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Dolby to put Atmos surround sound on tablets, smartphones

SAN FRANCISCO -- Anyone who has seen the movie "Gravity" in a Dolby Atmos theater can understand what it's like to truly experience surround-sound.

The viewer becomes completely immersed in booms, echoes, smashes, and whispers -- space debris zooms overhead, loudly crashes into the International Space Station, and then there's total silence with just the faint murmur of Sandra Bullock's panicked breathing.

There's a reason why two of the movie's seven Academy awards were for sound.

Now Dolby is bringing this same experience to mobile. That's right, it's like a movie … Read more

The chips of Samsung's Galaxy S5 -- Exynos and Snapdragon

BARCELONA, Spain -- Qualcomm and Samsung are back in the newest Galaxy device, the Galaxy S5.

The Korean electronics giant on Monday unveiled its newest flagship phone with a slightly tweaked design and updated specs. The Galaxy S5 has a 5.1-inch display HD screen and a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with a bunch of bells and whistles that are supposed to improve the experience of taking and viewing images. The device also contains a fingerprint sensor and heart-rate monitor, as well as updated components.

When the Galaxy S5 launches in April, it will hit the market with two different processors … Read more

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 demos 300Mbps downloads at MWC

BARCELONA, Spain -- Qualcomm and KT have been giving delegates at Mobile World Congress a taste of the faster download speeds we can expect to see around the world soon.

Tucked away in the corner of one exhibition hall is KT (formerly Korea Telecom) showing off a modified Samsung Galaxy Note 3 connected to a bunch of computers at its booth. It looks boring, but it represents the future: mobiles capable of downloading data at 300Mbps.

Wander over to the Qualcomm stand and you'll see something more visually impressive: a prototype phone streaming two 4K videos to a TV … Read more

Qualcomm launches 64-bit chips for high-end phones at MWC 2014

BARCELONA, Spain -- Qualcomm just made things a little harder for its mobile chip rivals.

The San Diego wireless chipmaker on Monday introduced two new processors for high-end mobile devices -- the quad-core Snapdragon 610 and the octa-core Snapdragon 615. Both chips integrate Qualcomm's third-generation 4G LTE modem, 3G technology such as HSPA+ and CDMA, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, the fastest Wi-Fi currently on the market.

Qualcomm also revealed its Snapdragon 801 processor, the follow-up chip to last year's Snapdragon 800 -- its most premium chip line. Qualcomm has boosted the performance of the CPU, GPU, digital signal … Read more

AT&T's Drive Studio adds partners in connected car effort

BARCELONA, Spain -- AT&T's crew for its Drive Studio connected car facility is getting a little bigger.

The telecom company said Monday that it had signed up three new partners to help automakers ease their way into the world of wireless services.

First up is Qualcomm, which will debut its recently unveiled Snapdragon Automotive Solutions, which powers infotainment and telematics found at the Drive Studio. Qualcomm is making a big push into cars itself, following in the footsteps of Nvidia, which has long provided its Tegra processors to the automotive industry.

AT&T will also work … Read more

Microsoft: Pretty please make Windows Phones based on our design

BARCELONA, Spain--Microsoft wants to make it a lot easier for companies to develop Windows Phones.

The software giant on Sunday unveiled plans to release a reference design based on its mobile operating system and using Qualcomm hardware. Basically, that means anyone -- from established handset vendors like HTC to PC makers like Hewlett-Packard -- can build phones relatively quickly and cheaply. If the companies want, they can essentially slap their own branding on the device from Microsoft.

"We're open for business on Windows Phone to anyone who wants to build a Windows Phone," said Nick Parker, the … Read more

Qualcomm called out by China for alleged overcharging, dominance

Qualcomm, the chipmaker whose products are found in numerous mobile phones, is facing trouble in China.

China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), an antitrust regulator in the country, said Wednesday that Qualcomm is under investigation for possible overcharging and using its position of "dominance" in the marketplace to limit competition. Reuters earlier reported on the news.

That China has been investigating Qualcomm has been known for months, but until this point, the agency has kept its allegations close to the vest. In November, Qualcomm said that it planned to fully cooperate with government authorities.

According to … Read more

Wireless charging takes big step forward as rival groups team up

The fragmented world of wireless charging is getting a little order, which means you will be able to place any phone down on a charging station and top off your battery -- well, eventually.

Two of the three major wireless charging groups, the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), have signed an agreement to ensure that their two standards will work together. By coming together with a common certification for the two different technologies, the groups hope to spur the inclusion of wireless technology in more devices.

"We believe that companies that have been … Read more

The future of wearables: 8 predictions from tech leaders

Wearables: Everybody in the tech world is talking about them, but no one has quite nailed it -- yet.

The category, which includes everything from smart glasses that record video to watches that answer phone calls, is generating some of the biggest buzz in the tech industry, and for good reason. Wearables are a long way from overtaking smartphones, but the market is expected to grow at a fast pace over the next few years.

Perhaps no one has a better view of what's ahead in the wearables market than the companies supplying the critical components. CNET talked with … Read more

Qualcomm buys 2,400 mobile patents, applications from HP

Qualcomm has acquired 2,400 patents and patent applications relating to Hewlett-Packard's mobile technology, the companies announced Friday.

The acquisition includes about 1,400 patents and applications from the United States and about 1,000 from other countries. The patents are from ill-fated mobile efforts at HP -- the iPaq handheld device, the Palm business it bought in 2010, and the Bitfone mobile device management software.

"The company may be looking through its assets to determine those that may be non-core," said Wells Fargo Securities analyst Maynard Um in a research note. "We believe HP will … Read more