Messaging

Messaging

In addition to pure voice calls, all GSM carriers also offer messaging services and messaging has been a core service since the beginning of GSM mobile telephony. Mobile messaging ranges from SMS, through EMS, to IM and Email. For more information, please visit the relevant glossary...
Sensors

Sensors

Modern mobile phones come with a variety of sensors that automate or easy many of our daily tasks. This field takes into account the presence of an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a compass, and a barometer. Accelerometer and gyroscope Accelerometers in mobile phones are used to detect the orientation of the phone. The gyroscope, or gyro for short, adds an additional dimension to the information supplied by the accelerometer by tracking rotation or twist. An accelerometer measures linear acceleration of movement, while a gyro on the other hand measures the angular rotational velocity. Both sensors measure rate of change; they just measure the rate of change for different things. In practice, that means that an accelerometer will measure the directional movement of a device but will not be able to resolve its lateral orientation or tilt during that movement accurately unless a gyro is there to fill in that info. With an accelerometer you can either get a really “noisy” info output that is responsive, or you can get a “clean” output that’s sluggish. But when you combine the 3-axis accelerometer with a 3-axis gyro, you get an output that is both clean and responsive in the same time.” Digital compass The digital compass that’s usually based on a sensor called magnetometer provides mobile phones with a simple orientation in relation to the Earth’s magnetic field. As a result, your phone always knows which way is North so it can auto rotate your digital maps depending on your physical orientation. Barometer And finally, you may see a device sporting a barometer in its specs sheet. Contrary to what you may...
GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)

GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)

The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is a specialized circuit designed to accelerate the image output in a frame buffer intended for output to a display. GPUs are very efficient at manipulating computer graphics and are generally more effective than general-purpose CPUs for algorithms where processing of large blocks of data is done in parallel. Modern smartphones are equipped with advanced embedded chipsets that can do many different tasks depending on their programming. GPUs are an essential part of those chipsets and as mobile games are pushing the boundaries of their capabilities, the GPU performance is becoming increasingly...
NFC (Near Field Communication)

NFC (Near Field Communication)

NFC is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology that enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 10 cm distance. NFC is an upgrade of the existing proximity card standard (RFID) that combines the interface of a smartcard and a reader into a single device. It allows users to seamlessly share content between digital devices, pay bills wirelessly or even use their cellphone as an electronic traveling ticket on existing contactless infrastructure already in use for public transportation. The significant advantage of NFC over Bluetooth is the shorter set-up time. Instead of performing manual configurations to identify Bluetooth devices, the connection between two NFC devices is established at once (under a 1/10 second). Due to its shorter range, NFC provides a higher degree of security than Bluetooth and makes NFC suitable for crowded areas where correlating a signal with its transmitting physical device (and by extension, its user) might otherwise prove impossible. NFC can also work when one of the devices is not powered by a battery (e.g. on a phone that may be turned off, a contactless smart credit card,...
CPU (Central Processing Unit)

CPU (Central Processing Unit)

CPU (Central Processing Unit) – otherwise known as a processor – is an electronic circuit that can execute computer programs. Both the miniaturization and standardization of CPUs have increased their presence far beyond the limited application of dedicated computing machines. Modern microprocessors appear in everything from automobiles to mobile phones. The clock rate is one of the main characteristics of the CPU when performance is concerned. Clock rate is the fundamental rate in cycles per second (measured in hertz, kilohertz, megahertz or gigahertz) for the frequency of the clock in any synchronous circuit. A single clock cycle (typically shorter than a nanosecond in modern non-embedded microprocessors) toggles between a logical zero and a logical one state. With any particular CPU, replacing the crystal with another crystal that oscillates with twice the frequency will generally make the CPU run with twice the performance. It will also make the CPU produce roughly twice the amount of waste heat. Engineers are working hard to push the boundaries of the current architectures and are constantly searching for new ways to design CPUs that tick a little quicker or use slightly less energy per clock. This produces new cooler CPUs that can run at higher clock rates. Scientists also continue to search for new designs that allow CPUs to run at the same or at a lower clock rate as older CPUs, but which get more instructions completed per clock cycle. The clock rate of a processor is only useful for providing comparisons between computer chips in the same processor family and generation. Clock rates can be very misleading since the amount of work...
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