Samsung Electronics will make the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 mobile processors, raising speculation the chips could find their way into the South Korean giant’s smartphones, according to Computerworld.com. Samsung has begun producing logic chips using the 14-nonometer Low-Power Plus (LPP) process that it also uses for its Exynos 8 Octa processor. Samsung expects the process to be in the devices in six months.
Qualcomm said the Snapdragon 820 is 30% more efficient than its 810 processor and should not suffer from overheating, according to digitaltrends.com. Qualcomm has also developed an app to showcase new malware detection capabilities. By using machine learning, the SmartProtect app distinguishes new forms of malware rather than just checking for known malware in a device. It will even explain why the app has malware and how sure it is that danger exists.
It will be up to the smartphone manufacturers whether they want to integrate the malware detection feature into their phones.
Enhanced Fingerprint Scanning
The Snapdragon 820 also has ultrasonic fingerprints scanning technology known as Sense ID. A demonstration at last March’s Mobile World Congress made a positive impression on digitaltrends.com. The scanner uses ultrasound to read deeper into fingerprints and verify identity. The technology reads all the way down to the finger’s sweat pore, making the readings more accurate and the device more secure.
Samsung chose not to comment on whether or not the Snapdragon processor will be designed into its phones, such as the upcoming Galaxy S7. That device is rumored to be announced at next month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, and there is speculation it could use the Snapdragon 820.
Qualcomm said it has always and will continue to use a variety of fabrication suppliers. A Qualcomm spokesperson said via email that the decision to select a specific process technology is based on the ability to meet the company’s design goals for power efficiency, performance, and yield.
Will The Chips Be In Galaxy S7?
Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, said the chip fabrication agreement does not necessarily translate into Samsung using the Qualcomm chips in the Galaxy S7. He noted in an email that Samsung operates its businesses in a very disconnected manner, with its semiconductor and mobile businesses very separate. He said he does not believe the fact that Samsung builds the 820 raises its chances of being in the SGS7.
Qualcomm lost business from Samsung when the smartphone maker opted to use its in-house Exynos processor instead of the Snapdragon 810 chip in the flagship Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge smartphones. In April, Qualcomm cut its revenue guidance for 2015, saying it did not expect an immediate change in its share of components in premium Samsung devices.
However, a shift could materialize since the 820 provides better performance than the Exynos. Moorhead said Samsung has to use the 820 to be more competitive with Apple. “820 hits performance per watt levels Exynos just can’t hit,” he said.
A Faster, More Efficient Process
Devices built around chips that are made with the new process can also be faster and more power efficient. Samsung said its new 14-nm LPP process brings up to 15% higher speed and 15% less energy consumption than the previous 14nm LPE (Low-Power Early) process using improvements in process optimization and transistor structure. In last year’s first quarter, Samsung announced its Exynos 7 Octa processor built in the 14nm LPE process.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
Jamie Dimon May Hate Bitcoin, but J.P. Morgan Is Embracing Blockchain
J.P. Morgan Chase CEO has made it abundantly clear that he hates bitcoin, but that hasn’t stopped his firm from adopting the technology that underpins the digital currency system.
J.P. Morgan Launches Pilot Program
On Monday, America’s biggest bank rolls out the next phase of its blockchain pilot program. The effort will facilitate a faster, more secure transfer of cross border payments between J.P. Morgan and other banks, including Royal Bank of Canada and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.
Although the new program will not trade cryptocurrency, it will use the landmark record-keeping technology that underpins it. The Wall Street Journal reports that J.P. Morgan will use the same blockchain technology behind digital currency Ethereum.
Despite widespread concern over cryptocurrency, financiers are enamored with blockchain. They, like many others, say the technology can significantly increase the speed of cross-border payments. The system currently in place is extremely complex, and requires multiple streams of communication between various participants. The blockchain has the potential to cut down transaction time from as much as 15 days to mere hours.
The pilot program aims to achieve a secure distributed ledger across financial institutions, enabling banks to work together to process transactions. Connecting transaction data through a shared network will greatly reduce the number of steps it takes to verify and process transactions.
J.P.’s embrace of blockchain doesn’t mean he’s going to warm up to cryptocurrency. His latest criticism of bitcoin came on Friday when he said it had “no actual value” and that “governments are going to crush it.” He did, however, give a glowing review of blockchain.
“We actually use it. It will be useful for a lot of different things,” Dimon said at a conference in Washington, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal. “God bless the blockchain.”
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock
Cryptocurrency Adoption Will Lead to Free Money Transfers, According to Top Tech Investor
The rapid adoption of cryptocurrency will soon pave the way for free global money transfers, according to a top technology investor.
Cathie Wood, the CEO of Ark Invest, says cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are going to spearhead a system of free money transfers worldwide. She cites the already huge reduction in conversion fees from fiat currencies into crypto and back again. The current rate for those transactions is 2-3%, which is a fraction of the 7-8% money transfer services like Western Union charge.
But Wood says crypto transfer fees could soon fall to zero as companies prioritize valuable transaction information above anything else.
The cryptocurrency market approached record highs over the weekend, hitting a total value of $176.6 billion. Bitcoin’s market cap surged above $90 billion last week and reached a high of $96.7 billion recently. That surpassed the capitalization of major equities like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
If bitcoin were a stock, it would be the 15th largest member of the Nasdaq and the 58th largest on the New York Stock Exchange.
Computing Power as a Commodity
In Wood’s view, that the growing value of cryptocurrency will lead to the commoditization of bandwidth and computing power.
“It’s interesting that you’ve got corn and oil and copper trading on the exchange but you don’t have computing power, and bandwidth, and storage,” Wood said, according to CNBC. “Well we think that’s going to happen because of blockchain technology and all of the cryptos that are coming along.”
Woods has placed special emphasis on Ethereum, a unique platform that operates more like a “cryptocommodity” than anything else.
Ark Invest is the author of the widely cited whitepaper, Bitcoin: A Disruptive Currency. In it, the firm argues that cryptocurrency has the potential to be the most disruptive development since the Internet. The investment manager controls $1.7 billion of asset funds focused exclusively on emerging technologies.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock
Jamie Dimon Doesn’t Want to Talk About Bitcoin Anymore
Jamie Dimon doesn’t have anything to say about bitcoin anymore. The head of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co has been heckled by the blockchain community since he declared cryptocurrency to be a “fraud,” and that he would fire any employee trading it for being “stupid.”
Bitcoin’s New Record
Dimon also doesn’t think much of bitcoin’s new record high. The virtual currency spiked more than 8% on Thursday to surpass $5,200.00 for the first time.
“I wouldn’t put this high in the category of important things in the world, but I’m not going to talk about bitcoin anymore,” Dimon said Thursday, as noted by Bloomberg.
J.P. Morgan has taken a less adversarial approach to cryptocurrency. In addition to handling bitcoin-related trades – something that came to light after Dimon’s warning – the financial giant is keeping its options open. J.P. remains “very open minded” to possible uses of cryptocurrencies “if they are properly controlled and regulated,” according to Chief Financial Officer Marine Lake.
Mainstream Appeal Growing
The growth and widespread adoption of cryptocurrency hasn’t been lost on the financial community. Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein tweeted that his firm is weighing the possibility of trading cryptocurrency.
Fidelity Investments is also mining cryptocurrency, and making a lot of money doing it. Fidelity says its chief motivation for mining isn’t profit, but learning about the growing cryptocurrency market.
Increased mainstream adoption of bitcoin is seen by many as a necessary precursor to a more stable currency. Countries like Japan are spearheading adoption by introducing favorable regulation of the cryptocurrency space. But regulatory approval has not been uniform.
Russia recently became the third major economy in the span of a month to put the clampdown on cryptocurrency trading. China and South Korea have also implemented new controls on the market, focusing heavily on initial coin offerings.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock
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