Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, Snapdragon 640, Snapdragon 460 SoCs Leaked: Specifications, Features

Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, Snapdragon 640, Snapdragon 460 SoCs Leaked: Specifications, Features

 

With the exception of Huawei and Apple, smartphones from most other Android manufacturers are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon range of mobile processors. A new report suggests that Qualcomm is readying up refreshed models in its mobile processor offerings for 2018 – the Snapdragon 670, Snapdragon 640, and the Snapdragon 460.

The leaked Snapdragon 670 will succeed this year’s Snapdragon 660 SoC. According to the image on Weibo (spotted by Dealntech), the Snapdragon 670 SoC will feature 4 x Kryo 360 Gold cores clocked at 2.00GHz and 4 x Kryo 385 Silver cores clocked at 1.6GHz. The processor is paired with an Adreno 620 GPU. With dual 14-bit Spectra 260 ISP, the Snapdragon 670 will support smartphone camera setups with a single sensor up to 26-megapixel or dual sensors up to 13-megapixels each. It is expected to have the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem with a maximum download speed of 1Gbps and a maximum upload speed of 150Mbps. Twitter user @rquandt pointed out that the Snapdragon 670 SoC might have support for 64GB eMMC 5.1 flash storage and up to a WQHD screen.

The Snapdragon 640 SoC will succeed the Snapdragon 630, and is said to include 2 x Kryo 360 Gold cores clocked at 2.15GHz and 6 x Kryo 360 Silver cores clocked at 1.55GHz. The SoC might be paired with an Adreno 610 GPU and sport the same dual 14-bit Spectra 260 ISP camera module as on the Snapdragon 670. It is expected to have the Snapdragon X12 LTE modem with a download speed limit of 600Mbps and upload speed limit of 150Mbps.

And, lastly, the Snapdragon 460, successor to the Snapdragon 450, is yet another SoC leaked in the image. With 4 x Kryo 360 Silver cores clocked at 1.8GHz and 4 x Kryo 360 Silver cores clocked at 1.4GHz, the Snapdragon 460 might be powering affordable smartphones in 2018. The chipset is expected to be paired with an Adreno 605 graphics processor. The image suggests that the Snapdragon 460 might borrow the X12 LTE modem from the Snapdragon 640, and feature a 14-bit Spectra 240 ISP that supports a single camera sensor up to 21-megapixels.

The Snapdragon 670 supports 3 x 16-bit memory channel clocked at 1866Mhz, while both the Snapdragon 640 and Snapdragon 460 support 2 channels each.

The leaked image also shows specifications for the recently launched Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC.

WhatsApp Private Reply Feature for Groups Enabled by Mistake

WhatsApp Private Reply Feature for Groups Enabled by Mistake, Expected Soon: Report

WhatsApp mistakenly rolled out the ‘Reply Privately’ feature in a beta update for Windows Phone that will allow users to privately send a message to a participant in a group without anyone else knowing about it. The hotly-anticipated WhatsApp feature is under development and could be rolled out with other features as well. The Private Reply feature appeared and was subsequently dropped from the beta version of WhatsApp, watcher of the popular chat app @WABetaInfo said, confirming that the developers wrongly enabled the feature.

“In the new WhatsApp beta for Windows Phone 2.17.344 the private reply feature is disabled. Probably WhatsApp has wrongly enabled it in 2.17.342,” WABetaInfo tweeted. The feature was again implemented in the v2.17.348 beta update.

WABetaInfo said that the Private Reply option will only be available in group chats and will be included in the small menu that pops-up when users press and hold on a message. They can then quote the message in a Private Reply to users, sent as a personal chat. In the early form it was spotted, there were still several bugs, WABetaInfo noted, such as being visible in personal chats rather than just group chats.

Other new features that arrived with the v2.17.336 and v2.17.342 betas for Windows Phone include a new UI design for calls, similar to the Android interface, one that’s disabled by default. Also new is the Quick Switch to video call, enabling users to switch from a voice call to a video call without interrupting the conversation. Advanced group settings were also seen.

Earlier this month, WABetaInfo leaked the details of the features that WhatsApp was developing for Web and desktop, including tap to unblock and a picture-in-picture (PIP) mode.

Nokia 2 to Get Android 8.1 Oreo Update Directly

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After bringing the latest Android experience to the flagship Nokia 8, HMD Global is now set to directly provide Android 8.1 Oreo to Nokia 2. The handset was launched in October with Android 7.1 Nougat. It comes with an “average global price” of EUR 99 (approximately Rs. 7,600), and arrived in India late last month at Rs. 6,999.

HMD Global Chief Product Officer Juho Sarvikas in a tweet on Thursday confirmed the Nokia 2 will receive Android 8.1 Oreo. Sarvikas also suggested that the cheapest Nokia smartphone will receive some memory management improvements from Google’s Android Go programme that was announced earlier this year and recently rumoured to debut on Nokia 1 sometime in March. “1GB RAM devices will be supported on 8.1 release where many of the Android Go memory management improvements will be integrated. Nokia 2 performance will only get better over time!” the executive tweeted.

HMD started the process of releasing Android 8.0 Oreo update for its smartphone portfolio with the Nokia 8 in November. Following the release of Android Oreo for the top-end Nokia smartphone, the Finnish company announced Android 8.0 Oreo beta builds for the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6. Both the mid-range Nokia phones received Android 8.0 Oreo beta build earlier this month. Further, the company is set to seed Android Oreo to Nokia 3 by skipping a due Android 7.1.2 update.

It is worth noting here that HMD previously planned to bring Android 8.0 Oreo to its Nokia smartphone range, and the Nokia 2 is its first model to receive Android 8.1 that was launched just earlier this monthfor Google Pixel and Nexus devices. Sarvikas’ tweet didn’t reveal by when can we expect the new experience. However, it is quite presumable that the company would bring the update sometime early next year.

The Android Nougat-running Nokia 2 features a 5-inch LTPS HD (720×1280 pixels) display. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 SoC with four cores of ARM Cortex-A7 CPU at 1.3GHz, coupled 1GB of RAM. The smartphone has an 8-megapixel rear camera sensor with an LED flash and a 5-megapixel front camera sensor. It packs a 4000mAh non-removable battery that is claimed to deliver two days of power on a single charge.

Nokia 1 Android Go Phone Launch Rumoured for March

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While Google has so far maintained silence, it has now been rumoured that Nokia 1 will be one of the early Android Go phones. The new Nokia smartphone is claimed to be designed for emerging markets and is said to arrive sometime in March. Announced back in May, Android Go programme is designed by Google to deliver an enhanced user experience on entry-level devices.

Russian tipster Eldar Murtazin revealed in a tweet that the Nokia 1 will be a part of Google’s Android Oreo (Go edition) programme. The new Nokia smartphone is said to have an HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of onboard storage. Also, the blogger claimed that the smartphone will be priced at RUB 5,990 (approximately Rs. 6,670). The rumoured smartphone is expected to run Android Oreo (Go edition) that would come with some lightweight Google apps such as Files Go, Google Maps Go, and YouTube Go.

Murtazin also pointed out that like HMD Global is with the Nokia 1, Huawei is also working on an Android Go smartphone. However, the blogger hasn’t detailed any specifications of the latter.

In October, HMD Global brought Nokia 2 as its cheapest Android smartphone. The smartphone was debuted in India following its formal announcement with a price tag of Rs. 6,999 and is also available in the US. The Android Nougat-based Nokia 2 features a 5-inch HD LTPS display and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 chip that has a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, coupled with 1GB of RAM. The handset has an 8-megapixel rear camera sensor with an LED flash and a 5-megapixel front camera sensor and packs a 4100mAh battery.

Chinese oil giant denies Africa bribery scheme after US probe

Top Chinese oil company CEFC China Energy on Monday denied any involvement in an alleged multi-million dollar bribery scandal that US investigators say helped the giant win business advantages in Africa.

Top Chinese oil company CEFC China Energy on Monday denied any involvement in an alleged multi-million dollar bribery scandal that US investigators say helped the giant win business advantages in Africa.

US officials announced Monday that they had arrested Hong Kong’s former Home Affairs Secretary and the ex-Foreign Minister of Senegal for leading the alleged scam, with some deals arranged in the halls of the United Nations.

Former Senegalese top diplomat Cheikh Gadio and Hong Kong’s Patrick Chi Ping Ho are accused of sending huge bribes to high-level officials in Chad and Uganda to secure business advantages for a Chinese company.

The company was not identified in the announcement or the complaint filed in New York federal district court. But details in the complaint pointed to CEFC China Energy, the Shanghai-based rising star of China’s energy industry.

Ho led a Hong Kong-based organisation called the China Energy Fund Committee, which is itself funded by CEFC China Energy.

In the Justice Department complaint, the two men allegedly offered a USD 2 million bribe to the president of Chad “to obtain valuable oil rights”.

They also allegedly offered a USD 500,000 bribe to an account designated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda, who had recently completed his term as the President of the UN General Assembly.

CEFC China Energy released a statement late last night “in response to some media reports” that He Zhiping, the general secretary of the fund, was being “prosecuted by the US judicial authorities”.

The statement said the fund was established to “promote international energy research, conduct public diplomacy, and facilitate global energy cooperation and cultural exchange.”

But it added that the fund “is not involved in any of the commercial activities of CEFC China”.

“Any activities that go against the law and discipline are strictly prohibited by the company,” the statement added.

The statement did not mention Ho or Gadio.

CEFC China Energy has blown onto the scene in just a few years, taking major stakes in global projects, including a 14 percent chunk of Russia’s Rosneft, and playing an important role in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious One Belt One Road initiative.

Ho, 68, and Gadio, 61, are each charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and money laundering, with possible jail sentences of as much as 20 years. They were arrested over the weekend in New York.

Ho was Hong Kong Home Affairs secretary from 2002 to 2007, and served for several years on the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee Conference.

Gadio was Senegal’s foreign minister from 2000 to 2009.

Yes Bank sets up $1 bn debt programme to raise money

Private sector lender Yes Bank today said its board has approved proposal to set up MTN programme to raise USD 1 billion (about Rs 6,500 crore) on private placement basis.

Private sector lender Yes Banktoday said its board has approved proposal to set up MTN programme to raise USD 1 billion (about Rs 6,500 crore) on private placement basis.

The Medium Term Note (MTN) programme, an instrument to raise money through debt securities that typically matures in 5-10 years, is within the overall borrowing limit of Rs 20,000 crore, the bank said.

“The Capital Raising Committee of the board at its meeting held on November 29, 2017 has considered and approved bank’s proposal to set up the MTN programme for an amount of USD 1 billion to eligible investors, from time to time, in one or more tranches,” Yes Bank said in a regulatory filing.

The bank can raise money, in Indian or foreign currency through various means, including issuance of debt securities such as non-convertible debentures, MTNs, tier I/II bonds, as well as long-term infrastructure bonds.

As per approval from its board of directors and shareholders, the bank has permission to raise funds up to Rs 20,000 crore in one or more tranches on private placement basis from time to time.

Shares of Yes Bank closed 0.92 percent down at Rs 312.30 per unit on BSE today.

Google has a new site for tracking your investments

The new version replaces an aging portal that looked outdated but still provided valuable information.

Google Finance got a complete redesign on Tuesday.

The new version replaces an aging portal that looked outdated but still provided valuable information. The new Google Finance is smarter and takes advantage of your search history. For example, since Google knows what you’re looking up, it automatically pulls in ticker symbols for companies you’ve read about and can recommend others to follow.

It’s rolling out to users now, so some people will have to wait a day or two for the new version hits their browsers.

Here’s a look at the new Google Finance.

This is the new Google Finance homepage. It shows information on stocks or companies that you’ve recently searched. In this case, we looked up Nvidia and Netflix. At the bottom, Google recommends stocks. The right of the screen gives a snapshot of U.S. and global markets.

Your Stocks

This is your stocks page, where you can follow specific companies. Think of this as the portfolio section from the old Google Finance. You’ll get a snapshot of stocks you own or want to track. However, you can’t create different portfolios, which was a unique feature in the old version.

Local Markets

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This is your stocks page, where you can follow specific companies. Think of this as the portfolio section from the old Google Finance. You’ll get a snapshot of stocks you own or want to track. However, you can’t create different portfolios, which was a unique feature in the old version.

Local Markets

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This is the new local markets page. It shows the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite in the U.S., with charts and performance for each market. The chart can be updated to reflect changes over the past month, three months, one year, five years or from the beginning of trading. The bottom of the page shows local market news.

World Markets

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This is the world markets tab. It looks just like global markets. Here we see a snapshot of the Dow, the German DAX Performance Index and a look at the performance of the finance. There are also news feeds if you scroll down.

News

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Here’s a look at the news feeds. The topics consist of information relevant to the tab you’ve selected. Here you will see the top stories on the homepage that are related to what you have searched. Also note that since the news is further down the page, there’s additional information on global exchanges and currency exchange rates.

India ranks 100 in global prosperity index, catches up with China

India’s improvement stems from gains in three — Business Environment, Economic Quality and Governance — of the nine pillars of prosperity.

India has been ranked at the 100th position among 149 nations in the global prosperity index, showing a four-rank improvement from last year, according to 2017 Legatum Prosperity Index released on Wednesday.

India’s improvement stems from gains in three — Business Environment, Economic Quality and Governance — of the nine pillars of prosperity. Last month, the country jumped 30 places to rank 100th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings, owing to the string of reforms implemented by the Narendra Modi government.

The improvement in Economic Quality is reported to be due to the proportion of the population with bank accounts, which increased to 53 percent in 2014 from 35 percent in 2011. While gains in Business Environment is said to be driven by improved intellectual property rights.

India recorded the second largest increase in the business environment after South Africa that saw the largest jump due to reduced electricity connection costs and an improved Logistics Performance Index.

In Governance, where every region shows an improvement, India’s legislation recorded also an increase in the ability to challenge regulation in the legal system.

The percentage of Indians who reported to not have enough food to eat rose to 35 percent from 26 percent in 2016, owing to the largest falls reported the availability of adequate food since last year.

India is catching up with China, which ranks 90th in the prosperity index.

“India has narrowed the gap on China to a quarter of what it was in 2012,” said the report.

More Indians reported being satisfied with their standard of living and household incomes as India shows significant improvement in Economic Quality and Education.

In contrast, China, saw a decline in the same pillars as economically people perceived greater barriers to trade and less encouragement of competition; and educationally through a falling primary school completion rate.

“Our hope is that our Index can continue to help governments and policy-makers to identify and promote policies that create pathways from poverty to prosperity,” the Legatum Institute’s CEO, Philippa Stroud said.

India’s neighbour, Pakistan ranks 137th in the prosperity index. It performs poorly in Natural Environment, Safety and Security and Personal Freedom.

The Legatum Prosperity Index is the world’s leading global measure of economic and social wellbeing that studies 104 indicators under these categories: Economic Quality, Business Environment, Governance, Personal Freedom, Social Capital, Safety and Security, Education, Health and Natural Environment.

Norway tops the prosperity index by regaining the first spot from New Zealand. The country shows consistent improvement in business environment and governance in the past twelve months, with Norwegians more optimistic about starting a business and more confident in their government than last year.

Europe ranks fifth in the index, while the UK maintains its 10th place driven by the best Business Environment in Europe. Economic Quality in the UK has also begun to recover and now sits ahead of both Canada and the US.

The key findings show that global prosperity now sits at its highest level — 2.6 percent up since 2007, in spite of significant international turbulence, an alarming deterioration in global security and a widening gap between the most and least 30 nations prosperous nations.

Nearly two-thirds of nations show a decline in Safety and Security pillar, five times more than any of the Index’s other pillars. The Middle East and North African (MENA) records the highest decline as a result of Syria’s civil war.

Follow the moneyed: Identifying winners from the Bankruptcy Ordinance

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In a landmark move, the President of India gave his assent to the Bankruptcy Ordinance. The move has unintended consequences. For bidders with requisite financial muscle, it might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Here’s a look at who could gain from this exercise.

In a landmark move, the President of India gave his assent to the Bankruptcy Ordinance, which has virtually closed the door on errant promoters wanting to regain control over their defaulting companies. While the signalling is strong and welcome and would force promoters of stressed companies to hasten the resolution process, the move has unintended consequences as well. For bidders with requisite financial muscle, it might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Here’s a look at who could gain from this exercise.

The Ordinance

But first, a look at the Ordinance. Its broad objective is to prevent unscrupulous, undesirable persons from participating in the resolution process – in lay man’s terms to prevent back door entry of promoters who have defaulted. It also puts the onus on the Committee of Creditors (who are mostly going to be bankers) to ensure the viability and feasibility of the resolution plan before approving it.

In a nutshell, the following categories would be out of the bidding process for stressed assets:

    • Wilful defaulters

    • Undischarged insolvents

    • Promoters or sister concerns of companies with non-performing assets of more than one year

    • Persons convicted of an offence with over two-year imprisonment

    • Individuals disqualified as directors under Companies Act

    • Person banned by SEBI from Securities market

    • Persons banned under IBC for fraudulent activities

    • Person who executed enforceable guarantee in favour of a creditor in respect of insolvent entity

The Good

The tweak in the Ordinance at a first glance looks like a great move on the transparency front as domestic and global investors have time and again expressed concerns over meddling promoters in the resolution process.

In the long-run, it will force promoters whose companies are about to default to press for an early resolution to prevent the company from being taken to insolvency by the banker. Promoters are likely to pull out all stops early in the restructuring exercise and unlikely to put the onus solely on the bankers, as the evergreening exercise by banks seldom prevents an ultimate default.

The promoter might themselves take the initiative to refer the company to the NCLT in order to meet the one-year deadline to avoid being barred from bidding for their assets. An early restructuring is in the interest of the system: usually by the time a company goes into insolvency it loses most of its value. An early resolution will minimise the loss, as the haircut on an asset which is still not defunct is likely to be a lot less.

The Ordinance will therefore have a bearing on all future defaults including the cases identified by RBI for the second round of NCLT.

However, the harsher provisions of the Ordinance have a few grey areas and unintended consequences.

The grey 

The RBI might classify an account as stressed even before it has actually become NPL in which case the promoter will have to bring in funds earlier to prevent being called a defaulter for over one year.

Banks often engage in a one-time settlement with borrowers and this has similar characteristics of the promoters getting back control of their assets at a discount.

… & the ugly

As is evident, the Ordinance clearly bars promoters of the first list of twelve cases before NCLT from participating in the bidding process. With the revival of the steel cycle, there is palpable investor interest in steel assets that dominates this list and a couple of other companies (like the auto ancillary company) may also see investor interest.

However, beyond this list, there will be many more assets which might not draw an equal amount of interest from competitors/financial investors. If the promoter is out of the fray, these assets are likely to fetch distressed valuations leading to a higher hair cut for the banks.

We also got to remember that not all defaulters are “wilful” in the sense that stress in many companies may be linked to external/macro factors and a promoter losing business to competitor/financial investor might go against the spirit of enterpreneurship.

As the resolution of India’s great NPA saga moves into high gear, many companies may not find buyers leading to liquidation thereby impacting jobs. Finally, financial investors may not always have a necessary bandwidth to run the show and effect a turnaround in the absence of the promoters.

Now the winners

However, as the system ponders over the nuances of the Ordinance, it clearly gives an edge to the solvent bidders. Global giants like Arcelor Mittal to home-grown competitors like JSW SteelTata Steel and Vedanta will definitely have reasons to welcome the changes. We have a positive long-term view on these potential acquirers.

There is a long list of private equity investors/pension funds and more are likely to queue up in a bid to make money from India’s junk.

In our opinion, yesterday’s tweak of the ordinance is unlikely to be positive for Indian banking sector as a whole. Beyond some of the lucrative assets, the overall haircut to the system in the absence of the promoters is likely to be higher although it is difficult to quantify the same at this stage. However, a bank like Kotak that has recently raised capital (to the tune of Rs 5,803 crore) specifically with an eye on buying stressed assets will be in a vantage position. The bank’s chief expects disproportionate returns from this once in a lifetime opportunity. We have a positive view on Kotak Bank as well.

Other players who are likely to be in the thick of action are the likes of Piramal EnterpriseEdelweiss, Il&FS and Aditya Birla Capital.

HDFC Life looks to raise exposure to infrastructure stocks

Funds are likely to be put into cement makers, suppliers of building materials such as tiles and paints, and financiers of road and housing projects, Prasun Gajri, chief investment officer at HDFC Life told Reuters.

HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co. is looking to invest more in the capital goods sectors and a range of companies that are expected to benefit from a major government push to build more homes and roads.

Funds are likely to be put into cement makers, suppliers of building materials such as tiles and paints, and financiers of road and housing projects, Prasun Gajri, chief investment officer at HDFC Life told Reuters.

“I think the entire capital goods sector could start looking better than what it has been in the past,” said Gajri, who oversees management of more than $15 billion of investments in debt and equity. “We could look to increase exposure in some of these areas as we go along.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has pledged to spend billions of dollars under its “housing for all” programme through 2022. The government also has an ambitious roads programme with planned spending of more than $100 billion over the next five years in an effort to bump up growth in Asia’s third-largest economy.

The insurer, however, does not expect better days any time soon for property developers, many of whom are weighed down by high debt levels and stricter regulations, Gajri said.

Among other areas HDFC Life is positive on are consumer discretionary sectors such as automakers, which, Gajri said, could report positive earnings growth as the impact wanes from both the government’s surprise removal of high-value banknotes from circulation and its new goods and services tax.

Gajri said he would also look to “allocate a bit more” to commodity stocks, especially metals, as a supply clampdown in China has led to higher prices in India. The insurer is bearish on information technology and pharma stocks.

Helped by strong foreign fund inflows, Indian stocks have hit a string of record highs this year, with the main index gaining more than 26 percent so far in 2017, even as corporate earnings remain muted and businesses struggle with the new tax rollout.

Gajri said he expected a recovery in corporate earnings beginning from the current quarter and that it would continue for the next two to three years.

“If the earnings story plays out, then frankly, that will be a buying opportunity.”

HDFC Life, a joint venture between Indian mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp and Standard Life Aberdeen Plc, went public earlier this month after a $1.34 billion IPO.

The insurer has just under 60 percent of its assets invested in debt and the remainder in equity.

It has cut the average maturity of bonds held under the unit-linked plans in the past 12 months due to concerns over inflation, fiscal slippage and a hawkish monetary policy, although Gajri said he did not expect a complete reversal of the rate cut cycle or a “large and meaningful” slippage number.

“We would look to increase duration maybe at some point of time, but for the interim we’ll probably wait and watch and see how this pans out.”