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Portable WiFi extends LAN far into the field

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Netshield has developed the APN Case, a portable Wi-Fi solution weighing less than 9kg. It enables the extension of an existing LAN with a line of sight radio link up to 6km from the existing LAN infrastructure.

With the aim of providing a convenient Local Area Network (LAN) extension solution, Netshield South Africa has developed the APN Case, a portable Wi-Fi solution weighing less than 9kg. It enables the extension of an existing LAN with a line of sight radio link up to 6km from the existing LAN infrastructure.  The Case is SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) compliant.

Designed for environments like construction sites, mines, university campuses, game lodges, and conference venues, the APN Case gives many users a mobile connection to the network where it was previously not viable, where it isn’t possible to lay cables or where GSM connection is unstable.

“In South Africa, businesses often have to deal with working in harsh, difficult and sometimes difficult to navigate environments. What the new APN Case enables is a stable, quality and mobile Wi-Fi connection for those hard to reach places,” says Inus Dreckmeyr, CEO of Netshield South Africa.

“We originally built the solution to solve congestion in Durban harbours as it was taking too long for custom officials to preclear all the goods on ships once they had docked. The APN Case was then flown out to the ships with the customs officials before the ships docked, helping to get the job of clearing goods done before the ships even reached the harbour,” adds Dreckmeyr.

The Wi-Fi technology has been built into a waterproof and dustproof carry case enclosure with a trolley attachment and backpack harness so it is easy to carry and even wear if needed. The case also comes with a fully licensed omnidirectional uplink radio, local AP and GSM configuration, equipped with an external USB port for radio configuration and LAN connection. The APN Case runs off of an enhanced battery backup system and will give 13 hours of continuous operation between charges.

Built-in GSM tracking means the location of the APN Case can be tracked at all times and the case is also fitted with locks. Should the APN Case be dropped or manhandled a shock monitoring sensor will report it via the GSM management connectivity. It will also report on battery status and radio signal strengths and the radio can be turned on or off as needed.

The Wi-Fi AP, LAN point and uplink radios are interconnected inside the portable case creating a remote LAN, using a single point to multi-uplink to a high-site that is connected to the back office network that runs the required application software and security required to access critical information and process information accordingly.

“We have already used the APN Case to provide solutions for multiple institutions in the public sector, including the South African Revenue Service, Mining Industry and Development Operations. Its rugged design makes it perfectly suited to harsher working environments experienced by South Africans. The fact that it is mobile just adds to the APN Case’s convenience.”

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Huawei Mate 20 unveils ‘higher intelligence’

The new Mate 20 series, launching in South Africa today, includes a 7.2″ handset, and promises improved AI.

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Huawei Consumer Business Group today launches the Huawei Mate 20 Series in South Africa.

The phones are powered by Huawei’s densest and highest performing system on chip (SoC) to date, the Kirin 980. Manufactured with the 7nm process, incorporating the Cortex-A76-based CPU and Mali-G76 GPU, the SoC offers improved performance and, according to Huawei, “an unprecedented smooth user experience”.

The new 40W Huawei SuperCharge, 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge, and large batteries work in tandem to provide users with improved battery life. A Matrix Camera System includes a  Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens that lets users see both wider and closer, with a new macro distance capability. The camera system adopts a Four-Point Design that gives the device a distinct visual identity.

The Mate 20 Series is available in 6.53-inch, 6.39-inch and 7.2-inch sizes, across four devices: Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X and Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS. They ship with the customisable Android P-based EMUI 9 operating system.

“Smartphones are an important entrance to the digital world,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG, at the global launch in London last week. “The Huawei Mate 20 Series is designed to be the best ‘mate’ of consumers, accompanying and empowering them to enjoy a richer, more fulfilled life with their higher intelligence, unparalleled battery lives and powerful camera performance.”

The SoC fits 6.9 billion transistors within a die the size of a fingernail. Compared to Kirin 970, the latest chipset is equipped with a CPU that is claimed to be 75 percent more powerful, a GPU that is 46 percent more powerful and an NPU (neural processing unit) that is 226 percent more powerful. The efficiency of the components has also been elevated: the CPU is claimed to be 58 percent more efficient, the GPU 178 percent more efficient, and the NPU 182 percent more efficient. The Kirin 980 is the world’s first commercial SoC to use the Cortex-A76-based cores.

Huawei has designed a three-tier architecture that consists of two ultra-large cores, two large cores and four small cores. This allows the CPU to allocate the optimal amount of resources to heavy, medium and light tasks for greater efficiency, improving the performance of the SoC while enhancing battery life. The Kirin 980 is also the industry’s first SoC to be equipped with Dual-NPU, giving it higher On-Device AI processing capability to support AI applications.

Read more about the Mate 20 Pro’s connectivity, battery and camera on the next page. 

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How Quantum computing will change … everything?

Research labs, government agencies (NASA) and tech giants like Microsoft, IBM and Google are all focused on developing quantum theories first put forward in the 1970s. What’s more, a growing start-up quantum computing ecosystem is attracting hundreds of millions of investor dollars. Given this scenario, Forrester believes it is time for IT leaders to pay attention.

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“We expect CIOs in life sciences, energy, defence, and manufacturing to see a deluge of hype from vendors and the media in the coming months,” says Forrester’s Brian Hopkins, VP, principal analyst serving CIOs and lead author of a report: A First Look at Quantum Computing. “Financial services, supply-chain, and healthcare firms will feel some of this as well. We see a market emerging, media interest on the rise, and client interest trickling in. It’s time for CIOs to take notice.”

The Forrester report gives some practical applications for quantum computing which helps contextualise its potential: 

  • Security could massively benefit from quantum computing. Factoring very large integers could break RSA-encrypted data, but could also be used to protect systems against malicious attempts. 
  • Supply chain managers could use quantum computing to gather and act on price information using minute-by-minute fluctuations in supply and demand 
  • Robotics engineers could determine the best parameters to use in deep-learning models that recognise and react to objects in computer vision
  • Quantum computing could be used to discover revolutionary new molecules making use of the petabytes of data that studies are now producing. This would significantly benefit many organisations in the material and life sciences verticals – particularly those trying to create more cost-effective electric car batteries which still depend on expensive and rare materials. 

Continue reading to find out how Quantum computing differs.

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