still very much in its fledgling stages. Its potential, though, is demonstrated by the fact that by 2020, Bain anticipates a significant shift in uptake, with roughly 80 per cent of adoptions at that point to have progressed to the stage of either ‘proof of concept’ or extensive implementation. This means that technological innovation in IoT for the enterprise is progressing at a similarly fast rate with many of these solutions being developed with utilities, engineering, manufacturing and logistics companies in mind.

Processing at the edge

For IoT to be adopted at the rate predicted, technology which does not overwhelm current or even legacy systems must be implemented. Mobile edge computing solves this. Such solutions offer processing power at the edge of the network, helping firms with a high proportion of mobile workers to reduce operational strain and latency by processing the most critical data at the edge and close to its originating source. Relevant data can then be sent to the cloud for observation and analysis, thereby reducing the waves of ‘data garbage’ which has to be processed by cloud services.

A logistics manager can feasibly monitor and analyse the efficiency of warehouse operations, for example, with important data calculations carried out in real-time, on location, and key data findings then sent to the cloud for centrally-located data scientists to analyse.

The work of wearables

The potential of IoT means it not only has the scope to change the way people work, but also where they work. While widespread mobile working is a relatively new trend in industries such as banking and professional services, for CIOs in sectors where working on the move is inherent – such as logistics and field maintenance – mobility is high on the agenda.

Wearables – and specifically smart glasses – have started to gain traction within the business world. With mobile edge computing solutions acting as the gateway, smart glasses such as Toshiba’s assisted reality AR 100 viewer solution have been designed to benefit frontline and field-based workers in industries such as utilities, manufacturing and logistics. In the renewable energy sector, for example, a wind turbine engineer conducting repairs may use assisted reality smart glasses to call up the schematics of the turbine to enable a hands-free view of service procedures. This means that when a fault becomes a barrier to repair, the engineer is able to use collaboration software to call for assistance from a remote expert and have additional information sent through, thereby saving time and money by eradicating the need for extra personnel to be sent to the site.

The time is ripe for organisations to look to exploit the age of IoT to improve the productivity and safety of their workers, as well as the end service delivered to customers. In fact, Toshiba’s recent ‘Maximising Mobility’ report found that 49 per cent of organisations believe their sector can benefit from the hands-free functionality of smart glasses, while 47 per cent expect them to deliver improved mobile working and 41 per cent foresee better collaboration and information sharing. Embracing IoT technologies such as mobile edge computing and wearable solutions will be an essential step for many organisations within these verticals as they look to stay on top of 21st century working challenges.

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