19/10/2012

O2 upgrades HLR

O2 is spending £10m revamping it's mobile registration database system (know as an HLR or Home Location Register) as it has suffered 2 major outages in as many months. The HLR stores the customer IMSI (SIM number) and their real telephone number as well as location and other information. When a call comes in, the HLR is queried to find out how do deliver the call the mobile. If the HLR fails, then mobile calls will not work (as mobiles cant register on to the network) and calls to mobiles will fail too. The current HLR (or cluster of HLRs) are made by Ericsson and O2 is buying new systems.

Droidcon returns to London

Next week (October 25/26th 2012) Droidcon returns to London at the Business Design Centre in Islington.

Droidcon is the best Android conference in Europe and anyone interested in the Android ecosystem should definitely go.

Day one is using the 'barcamp' idea whereby anyone can come along and give a talk (with a few 'proper' talks interspersed) and then demo slots and of course the evening party.

Day two is structured with the the more formal speaking slots.

See you there.

16/10/2012

Will Amazon buy OMAP?

Texas Instruments (TI) recently announced they were 'defocusing' efforts on their OMAP line of ARM based CPUs (OMAP is their bleeding edge line of ARM based CPUs made for mobile type devices, they also have various lines of industrial ARM based CPUs, but these tend to be based on older ARM architectures). The defocusing has led to rumours that TI want to sell their OMAP devision. Both Amazon and Barnes and Noble use OMAP processors for their Kindle and Nook readers respectively. It seems Amazon has been in discussions with TI for a while and they may be a leading contender in an OMAP purchase. This would give Amazon control of their own CPUs, much like Apple has done with its Ax range of CPUs. Amazon could also use the OMAP processor in devices that may come to market such as a smartphone or other tablet. Amazon may also be in discussions with RIM to license Blackberry OS 10 and also in discussion with HP to buy or license WebOS (which HP took control of when they purchased Palm). Currently WebOS is being open sourced. Amazon have already forked Google's Android and removed all the Google sign-in functionality as well as Google's apps and they run their own Amazon app store.

Apple to drop Samsung for CPUs

Apple's latest iPhone 5 has hit the streets, but what many people don't know is that most of the phone is actually made by Samsung. Samsung fabricate the CPU and make the display and also many of the wireless chips (they used to be made by Cambridge Silicon Radio/CSR, but Samsung acquired their chip division). Apple are moving chip fabrication away from Samsung and their A7 chip will be fabricated by TSMC (or other fab plant), though they may not completely remove themselves from Samsung as they have a production line set-up for the A6. Samsung contributed both design and technology expertise to Apple's earlier CPUs but now much of this expertise has been taken in-house and Apple just require a silicon fab to actually manufacture their new CPUs. The A6 was almost entirely engineered in-house by Apple. This will be a blow to Samsung as they struggle to fill the production lines at their fabs.