ARM and TSMC team up on 64-bit chips and FinFET transistors

ARM and TSMC team up

ARM and TSMC are renewing their vows and plan to continue collaborating well into the future, as they work to optimize the 64-bit v8 architecture for the Taiwanese company's FinFET transistor tech. The two will push next-gen ARM chips to 20nm and beyond, and hopefully shorten the time to market for new designs. The FinFET process should also help boost frequencies, while keeping power consumption low -- a key to the continued success of the RISC architecture. The FinFET architecture is similar to Intel's own tri-gate transistor technology that was instrumental to nudging the Core architecture forward with Ivy Bridge. After those 64-bit ARM chips are up and running at 20nm and powering your next-gen smartphone, TSMC will begin to look at even smaller processes, with an eye on 15nm next. You'll find the entire joint profession of their love for one another after the break.

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ARM and TSMC team up on 64-bit chips and FinFET transistors originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 24 Jul 2012 01:53:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mistwalker’s debut iOS title, Party Wave, catches some surf on iTunes

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Mistwalker, the studio started by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, has launched its first game for iOS, Party Wave. No, it's not a game where you wave hello to friends as they walk in the door for your birthday party, nor does it involve coordinating a stadium full of people to move their arms up and down at the correct times. Party Wave is about surfing, one of Sakaguchi's passions.

Party Wave goes for $1.99 on the App Store and works with iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch running iOS 4.1 or better. It's an "action surfing" game that has players control a group of surfers as they navigate an ocean of obstacles.

Mistwalker is working on two other, unannounced mobile titles. Sakaguchi's Wii game, The Last Story, hits North American shores on August 14.

JoystiqMistwalker's debut iOS title, Party Wave, catches some surf on iTunes originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 23 Jul 2012 23:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Metalab wires its Blinkenwall to run from Commodore 64, gives no word on the obligatory Tetris port (video)

Metalab wires its Blinkenwall to run from Commodore 64, no word on the obligatory Tetris port video

We've seen some ambitious Blinkenwalls in our time. Nearly all of the attention is unsurprisingly focused on the wall, however, and not on the often clever hardware and software behind it. Vienna's Metalab wants to shift the limelight by kicking it old school. Instead of the thoroughly modern Arduino and Fonera hotspot that normally light up Metalab's 45-block glass wall, the team's Blinken64 project swaps in a Commodore 64 with a cassette drive and the unusual Final Cartridge III feature extender. Getting lights to strobe requires dusting off more than just hardware -- all the animations have to be written in assembly-level MOS Technology 6510 code that even our nerdy parents might forget. The result you'll see in the video after the break is a far cry from the relatively easy, web-accessible hardware that normally powers such blinkenlight creations, but it's also a testament to how relevant classic technology can remain when it's in the right hands.

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Metalab wires its Blinkenwall to run from Commodore 64, gives no word on the obligatory Tetris port (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 24 Jul 2012 00:49:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iRobot, InTouch Health unveil RP-VITA telepresence robot, let doctors phone in bedside manner

iRobot, InTouch Health announce RPVITA telepresence robot, let doctors phone in bedside manner

In case you missed the memo, there's quite a bit more to iRobot than adorable autonomous vacuums -- these days the firm works on military projects, consumer electronics and tablet-controlled telepresence robots. Earlier this year, iRobot even retooled itself to build an emerging technologies group, announcing a partnership with InTouch Health to put its AVA telepresence technology to better use. Today the two companies are announcing the fruits of their labor -- the Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant, or RP-VITA. The project aims to combine the best of iRobot's AVA telepresence units with InTouch health's own bots, creating an easy to use system that allows physicians to care for patients remotely without stumbling over complicated technology.

The RP-VITA features state-of-the-art mapping and obstacle detection and avoidance technology, a simple iPad user interface for control and interaction and the ability to interface with diagnostic devices and access electronic medical records. The remote rig will eventually be able to navigate to specified target destinations autonomously, though this feature is still being reviewed by the FDA for clearance. iRobot and InTouch are optimistic about the unit, but claim that the RP-VITA is only the beginning. "While this represents our first foray into the healthcare market, the RP-VITA represents a robust platform," said Colin Angle, Chairman and CEO of iRobot, "we see many future opportunities in adjacent markets." The new telemedicine assistant is slated to make its first appearance at InTouch Health's 7th Annual Clinic Innovations Forum later this week. Check out the press release after the break for the full details.

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iRobot, InTouch Health unveil RP-VITA telepresence robot, let doctors phone in bedside manner originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 24 Jul 2012 00:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Wasteland 2 screenshot is only the beginning of development

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The screenshot above is your very first look at the Kickstarter-funded Wasteland 2, presenting some environment and character art from the game as it's being worked on. The project hit its goal of $900k easily on the nearly ubiquitous crowdfunding service, and ended up with nearly $2.9 million.

Over on the official blog, the developers say they're releasing this early shot for feedback, and that they're also almost done with the game's main site, which is where backers will be able to update their support if they'd like to do so. The props found above are largely part of Unity's own database of in-game items, customized for the Wasteland world. As the team members learn to use the Unity engine, they're hoping this is only the beginning of the way the game looks.

Presumably, they'll will have some help: Obsidian Entertainment promised to pitch in if the Kickstarter reached at least $2.1 million.

JoystiqFirst Wasteland 2 screenshot is only the beginning of development originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 23 Jul 2012 23:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Microsoft digs deep into Windows 8’s hardware graphics boost, says fast just isn’t slick enough

Microsoft digs deep into Windows 8's hardware graphics boost, says fast just isn't slick enough

While Microsoft has been exploring the sensory experiences that will go into Windows 8, like sight and touch, there's only one thing that many enthusiasts care about: speed. To their delight, Redmond has just devoted one of its pre-release blog posts to showing just how much faster its hardware graphics acceleration will be in a Metro-focused universe. The goal is a hiccup-free 60Hz frame rate, and virtually everything in Windows 8 centers on that ambition. Baked-in transition effects, optimized geometry and even improved font rendering give modern computers a huge jump in performance versus Windows 7. Microsoft is just as keen to expose that power, as well: Direct3D 11.1 is now the root of all video acceleration in the pipeline, making it both easier and faster to mix 2D and 3D. All told, Windows 8 promises to get responsiveness freaks and benchmark lovers all hot and bothered. If either label describes you, the source link might satiate your lust until October 26th.

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Microsoft digs deep into Windows 8's hardware graphics boost, says fast just isn't slick enough originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 23 Jul 2012 23:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hot Shots Vita update drops tonight, adds new modes and features

Hot Shots Vita update drops tonight, adds new modes and features
Sometime this evening, the feature list for PlayStation Vita's Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational will get a major - and free! - update. Update 1.04, the PlayStation Blog reveals, takes the previously Ad-Hoc only Stroke and Match modes and brings them to the world wide web (that's where you are now, reading this!).

More control for tournaments will also be included in the update, allowing for private tournaments for up to eight players and trash talk via in-game text chat between holes.

For a complete list of changes to World Invitational, check after the break. (Note: The game Hot Shots is still, unfortunately and totally, unrelated to this).

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JoystiqHot Shots Vita update drops tonight, adds new modes and features originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 23 Jul 2012 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Robert Bowling on backing Ouya, the episodic nature of Human Element

Robert Bowling on backing Ouya, the episodic nature of Human Element
Now that former Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling is free from the corporate machine, he's jumping into the independent innovation scene full-force. Bowling recently donated $10,000 to the Ouya and announced a prequel to his studio's first game, Human Element, as the console's first confirmed, exclusive title.

"Could I have made this decision a year ago working on Call of Duty? Possibly not," Bowling tells Venture Beat. "But this is what being independent, being small, and being nimble is all about. We're able to make commitments like these and take bigger risks. And what I like about Ouya and what encouraged me to commit to it was the fact that Ouya is different."

Bowling formed Robotoki as an answer to the mainstream, public studios, and Human Element will be able to play with more formats in more creative ways than, say, popular military shooters generally do.

"What's important, what we're showing with Ouya, what we're doing on mobile, and what we're planning for 2015 is an experience that will adapt and change based on the device you're engaging with," Bowling says. "So what we're doing on mobile is very different from what we're planning on doing with the at-home experience in 2015, and it will be very different from the episodic content that we're bringing exclusively to Ouya."

The at-home iteration of Human Element will be a first-person survival title with heavy RPG elements. On a tablet, Human Element will focus more on strategy and resource management, sharing supplies and stats with the home game but playing as an independent experience. Human Element is episodic, and Robotoki would like to launch an installment every six months leading up to the full game's 2015 release window, but "right now, things are very early."

Bowling draws influence for Human Element from Cormac McCarthy's The Road, a cancelled BBC series called Survivors and a novel that Bowling himself started writing, The Parents' Guide to a Zombie Apocalypse. "It's rather heavy," Bowling says. That must be the hardcover version.

JoystiqRobert Bowling on backing Ouya, the episodic nature of Human Element originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 23 Jul 2012 21:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Arduino Leonardo finally launches with new pin layout, lower price (video)

Arduino Leonardo finally launches with new pin layout, lower price

We caught our first glimpse at the new, simplified Arduino Leonardo at Maker Faire back in September of last year. At the time, we were promised a late October shipping date, but it failed to materialize. Finally, Massimo Banzi has taken the wraps off the slimmed down microcontroller and its now in stock at retailers across the web. The Leonardo sports a new pin layout, dubbed R3 (which the Uno has also been updated with), that will become standard across all Arduino boards. That's a big deal for shield makers who only have to design and manufacture an add-on once to ensure it's compatible with the entire product line. The new layout also adds some extra pins and versatility, especially in the realm of shields, which can use to the new IOREF pin to determine the voltage of the processor and thus its model. That means a shield doesn't have to be designed specifically with the new ARM-based Due in mind. The other big news is that the circuitry for converting USB to serial communication and the processor itself have been combined, which not only simplifies the design and drives down costs, but allows it to communicate directly with a computer and imitate all sorts of accessories (such as keyboards and mice). Best of all, is the price. The Leonardo, complete with headers, costs just $25 -- a good $10 less than the Uno -- while the headerless, solder-friendly version retails for $22.50. Check out the video after the break for a few more details from Massimo himself.

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Arduino Leonardo finally launches with new pin layout, lower price (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 23 Jul 2012 22:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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