After a lengthy downtime due to the COVID-19 quarantine, these months pleased us with a vast number of presentations taking place online. A lot of exciting things were going on there! In particular, SpaceX has accomplished a considerable part of work (so perhaps, travelling to Mars is forthcoming sooner than we expect).

The prototype of SpaceX’s future Starship rocket flies short hop to 500 feet

Just two days after the Crew Dragon returned to Earth, Space X proceeded with testing its equally ambitious brainchild, the Starship spacecraft. After interrupting a series of unsuccessful launch attempts, the fifth production prototype of the device successfully completed its first flight over the launch pad.

SpaceX was finally able to send a test version of the spacecraft with the full-size fuel tanks up to the height of 152 meters, afterwards successfully landing it back. That was the mock-test, so the prototype was equipped with only one Raptor engine, instead of the required six ones. The head of the company, Elon Musk, compared it to a water tower, but at the same time, stressed that he was pleased with the test results. In the near future, the company intends to build the Starship spacecraft that will carry humans to the Moon and Mars.

Watch video here:

South Korea's 5G network averages 650Mbps download speed

5G base stations promise a significant increase in connection speed, as compared to the fourth-generation mobile networks. Electronics manufacturers recently hit the "space" target of 4.3 Gbps! However, once outside of the test lab, this figure is generally more modest. 

Meanwhile, the leading communication operators in South Korea discussed the real capabilities of the new equipment. Even in a “cut down” form, they are still impressive, they say.

AMD Launches 12 Desktop Renoir Ryzen 4000G Series APUs: But You Can’t Buy Them

AMD has announced a new family of APUs for entry-level laptops. The chips, available in a dedicated series, are based on the Zen architecture, contain integrated Radeon Vega graphics, and are geared towards low-cost laptop PCs.

AMD 3015e and 3020e are 14nm dual-core chips with 6W TDP and, as declared, obtain high energy efficiency. The AMD 3015e processor with a base frequency of 1.2 GHz (2.3 GHz in Boost mode) has four execution threads, supports single-channel DDR4 memory (1600 MHz), and is equipped with integrated Radeon Vega 3 graphics (600 MHz).

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon successfully returns NASA astronauts back to Earth

In late May, the Crew Dragon spacecraft brought NASA astronauts to the ISS. Two months later, the first private flight in the history of astronautics, codenamed Demo-2, ended with the successful return of the passenger capsule to Earth. It landed in the Gulf of Mexico, marking the end of the test launch cycle and the transition of Elon Musk's company to certified flights.

The final phase of the mission was broadcast live on the aerospace agency's YouTube channel. The viewers had a chance to see the process of loading of the splashed capsule into a waiting ship as well as safe retrieval of the astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.

NASA astronauts

Huawei launches MatePad 10.8 and Enjoy 2 tablets, TalkBand B6 

HUAWEI presented a few releases: the MatePad 10.8, along with a second tablet which came as a surprise, also a new talk band and a smartwatch for little ones. 

The MatePad 8 is equipped with a 10.8” IPS LCD with 2,560 x 1,600 px. It provides for work with the M-Pencil stylus, but you can always opt for keyboard attachment too. Among its notable characteristics - powerful Kirin 990 processor, 6 GB of RAM, 64 GB storage (which you can increase up to 128 GB if you wish), support of the newest wireless standard Wi-Fi 6+, data transfer rate up to 2400 Mbps, also - an 8 MP camera on the front and a 13 MP camera on the back. Good news - it’s going to be available already in the middle of August, and afterwards, a 5G-version is likely to be designed too. 

Another tablet, Enjoy Tablet 2, is a more “downgrade” version of MatePad 8, but it is still very sharp. The main functional difference here is the usage of mid-range Kirin 710A chipset. 

Huawei TalkBand B6 is a smart band which you are supposed to wear on your wrist and in the first place get notifications from an Android or IoS. Of course, other functions are present too, such as heart rate and sleep tracking. And what concerns a smartwatch aimed at babies, it is equipped with a 5 MP selfie and a regular 8 MP camera, can be used as a wallet and mimics the functions of the phone so that the parents can always check in.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 release date, price, news and features

The gadget is equipped with a 1.1-inch color AMOLED display with a resolution of 294x126 pixels and maximum brightness of 450 nits - so the image will be clear even in sunny weather. You can customize the screen for yourself with the help of virtual watch faces: there are over a hundred designs to choose from, including animated screensavers. The autonomy of Xiaomi Mi Band is up to 14 days, and a full charge will take 2 hours. And now the device does not need to be removed from the strap - just attach a special magnetic connector to its back. Some other useful features include, in particular, controlling the shutter release of your smartphone's camera.

In addition to displaying the text of incoming messages, the fitness tracker can take on the role of a personal trainer. The device supports 11 types of physical activity, including yoga, jumping rope, rowing and elliptical trainers. The wristband tracks body position, exercise pace and calorie intake, and reminds the seated user to move more often. There is also a 24/7 heart rate monitoring function: if the heart rate is off the scale, the bracelet will vibrate. Another useful option is a pulse oximeter that measures the level of oxygen in the blood.

Xiomi Mi Smart Band 5

27-inch iMac gets a major update

Without waiting for the autumn presentation, Apple has introduced an updated line of branded monoblocks with improved hardware characteristics. The key changes are the shift to default SSDs, the latest Intel processors and AMD graphics performance. Besides, the 27-inch model has one of the hallmarks of the $ 6,000 Pro Display XDR professional monitor as an option.

The updated 27-inch iMac is powered by 10th Gen Intel Core i5 (up to 3.8 GHz), Core i7 (up to 4.8 GHz) or Core i9 (up to 5 GHz) processors, depending on configuration. The variation of discrete graphics has also expanded: now there are versions of the monoblock with video cards AMD Radeon Pro 5300 (4 GB GDDR6), Radeon Pro 5500 XT (8 GB), as well as Radeon Pro 5700 (8 GB) and Radeon Pro 5700 XT (16 GB).

The amount of RAM has also increased: in the maximum configuration, up to 128 GB is available. The manufacturer claims that compared to the last year's model, the new version of the iMac can encode 8K videos 40 percent faster using Final Cut Pro X. Another major change is the abandonment of hybrid Fusion Drives in favor of SSDs which can be up to 8 TB in different trim levels.

27-inch iMac

Intel and TSMC enter into teamwork, 6nm GPU chips coming?

Over the past few days, it has become clear that Intel's problems are not going to end. We are talking about the problems associated with the development of new technical processes.

To begin with, let me remind you that back in 2015-2016 Intel planned to release the first consumer 10-nanometer processors. As you probably know, they came out at the end of 2019 (one Cannon Lake model does not count). 

Last year, Intel again announced more than once that the 10 nm process technology would be throughput for it, and that the company would focus on 7 nm standards. But now it has become clear that this next transition will not be smooth either.

MediaTek Dimensity 720

A new processor designed by MediaTek is going to contribute to the better experience with mid-range 5G smartphones. The MediaTek Dimensity 720 is equipped with 5G modem built into a 7nm chip and provides for better power-efficiency, stable connectivity, high-functional AI-camera, fluid display and responsive performance. Another merit of the platform is a number of power-saving technologies. 

The architecture of the platform consists of two Cortex-A76 cores and six Cortex-A55 cores, and it works with LPDDR4 RAM (up to 12 GB) and UFS 2.2 drives. Given its enhanced functionality, the Mediatek Dimensity 720 is claimed to be “the most power-efficient 5G Chip in its class”.

PS5: release date, specs and news for the PlayStation 5

In the mid of June, there was held a presentation that perhaps all the gamers were looking forward to - the presentation of the PlayStation 5 games. Finally, we got a chance to take a glimpse into the “future of gaming”, where evidently lots of colorful yet simple arcades prevail. 

At the same time, there was momentum for more “serious” projects, which grasped the interest of a wider spectrum of audience, encouraging them to buy a console. In particular, Sony unveiled the exterior of console which in fact appears to exist in two versions - with and without an optical disc drive. And both of these are super-stylish!

There have also been presented a number of intriguing accessories, such as a Pulse 3D wireless headset, a DualSet Charging Station and an HD camera that is emulating the console itself. As compared to the previous editions, which were on the large part based on the design concept of their predecessors, PlayStation 5 is orientated more towards futurism and upcoming novelty in its very pure sense.

Tesla batteries to get 20% energy density increase –Panasonic

As it is known, Panasonic is engaged in producing a new 2170- format battery for Tesla at Gigafactory Nevada. They expect to increase energy density at 20% in the following five months, as well as to make batteries cobalt-free. This opens the doors to remarkable improvements for Tesla. In such a scenario, Tesla could increase the range of vehicles, with no need for big battery packs or increasing the weight of the car. As a result, the total capacity output is going to increase either. And last but not least - there will be opportunities for improving the cost. 

Perhaps, these achievements won’t just stay within Tesla usage itself. The above-mentioned advancements are very likely to migrate to other partners. Thus, in the broad sense, the whole industry, and not just Tesla, is going to profit from these advancements.

How can IoT help children with ASD learn and play?

Around one in every 54 kids within the U.S. is diagnosed with syndrome spectrum disorder (ASD), a medicine and organic process disorder that affects the ability to speak and act socially. In order to boost their capacity of communication and interaction, the Internet of Things (IoT) aboard dedicated programs and apps area units are ceaselessly being developed.

For example, Google glasses or face recognition computer code designed into glasses picks au courant facial cues and interprets them during a method the user cannot do alone. Another helpful device is Reveal that could be used as a bracelet converting emotional reactions (such as a raised rate, sweating, dynamical body temperatures) into warnings to a parent that a toddler is getting down to feel stressed.

Google announces Pixel 5, Pixel 4A 5G, and Pixel 4A all at once

Google has announced three new Pixel phone models: Pixel 4A which you can already pre-order, and also Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a with 5G support that are expected to come out this fall. So many releases at about the same time - one might say that it is all pretty messy. However, the main reason for that is the delayed release of 4A, which was caused by the pandemic, as Google stated. Moreover, these three devices are supposed to hit different categories of buyers. 

The features of the upcoming devices are not yet disclosed -the world is left to guess. All we know for sure is that the price of the devices will start at $499. It is also alleged that the Pixel 4a 5G will obtain a larger display as well as a chipset supporting 5G. The company says, in the next months it is going to share more details on the new models.

Importance of 5G Decreases, Security Rises, How Performers Respond to COVID-19

There are three main ways to recover from the crisis which we are experiencing now: survival, adaptation, and recovery. Cybersecurity spurs recovery.

Teleconferencing platforms have become the most popular tools for businesses to adapt to the changes which come along with COVID-19. So when it comes to technology, the majority of executives nowadays focus on safety and risk avoidance.

Despite a wide range of choices, 44% of respondents believe that cybersecurity is becoming much more important, followed by related areas of data privacy estimated at 42.5% and risk management - at 39.9%.

Final Thoughts

It is noteworthy how the companies have adapted to the circumstances dictated by the quarantine that no one was really prepared for. Hopefully, they will keep up with their direction and despite anything, will continue to delight us with their new releases.