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And the Buyer of the Toshiba Memory Unit is...

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Toshiba names a preferred bidder for the sale of its much wanted memory chip business-- a consortium bringing together the Japanese government and interests from the US and S. Korea.

Toshiba memoryThe group consists of the state-backed Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ) fund, the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) and US private equity firm Bain Capital. Also involved in financing are S. Korean chipmaker SK Hynix and the core banking unit of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. It promises to offer at least $18 billion, the minimum Toshiba is asking for the unit, and should automatically receive the Japanese government's seal of approval.

“Toshiba has determined that the consortium has presented the best proposal, not only in terms of valuation, but also in respect to certainty of closing, retention of employees, and maintenance of sensitive technology within Japan,” a company statement reads.

A "Lensless" Camera for Flat Phones?

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Caltech researchers claim to create a camera lacking one of the most basic components, the lens. Instead, the "lensless camera" uses what is dubbed an "ultra-thin optical phased array" (OPA).

Lensless cameraAccording to the researchers, the OPA does what lenses do-- manipulate incoming light-- computationally instead of optically. Whereas lenses bend incoming light to focus it on a piece of film or an optical sensor, the OPA uses an array of light receivers to add a tightly controlled time delay (or phase shift) to the light. This allows the camera to selectively "look" in different directions, and focus on different objects.

The principle is actually similar to the way phased communication arrays focus and steer radio waves in a particular direction, only in reverse.

Lenovo Concepts Bendy Laptop

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The Lenovo Transform 2017 event was mainly focused on enterprise, but it did have the company reveal what it think is the future of personal computer-- a bendable laptop with a flexible display.

Lenovo bendyDescribed as the "ThinkPad of the future," the concept laptop would be built using unspecified "advanced materials" and "new screen technologies." These would allow for a device one can roll up or fold, without need for a hinge. The presentation also had Lenovo SMP and GM Christian Teismann state how it can be an always-connected device able to handle natural speech and handwriting, with anticipator AI as a major feature.

Interestingly the concept design even includes that ThinkPad trademark stuck in the keyboard, the orange mouse nub.

Kodak Sells Tablets in Europe

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The Eastman Kodak company joins Archos to offer Kodak-branded tablets-- available in 7- and 10.1-inch models with either full black or "radiant" yellow back casing.

Kodak tabletImaginatively dubbed the Kodak Tablet 7 and Tablet 10, the tablets fall in the lower end of the market spectrum. Both carry a quad-core Mediatek processor, 1GB RAM and 16/32GB storage (expandable via microSD). The 10-inch model offers a 720p display and a 6000mAh battery, while the 7-inch model has a resolution of just 1024 x 600 and a 2500mAh battery.

Imagination Technologies Goes on Sale

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British firm Imagination Technologies puts itself on sale, the result of losing 70% of its value after Apple decided to start designing own GPUs instead of using PowerVR technology.

Imagination iPhoneBack in May Imagination put two units, MIPS and Ensigma, for sale, but now it is looking for buyer for the entire company. The announcement states it already has "received interest from a number of parties," which analysts suggest can include the likes of Intel, Qualcomm, Mediatek, CEVA and various Chinese entities. Even Apple might be interested.

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