Qualcomm Snapdragon 8c, Snapdragon 7c, Snapdragon 8cx Chips Announced for Budget ARM Windows PCs | Qualcomm has expanded its portfolio of chips for Windows on Arm PCs, with the introduction of the Snapdragon 8c and Snapdragon 7c. These new chips are

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8c, Snapdragon 7c, Snapdragon 8cx Chips Announced for Budget ARM Windows PCs

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8c, Snapdragon 7c, Snapdragon 8cx Chips Announced for Budget ARM Windows PCs

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8c, Snapdragon 7c, Snapdragon 8cx Chips Announced for Budget ARM Windows PCs

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8c, Snapdragon 7c, Snapdragon 8cx Chips Announced for Budget ARM Windows PCs

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8c, Snapdragon 7c, Snapdragon 8cx Chips Announced for Budget ARM Windows PCs

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8c, Snapdragon 7c, Snapdragon 8cx Chips Announced for Budget ARM Windows PCs
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8c, Snapdragon 7c, Snapdragon 8cx Chips Announced for Budget ARM Windows PCs
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At the ongoing Snapdragon Tech Summit, Qualcomm has expanded its portfolio of chips for Windows on ARM PCs, with the introduction of the Snapdragon 8c and Snapdragon 7c. These new chips are designed for mainstream and entry-level PCs respectively, and just like the Snapdragon 8cx launched last year, are said to deliver AI-accelerated performance, long battery life and built-in cellular connectivity. Qualcomm also announced the Snapdragon 8cx Enterprise compute platform that adds connected security software, Microsoft Secured-Core PC, geofencing and cellular connected security support for enterprise customers. These features apply to all tiers of Qualcomm's compute platform. Qualcomm hasn't announced any new products based on these new chip or when we can expect them in the market.

The Snapdragon 7c compute platform is said to be designed for entry-level Windows 10 laptops in the sub-$400 (roughly Rs. 29,000) price range. It promises a 25 percent boost in system performance and twice the battery life of competing platforms. It also features a Snapdragon X15 LTE modem for on-the-go cellular connectivity. The Snapdragon 7c comprises of a Kryo 468 CPU and an Adreno 618 GPU. The built-in AI engine is said to be able to deliver over 5TOPS (Trillion Operations Per Second) on Windows 10. The Snapdragon 7c supports eight Kryo 468 CPU cores and an Adreno 618 GPU. 

The Snapdragon 8cx Enterprise compute platform offers over 9TOPS of AI acceleration, 5G and Wi-Fi 6 support, dual 4K display out, and Microsoft Secured-core PC support. 

Coming to the Snapdragon 8c, it's built on the 7nm process and promises a performance boost of up to 30 percent over the Snapdragon 850. Laptops based on this chip are expected to retail around or under the $600 mark (roughly Rs. 43,000). This chip has a Snapdragon X24 LTE modem in-built that is said to deliver Gigabit connectivity speeds. It's also compatible with the new X55 5G modem. The AI engine is a bit more powerful too compared to the Snapdragon 7c, delivering over 6TOPS of performance. It uses eight Kryo 490 cores and an Adreno 675 GPU. Other features includes support for the fourth generation Qualcomm AI engine, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5, support for 4K resolution displays and LPDDR4x RAM. 

“The mobile-first consumer wants an experience on par with a smartphone, and we have the innovation, the inventions and the technology to enable this experience for customers across price points,” said Alex Katouzian, SVP and GM, Mobile at Qualcomm Technologies Inc.

Disclosure: Qualcomm sponsored the correspondent's flights and hotel for the trip to Snapdragon Tech Summit 2019 in Maui, Hawaii.

 

Amazon Blaming Trump Over Pentagon Cloud Contract Loss, Judge Says

Amazon Blaming Trump Over Pentagon Cloud Contract Loss, Judge Says

Amazon is arguing in a court case that President Donald Trump's bias against the company harmed its chances of winning a $10 (roughly Rs. 71,327 crores) billion Pentagon contract.

Amazon's legal complaint against the Pentagon is sealed. A federal judge summarized its arguments in comments released Thursday.

The Pentagon awarded the cloud computing contract to Microsoft in October. Federal Claims Court Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith said at a Nov. 26 hearing that Amazon is arguing that the bidding process was compromised by Trump's bias. Audio from the hearing was released publicly Thursday.

The judge said Amazon has determined that the procurement process was not only "arbitrary and capricious decision-making" but was also “compromised and negatively affected by the bias expressed publicly by” Trump. She said Amazon is seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting the Pentagon from going forward with awarding the contract to Microsoft.

The company is calling for a court order directing the Defense Department to either re-evaluate the proposal or re-open discussion and make a new determination, the judge said.

Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos are a frequent target of Trump. Bezos personally owns The Washington Post, and Trump has called the newspaper “fake news” after it publishes unfavorable stories about him.

On July 18, well before the Pentagon announced its decision, Trump also told reporters that the administration would “take a very long look” at the deal, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI. The president cited “tremendous complaints” he said he had heard about the award.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has defended the Pentagon's handling of the bidding process, saying it was done fairly and without outside influence. Microsoft is also intervening in the case to defend its contract win.

The judge's comments confirm that Amazon is blaming Trump's bias for its loss, though the company had suggested that line of argument when it sought to include as evidence several videos of Trump making derogatory remarks about the company.

In one of the video clips that Amazon plans to submit as evidence, Trump says at a Texas campaign rally in February 2016 that he has “respect for Jeff Bezos,” but that Bezos bought the Washington Post for “political influence so that Amazon will benefit from it.”

“If I become president, oh, do they have problems,” Trump said at the rally. “They're going to have such problems.”

Andy Jassy, who runs Amazon's cloud business, said this week at a Las Vegas conference that there was "significant political interference" in the JEDI process and that the president's disdain for the company makes it hard for government agencies to “make an objective decision without fear of reprisal," according to the Washington Post.

The White House didn't immediately respond to an emailed request for comment Thursday.

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2, ‘World’s First’ 5G XR Platform, Announced, Supports 8K 360-Degree Video

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2, ‘World’s First’ 5G XR Platform, Announced, Supports 8K 360-Degree Video

Qualcomm has unveiled its new extended reality platform called the Snapdragon XR2 platform. Qualcomm says it's the world's first 5G-supported platform, which can be scaled across various uses cases of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). The Snapdragon XR2 promises twice the CPU and GPU performance, four times more video bandwidth, six times higher resolution, and eleven times AI improvement. Qualcomm says that its current working with multiple OEMs for commercialising devices based on the XR2 platform soon. 

The Snapdragon XR2 is positioned as the premium extended reality offering, while the XR platform continues to exist a tier below it. Qualcomm states that the Snapdragon XR2 is the world's first XR platform with seven concurrent cameras and a dedicated computer vision processor. This is also said to be the first XR platform which enables low-latency camera pass-through for mixed reality use cases. Compared to the Snapdragon 835 mobile XR platform, the new XR2 platform supports 1.5x the pixel rate 3x telex rate for graphics rendering.

The display panel offers up to 3K x 3K resolution per eye at 90fps and the first XR platform to support 8K 360 degree videos at 60fps. The built-in seven cameras are capable of tracking the head, eyes and lips with 26-point skeletal hand tracking. The Hexagon DSP in the Snapdragon XR2 platform supports 3D spatial sound.

XR devices range from standalone headsets to other categories such as ‘XR Viewers,' where the processing is split between the headset and another device like a 5G smartphone, said Hugo Swart, VP and Head of XR at Qualcomm. ‘Boundless XR' and ‘Boundless XR with 5G' are some of the new emerging categories, which won't require a wired connection between the headset and a 5G device, while still splitting the processing between the two devices so the VR or MR headset can be made slimmer and more portable.

Disclosure: Qualcomm sponsored the correspondent's flights and hotel for the trip to Snapdragon Tech Summit 2019 in Maui, Hawaii.

A TikTok Craze Is Minting Celebrities and Ruining Lives in India

A TikTok Craze Is Minting Celebrities and Ruining Lives in India

Arpita Chaudhary, a newly recruited police constable in India's western Gujarat state, became an overnight celebrity after posting a clip of her 15-second gambol -- clad in her civvies -- on the smash-hit social video app, TikTok. Then she paid the price. A snippet of her gyrating to a Bollywood song against the backdrop of a prison cell went viral and, days later, Chaudhary was suspended from her job. She had danced inside the police station while on duty.

The short video app wildly popular with lip-syncing teenagers around the world has taken India by storm. Police officers, city workers and physicians looking to escape the humdrum of their work lives are finding its lure irresistible. They are regaling their countrymen with at-times cringe-worthy videos, shot inside police stations, public offices and government hospitals.

In a recent TikTok video, two women officials of the Delhi Police groove to a movie song, and local media speculated that it appeared to have been shot while they were guarding VIPs in India's capital.

“Indians are bitten by the TikTok bug as the app makes it easy to create content using nothing more than a phone,” said Prasant Naidu, founder and CEO of the Bangalore-based digital technology consultancy Lighthouse Insights. “But it's raising apprehensions because it's Chinese-owned, stores Indian user data overseas and its mass base makes it easy to spread propaganda and porn.”

More than 200 million users in India devour and share videos mimicking Bollywood dancing, movie dialogue and comedy, making India TikTok's biggest global market. ByteDance Inc., the Chinese internet giant behind TikTok, has a separate app called Douyin with similar features in China, where TikTok doesn't operate. Videos of cavorting public officials highlight the lack of control over its use among government and law enforcement agencies and is lending strength to a backlash in India against the app. Some even say it's a security risk.

Prominent lawmaker Shashi Tharoor of the main Congress party last summer told Parliament that apps like TikTok are a “national security” threat and Indians are vulnerable to spying through the app because of the country's lax data protection regulations. He is concerned that like other apps from China, TikTok has too close a relationship with China's government. Tharoor said ByteDance's paid influence could affect India's democratic processes.

Economic groups aligned with the ruling BJP have called for banning the app, saying it's being used for “anti-national” content including videos advocating religious violence, inciting sentiments against particular social groups and poor treatment of women.

A Southern court temporarily banned downloads of the app amid complaints that its content was degrading culture and encouraging pornography. In a Mumbai court, a litigant alleged that “unfiltered sexual content” from the app was harming young Indians and leading to crime.

Security experts and lawmakers are more worried that TikTok seeks to access user information such as location, phone contacts, call records and audio. While other apps seek similar consent, “TikTok is from China with whom we have history and it becomes strategic and sensitive,” said Nikhil Pahwa, founder and editor of Medianama, which tracks the growth of India's digital ecosystem.

India is still working on a privacy and data protection framework, with the Personal Data Protection bill that regulates collection and transfer of data being considered. As long as rules and regulations regarding data are not robust, “these kind of apps can easily use the loopholes in law to collect user data,” said Tarun Pathak, associate director at consultancy Counterpoint Research.

The world's most downloaded app is controversial elsewhere. Indonesia had banned TikTok, saying it failed to block pornography and blasphemy. In the U.K., it is being investigated for collecting personal data of young users. The U.S. government has fined the app $5.7 million (roughly Rs. 40.6 crores) for collecting data of users under 13 without parental consent and is targeting the app for a national security review.

Yet in no other country has the app taken hold as it has in India, with police officers and others risking their jobs to produce short videos. In one viral TikTok post set to a high-voltage movie song, five gun-wielding officers of a police SWAT team returning from an encounter in the central state of Uttar Pradesh are shown strutting across a field in slow motion, action movie style. Their chief unlocks his gun's safety catch and pretend-fires at invisible bad guys.

The SWAT team starring in the TikTok video was transferred out of the region.

“We do not sanction unprofessional display of weapons and grotesque caricaturing of police,” the Uttar Pradesh police said in a statement.

In another TikTok video shot in the southern city of Hyderabad, two physiotherapy students re-enact romantic movie scenes inside a government hospital and in another, four security guards prance about in the hospital's emergency ward.

The videos have continued to go viral, propelling ByteDance to the No. 1 spot among the world's most valuable private companies. India, where millions of users continue to come online each month, is vital to its global ambitions. When the local court prohibited new downloads, ByteDance said the weeks-long ban caused “financial losses” of about to $500,000 (roughly Rs. 3.6 crores) a day.

To stave criticism, TikTok has begun #WaitASecToReflect digital literacy workshops to encourage users to pause before posting or sharing. TikTok implored users to “Bura na post karo, Bura na share karo, Bura na comment karo” [Post no evil, share no evil, comment no evil] and removed about 6 million videos since its India launch in early 2017.

Meanwhile, the videos have even entered the political realm. In a regional election earlier this year, the ruling BJP nominated as its candidate a TikTok star whose sole qualification was her massive following on the app, where she lipsyncs to Bollywood songs. She lost the election narrowly.

Police constable Chaudhary, still suspended from duty, has been luckier in parlaying her TikTok fame to success. Her music video TikTok ni Diwani (TikTok Crazy) scored over 2 million views within days of its release.

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