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Post-PC Intel Looks to Drones

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An ailing PC market drives Intel to look for other product categories in which to prosper-- such as drones, as Chipzilla now offers the Aero Ready to Fly Drone.

Aero droneThe Aero is a full-assembled drone complete with integrated flight controller, remote control receiver and transmitter. Since it is an Chipzilla product it uses an Intel CPU (specifically an Atom x7-Z8750) and a 3D RealSense depth camera, which come in handy when used together with GPS, altimeter and magnetometer to power an auto-pilot mode.

Other details include 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, 802.11ac wifi and a USB 3.0 port. The OS of choice is a version of Linux, meaning programmers can develop apps for the drone. Construction is in carbon fibre, and of course it also includes electronic speed controllers, motors and propellers. Strangely enough the package does not include a power pack-- instead customers need to buy a specific high-capacity lithium-polymer battery separately.

The Huawei 360-Degree Camera for Phones

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Huawei teams up with camera maker Insta360 to launch the Honor VR Camera-- a 360-degree clip-on camera designed for use with the Chinese company's Honor smartphone range.

Honor VRNot much in terms of details on the Honor VR Camera is known as yet, other than it featuring "3K photography" support and live-streaming capabilities. As one might imagine it works together with an Insta360-developed companion app for the saving and sharing of 360-degree videos and snaps.

GeIL Intros EVO X RGB DDR4 Modules

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Taiwan-based memory maker GeIL launches the EVO X-- a DDR4 RAM series described as "the world's first fully RGB illuminated DDR4 memory module."

EVO X memoryThe modules are compatible with X99 and Z170 motherboards, support speeds ranging from 3000 to beyond 4000MHz and feature a Hybrid-Independent-Light-Module (HILM) design separating the lighting circuitry from the memory module. According to the company this means the illumination does not interfere with the module, providing maximum performance.

The EVO X supports motherboard RGB interfaces and applications from various vendors, including Asus Asura, Gigabyte Ambient LED and MSI Mystic Light, via motherboard 4-pin RGB header connection. The lighting module synchronises with motherboard, graphics card and RGB UI compatible components for a "seamless illumination experience."

AMD Presents Ryzen Desktop CPUs

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AMD returns to the high performance processor game with Ryzen 7-- a CPU family based around Zen architecture, with 8-core, 16-thread parts and 16MB level 3 cache shared across all cores.

AMD RyzenAccording to the company, Ryzen 7 CPUs can do 52% more work per cycle than a similarly-clocked predecessor, thanks to a 14nm manufacturing process, a 5x increase in bandwidth and the architectural changes brought about by Ze. The processors also support simultaneous multithreading (the AMD take on Intel's Hyper-Threading), allowing each core to execute 2 code paths simultaneously.

Disney Shows Room-Scale Wireless Power

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Scientists at Disney Research present what one can describe as room-scale wireless power delivery-- a prototype living room housing 10 objects, all powered without need for cables.

Disney wireless energyDubbed "Quasistatic Cavity Resonance for Ubiquitous Wireless Power Transfer," the technology is free roaming, meaning one can move around the room and their smartphone will immediately start charging, with no need to be close to a wireless charging pad. It is also very efficient (around 40-95%, depending on the receiver's position in the room) and can deliver 1900W of power before the specific absorption rate (SAR) becomes dangerous for human beings.

However, like all things sounding too good to be true, the technology comes with a caveat-- it requires a purpose-built room, with walls, ceilings and floor built out of aluminium panels. A long copper pole runs in the middle of the room, and half-way down the pipe is a small section housing a ring of 15 capacitors. Outside the room are a signal generator and a power amplifier linked to the capacitors, which together with the copper pipe produce quasistatic cavity resonance (QSCR), the process behind the wireless power transfer technology.

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