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CES 2017: The Harman Announcements That Matter




The Consumers Electronics Show has returned back in town, and many of the larger companies have put the time and effort into Las Vegas, Nevada, as a launch pad for their major announcements.

Harman, a leading company that designs and engineers connected products for automakers, consumers and enterprise industries all around the world, has recently announced a whopping $8 billion acquisition by Samsung, although the deal is yet to be closed.

In addition to that, the company has also announced a massive growth among OEMs such as Lexus, Toyota, Hyundai, Lincoln, Kia, BMW, Subaru and more, with a positive demand from the consumer’s point of view, mostly for advanced in-car connectivity solutions.

For instance, Harman has recently announced a collaboration with Ford, to bring the B&O Play system to its cars, sometime in the Spring of 2017.

With the growing experience in innovation and technology, Harman will continue to expand car connectivity – Intelligent, personalized and professional experience, mainly in the sound management solution products.

The company is presenting a new level of innovation and In-Car Experience connectivity:

  1. Harman Summit Next – Is the new generation of a conceptual smart audio solution that offers Harman’s highest level of acoustic performance integrated with intelligent expandable features which are targeted for the luxury market and provides an immaculate way for people to engage and interact with their vehicles and their senses. The new solutions includes: Ambisonics Escape, Dynamic Sound Stage, In-Car Conferencing, In-Car Theater, and more.
  2. Harman Voyager Next – Harman’s award-winning industry’s leading audio solution in one advanced system. Connects your vehicle to your very own lifestyle via the industry’s first all-in-one audio and connected car Head Unit solution, which has been designed to meet the needs of today’s millennial’s ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle. Voyager Next provides OEMs the ability to offer cost effective and easy to implement premium audio solutions for their entry-level vehicle market. It also provides new levels of intelligent personalization and connectivity to the in-vehicle experience through advanced technologies, including the Voyager Next connect companion app, Harman proprietary micro speaker technology, Dual-core micro sub-woofers and a Voyager Next sub.

To highlight some of the company’s milestones from recent months, Harman has won some very notable automobile awards, as well as launching collaborations with myriad of vehicles and industry brands. It is also said to enhance in-car security with the acquisition of Israeli startup TowerSec for around $70 million or so.

Moreover, the company is unveiling at CES the future of mobility and car connectivity with the latest introduction of Rinspeed Oasis Autonomous car, that features the ultimate In-Car experience technologies (HARMAN LIVS). The Oasis, a result of a fruitful collaboration with industry engineering across the pond, is basically a concept car that offers a glimpse at the future of autonomous driving and how advanced, holistic vehicle intelligence will transform the driving experience.

“More than a technology supplier, HARMAN is an inspiration partner to the world’s automakers, and the Oasis is a testament to that vision – a vehicle that is contextual, personalized and highly connected” ~ Phil Eyler, president, HARMAN Connected Car.

“HARMAN believes autonomy should not equal monotony, and this vehicle offers an integrated cockpit and bleeding edge user interface that advances mobility and connectivity while providing an unparalleled user experience. This results in a driving experience that is more powerful, productive, personalized and protected than ever before.”

The Rinspeed Oasis autonomous vehicle user experience includes a series of modes and systems that elevate both the autonomous and manual driving experience including a Full Windshield Heads-Up Display, Autonomous Drive Readiness Check (handover to Manual), Augmented Reality Concierge, Predictive Collision Prevention, Intelligent E-Mirrors.

Rinspeed Oasis autonomous car

Bringing technologies from concept to reality, the company has also presented the new Intelligent cockpit (digital personal assistant, car-to home platform. Next gen Compute Platform), with distinct modes and highly connected iOT integration.

Furthermore, the company is said to invest a lot of its own resources in advanced connected in-car services, such as HCS Cloud, HCS OTA, HCS After Market and others.

In that regard, the company is also introducing the Harman Ignite, the first fully-integrated scalable and modular cloud platform for developing, managing and operating in-vehicle applications and services, combining Connectivity, Analytics, Device Management, Application Management, and OTA Updates.

Examples of automotive use cases for the Ignite platform includes Vehicle Connect, Cloud-Based Driver Profiles, Car-as-a-Service, Vehicle Health and Diagnostics features, Content Personalization, and Vehicle Analytics.

With that in mind, the company introduces some new hardware products such as Navdy: augmented reality display, JBL Legend CP100, automotive aftermarket Platform and a handful of interesting services and products which were the front and center at the major floor event.

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Kunpeng 920: Huawei Unveils World’s Highest-Performance ARM-based CPU



Just in time for CES 2019, Chinese tech leader Huawei, strategically unveiled the Kunpeng 920, the industry’s highest-performing ARM-based processor. At Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China, Huawei released the impressive CPU, intended for handling applications like big data processing and distributed storage.

William Xu, Director of Huawei’s Board and Chief Strategy Marketing Officer, said during the press conference that “Huawei has continuously innovated in the computing domain in order to create customer value. We believe that, with the advent of an intelligent society, the computing market will see continuous growth in the future. Currently, the diversity of applications and data is driving heterogeneous computing requirements. Huawei has long partnered with Intel to make great achievements. Together we have contributed to the development of the ICT industry. Huawei and Intel will continue our long-term strategic partnerships and continue to innovate together.”

William Xu, Director of Huawei’s Board and Chief Strategy Marketing Officer (credit: Huawei)

Kunpeng 920: High-Performance ARM-based CPU

Huawei’s high standards of leading the industry are very clear with the release of the new Kunpeng 920.  The new CPU, similar to Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 980 (launched in October 2018), was  designed in-house and manufactured on a 7-nanometer processor. According to Huawei, the gain in performance between these two CPU’s emerges from a series of optimized branch prediction algorithms and an increased number of OP units, along with an improved memory subsystem architecture. The Kunpeng 920 provides both higher computing performance for data centers while decreasing overall power consumption. The Kunpeng 920 is packed with 64 cores, clocking an impressive 2.6GHZ, and paired with 8-channel DDR4 memory allows the Kunpeng 920 to score over 930 on the SPECint Benchmark, 25% higher than the industry benchmark.  For the sake of comparison, the previous industry leader was the Fujitsu 7-nanometer A64X. Beyond its speed is the CPU’s power efficiency, which performs 30% better than its competitors.

Kunpeng 920 performance (credit: Huawei)

In terms of system integration, the new CPU has increased with two 100G RoCE ports. Kunpeng 920 also supports PCIe Gen4 and CCIX interfaces, and provides 640 Gbps total bandwidth.  In addition, the single-slot speed is twice that of the incumbent offering, effectively improving the performance of storage and various accelerators.

TaiShan Series: Huawei’s ARM-based Server Built to Perform

To complement the Kunpeng 920, at today’s press conference Huawei also released its TaiShan series servers, powered by the company’s new CPU. Aimed at tackling three distinct issues, storage,  high-density, and balancing both requirements, the Taishan series designed three unique models. Powered by the Kunpeng 920, the TaiShan servers are built for big data, distributed storage, and ARM native application scenarios. These unique scenarios are ideal for the ARM architecture offering many advantages in many-core and performance per watt. The TaiShan series are ideal computing platforms for enterprises with high performance and low power consumption. Designed especially in big data scenarios, the TaiShan servers are tuned for optimal many-core high concurrency and resource scheduling to deliver a 20% computing performance boost.  

As Mr. Xu stated at the press conference, “The ARM industry is seeing a new development opportunity. The Kunpeng 920 CPU and TaiShan servers newly released by Huawei are primarily used in big data, distributed storage, and ARM native applications. We will work with global partners in the spirit of openness, collaboration, and shared success to drive the development of the ARM ecosystem and expand the computing space, and embrace a diversified computing era.”

TaiShan server (credit: Huawei

Open and Collaborative ARM Ecosystem is Geared for Mutual Success

For years, Huawei has continuously promoted industry cooperation and collaboration among its industry partners in terms of hardware, basic software, and applications. The company’s unique approach is predicated on the growing trend that an intelligent society, with all things connected, and sensing, is well underway. In light of these industry trends and application requirements, a new era of diversified computing is emerging. The ability to process multiple data types and scenarios are the driving force behind optimizing computing architecture.   

Summarizing the company’s vision of serving as an industry leader across all verticals, from telecommunications to servers to handsets, Mr. Xu noted that “With Kirin 980, Huawei has taken smartphones to a new level of intelligence. With products and services (e.g., Huawei Cloud) designed based on Ascend 310, Huawei enables inclusive AI for industries. Today, with Kunpeng 920, we are entering an era of diversified computing embodied by multiple cores and heterogeneity. Huawei has invested patiently and intensively in computing innovation to continuously make breakthroughs. We will work with our customers and partners to build a fully connected, intelligent world.”

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Dell’s Super Slim Venue 8 7000 Tablet Now Officially Available For $400




We’ve already got the chance to see Dell’s ultra thin Venue 8 7000 slate when it was first unveiled back in September but now, at CES 2015 the 8.4-inch slab, powered by a 2.3GHz Intel Atom quad-core processor, is finally set to make a debut. And while not as cheap as some other mid-range Android devices available on  the market right now, it is reassuring to know that your money is going to be well spent and not wasted on some ordinary specs. In that concern, the Venue 8 7000 device is well equipped with a stunning QHD 2,560 x 1,600 OLED edge-to-edge display, alongside Intel’s state-of-the-art Real Sense Snapshot 3D camera. That’s right, the tablet houses an in-depth rear 8MP camera at the bottom as well as duo 720p stereoscopic sensors atop. The Venue 7000 is definitely one of the first tablets to incorporate Intel’s latest 3D technology, hence the reason it arouses a lot of curiosity among the geeksters around the world.

Measuring in only 6mm thin (thinner than the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3) the Venue 8 7000 is said to include 2GB of RAM under the lid, along with your choice of WiFi or LTE connectivity options, an Android 4.4 KitKat for the OS and an internal memory of 16GB which can be further expanded via a microSDXC memory card.

The Dell Venue 8 7000 is now available on Dell’s website both in the US and in Canada for $399.99 and will complete global release in different countries like Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, India, Germany, and the UK by early 2015.


Video courtesy of Liliputing

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Toshiba Introduces The 12.5-inch Portege Z20t Hybrid Tablet



Toshiba- Portege-Z20t-hybrid-tablet


At CES 2015, Toshiba has officially introduced a possible 12.5-inch rival to the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet. The giant device, that will be released under the name Portege Z20t is actually serving as a hybrid machine between a PC and a tablet and is claimed to be powerful enough to deliver any project you’d be working on, even the most difficult ones.

The Portege Z20t which will go on sale this January, comes equipped with a low-power Intel Core M processor below the surface, as well as a 1,920 x 1,080 screen resolution on top of the slab and an optional Wacom-based digitizer, which enables up to 2,048 levels of pressure-sensitive pen input. As with many other handhelds available on the market these days, the screen is covered with an anti-glare protection layer to minimize glare and un-wanted reflections.

Measuring in only 0.35 inch thick and 1.6 pounds, the Z20t also includes a pair of cameras, as well as Wi-Fi 802.11ac connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0, Micro-USB hub, Micro-HDMI output, Ethernet, RGB, microSD slot expansion and two internal USB 3.0 ports. As for power, the Portege Z20t is said to provide up to 9 hours of battery life when you work with the tablet as a standalone device, and up to 17.5 hours of continuous work with the keyboard docking station attached.

Toshiba will offer the Portege Z20t with options for either 4GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB, 256GB and 512GB of SSD storage variants. Price wise, the slate will start at a whopping $1,399 for the basic entry-level unit plus a keyboard, but without the optional Wacom pen support. If you wanna try adding the pen, prices will jump all the way up to 1,899.


Video courtesy of Liliputing

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