Apple Expands Chip Design Efforts?

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Apple is a "semiconductor superpower in the making," Nikkei reports-- the iPhone maker is said to be pushing chip design efforts further in order to rely less on suppliers such as Intel and Qualcomm.

iFixit teardownAccording to "industry sources in Asia," Apple is currently "invested in research and development" in a number of components making its devices. The first is the baseband modem chips required for cellular communications. To do so Apple has poached Esin Terzioglu, a modem chip engineer from current iPhone modem supplier Qualcomm, with whom Apple is locked in a bitter $1 billion dollar lawsuit over unpaid royalty rebates.

The second is "core processors for notebooks." Such chips would reduce dependence on Intel-- so much so Apple is said to be using an ARM-based (not x86) design. A final chip Apple is supposed to be working brings together "touch, fingerprint and display driver functions," and comes through a desire to "control next-generation display technology and some related key components."

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Apple Buys Computer Vision With Regaind

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Apple continues its tradition of quietly buying small startups, TechCrunch reports-- this time around it is the turn of Regaind, a French specialist in computer vision.

RegaindOf course, the iPhone maker neither confirms nor denies the acquisition, and instead only offers the usual “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans” statement.

Regaind has an computer vision API able to analyse the content of photos and tell what is in them. It is similar to the intelligent search feature in the Photos app found on iPhone, only it goes a step further by being able to determine the technical and aesthetic values of photos.

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Microsoft Plans London Flagship Store

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Microsoft announces plans to open a first flagship store in Europe-- specifically in Oxford Circus, London just up the road from the recently redesigned Apple flagship store.

Microsoft storeThe Windows maker reportedly started scouting for a brick-and-mortar store location in the British capital back in 2015. The location it managed to find is currently occupied by United Colours of Benetton and, as one surely knows, sits in an extremely popular shopping area hosting flagship stores for the big likes of Nike and H&M, among others.

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Intel Gives Up on Project Alloy?

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Road to VR reports Intel has given up on Project Alloy-- the reference design for an all-in-one self-contained VR solution promising to "cut the VR cord."

Project Alloy demoDescribed as "the future of merged reality" back at its 2016 Intel Developer Forum reveal, the Project Alloy headset carried all components to power VR experience. As such, it allowed a full range of motion with 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF), as well as Augmented Reality (AR) via RealSense technology.

However a statement provided to Road to VR reads Intel is winding down the reference design because of lack of partner interest. The reason why partners are not interested is unclear, but it could be due to costs associated with essentially cramming a full Windows PC in a headset.

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The "Manly, Strong, Special" Doogee S60

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How masculine can a smartphone be? According to China's Doogee the answer is very, as the rugged S60 handset promises to be "manly, strong and special in [the] market."

Doogee S60Apparently designed to "work in fields, underwater and other outdoor environments," the S60 features IP68 protection, with an aluminium alloy complete plastic cushioning around the corners able to "take care of itself." The 5.2-inch FHD display is clad in Corning Gorilla Glass 5, and the whole device is covered with a gold finish.

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