Europe Launches Satellite to Help Track Global Warming

Europe Launches Satellite to Help Track Global Warming

Europe launched a satellite on Tuesday that will help predict weather phenomena such as El Nino and track the progress of global warming as part of the multibillion-euro Copernicus Earth observation project.

The Sentinel-3A satellite, part of a system of satellites that is to monitor Earth, blasted off on board a Rockot launcher from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Russia’s north-western Arkhangelsk region at 12:57 p.m. EDT (1757 GMT) on Tuesday.

It headed for orbit 815 km (506 miles) above Earth, from where it will collect data on sea surface temperature and height that will contribute to more precise weather forecasts and help forecast the impact of rising temperatures.

“When we speak about global warming we often focus on rising air temperatures, but 90 percent of the energy put out on our planet ends up in the ocean,” Volker Liebig, director of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation programme, told Reuters ahead of the launch.

Data from Sentinel-3A, which is to work in tandem with another satellite to be sent up in mid-2017, could also help shipping companies chart more efficient routes and may be used to monitor forest fires and oil spills and to forecast crops.

The Copernicus project, for which the European Union and the European Space Agency (ESA) have committed funding of more than EUR 8 billion (roughly Rs. 61,662 crores) until 2020, is described by the ESA as the most ambitious Earth observation program to date.

The launch of the Copernicus project became especially urgent after Europe lost contact with its Earth observation satellite Envisat in 2012 after 10 years.

Images taken by Sentinel-3A are lower-resolution than those from the first two satellites that the ESA sent up for Copernicus Sentinel-1A and 2A but the 3A will cover a wider swathe of Earth.

It can deliver images of the whole planet within about two days, which will be cut to less than a day once its twin 3B joins it next year. That compares with around six days for the two Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellites, the ESA’s Liebig said.

Launches Exynos 7 Octa 7870 SoC for Mobile Devices

Samsung Launches Exynos 7 Octa 7870 SoC for Mobile Devices

Samsung on Wednesday unveiled its latest Exynos mobile processor – the Exynos 7 Octa 7870 (aka Exynos 7870). Some might find the name familiar as the processor was spotted in a recent benchmark result listing for the unannounced Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) smartphone. Samsung announced it will mass produce the SoC in Q1 of 2016.

The Exynos 7 Octa 7870 uses the South Korean tech giant’s 14-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology and is designed for the company’s upcoming mid-range smartphones and other mobile devices. It is also the company’s first 14nm FinFET process-based SoC made for mid-range handsets.

Samsung explains that its new processor consumes over 30 percent less power that those SoCs made using the 28nm High-K Metal Gate process technology. The Exynos 7 Octa 7870 features eight Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.6GHz along with LTE Cat.6 2CA Modem that supports up to 300Mbps downlink speed. The processor can handle full-HD resolution video playback at 60 frames per second along with WUXGA (1920×1200 pixels) resolution display.

Furthermore, the Exynos 7 Octa 7870 processor’s Image Signal Processor or ISP delivers up to 16-megapixel resolution images for both front and rear cameras, or 8-megapixel each in dual camera mode. Also integrated is GNSS solution for time-to-first-fix (TTFF) feature for more accurate location based services.

“With increased performance and power efficiency, we anticipate widespread adoption of our new Exynos 7 Octa 7870 into mid-tier mobile devices,” said Ben K. Hur, Vice President of System LSI marketing, Samsung Electronics. “Consumers will experience enhanced performance as this is the first time a mobile application processor built on advanced 14nm process is available for these types of smart mobile devices.”

More Details About iPhone 7, iPhone 5se Emerge

A new report claims that Apple for the first time is opting for EMI (electromagnetic interference) shield technology to be used on a variety of its chips on the upcoming iPhone 7. Additionally, a Taiwan-based website reports that Wistron along with Foxconn will be the primary suppliers of Apple’s long-rumoured iPhone 5se.

Apple is said to be using EMI (electromagnetic interference) shield technology to major chips including RF (radio frequency), connectivity chips, AP (application processor), and modems which is expected to increase the iPhone’s performance while reducing electromagnetic interference experienced by chips.

The report from Korea IT News also adds that Apple was until now applying the EMI technology to its PCB (printing circuit board) and connectors. The reason to opt for EMI (electromagnetic interference) shield technology for major chips in iPhone 7 was to prevent unwanted signals to occur due to electromagnetic interference. It adds that StatsChipPac and Amkor are the two companies responsible to handle EMI Shield technology on chips in the iPhone 7. It also says that the EMI shield process will be carried in South Korea.

“As clock signals of digital chips have increased and as diverse functions such as 3D-touch and others have recently added, reduction of electromagnetic waves have emerged as major topic of this industry. As other Smartphone businesses might be looking to apply EMI Shield technology to major chips just as Apple did, packaging and other related equipment industries will benefit a lot from this,” a representative of the industry said.

In other news, the much-rumoured iPhone 5se will have Foxconn as well as Wistron as suppliers. A Digitimes report says that Apple has been considering separating its order to different ODMs to “avoid risks.” Wistron is said to get small portion of the 4-inch iPhone orders from Apple this year.

All these leaks should be taken with a pinch of salt as Apple has not mentioned anything about the upcoming device and the leaks legitimacy remains questionable. A recent report said that Apple will debut its next iPhone and iPad models on March 15.

The company is rumoured to gearing up for a new 4-inch iPhone, believed to be dubbed iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air at the same launch event on March 18.

Microsoft Explains Why the Lumia 650 Doesn’t Have Continuum

Microsoft Explains Why the Lumia 650 Doesn't Have Continuum

Microsoft on Monday revealed its latest Windows 10 Mobile device, the Lumia 650 and stressed that the new device will be a perfect fit for consumers looking at built-in support for Microsoft business apps at an affordable price.

Much like other Windows 10 devices, the Lumia 650 packs Microsoft suite of productivity apps including Office apps, for creating and editing documents on-the-go; OneDrive, for cloud storage, and Cortana, Microsoft’s personal assistant. One of the biggest surprises with the Lumia 650’s launch however, was that it doesn’t feature the most notable feature of Windows 10 Mobile – Continuum – which allows users to connect the smartphone to a display and use it as a Windows 10 computer with a desktop-like interface.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the reasons for the omission to SlashGear, saying, “We are aiming to deliver the most productive Windows 10 Mobile devices at all price points. With the Microsoft Lumia 650, our goal was to create a beautiful device that’s affordable for businesses to buy and deploy. In this price range we are giving customers smart business tools, including seamless Office and OneDrive integration and Cortana, so users can stay productive and synced across all Windows 10 devices. We encourage users looking for Continuum productivity features to explore the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL.”

For those unaware, with the Windows 10 Continuum feature users can hook their smartphones with a monitor along with a mouse and keyboard, using the Microsoft Display Dock. Once connected, the phone’s user interface switches to an interface that looks like a Windows 10 desktop with Start menu and other elements.

Continuum for Phone support page also lists some of the reasons why the Microsoft Lumia 650 misses out the feature. According to the page, minimum requirements for Continuum for phones include Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 (MS8952), Snapdragon 808 (MSM8992), and Snapdragon 810 (MS8994) processors; 2GB RAM for phones with display resolution support for HD (720×1280 pixels); 16GB of non-removable storage; Bluetooth 4.0; supports at least Wi-Fi 802.11n dual band; supports Windows 10 Miracast extensions, and USB 2.0.