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So Digg’s Kevin Rose polished off his crystal ball prior to today’s Apple event, as he is wont to do. We posted on his rumours, with the necessary scepticism. And now as the dust settles on our live coverage, we doff our hat to everyone’s favourite iSight Carnac: just about every single detail Kevin hit, including the actual product shot of the redesigned Nano above, was 100% true.
iPod case manufacturer Proporta has posted images of its new cases, with what seems to be the new iPod nanos inside. Like with the allegedly leaked image of the interface, we don’t know if these are real or not. Certainly, the nano looks like it’s been inserted in Photoshop. Tell us what you think.
Either this is proof that contract manufacturing is a lightning-fast miracle of modernity, or that the bloggyverse is a noisy-as-hell echo chamber: No sooner does Kevin Rose prophesy that the next-gen iPod nano will be tall and skinny and rounded, but Chinese makers report case orders that meet their specs.
Thanks largely to those meddling kids at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry–who were investigating cases of people burned by too-hot-to-handle nanos–Cnet says Apple admitted today that some first-gen iPod nanos were overheating and said that it will replace any first-gen iPod nano that smokes or sparks (or blows up).
Scientists at Northwestern University have demonstrated a new nano-printing technology by printing the Beijing Olympics emblem 15,000 times, each logo so small the whole print run fits inside one square centimeter. 2,500 of the images, made 20,000 90-nanometer dots, would fit on a grain of rice. The polymer pen lithography uses an array of millions of tiny flexible polymer “pens” that can be used to make marks on various different nano-scales, and in this case deposit “ink” made of 16-mercaptohexadecanoic acid onto a gold substrate (what else would do, in Olympic season?) The team thinks that the technique, which can print out tiny dot-matrix imagery, will find uses in computational tools, medical diagnostics and the pharmaceutical industry. The study is published today in Science Express. [Physorg]
Via’s Nano and Intel’s Atom low-power processors are intended for slightly different purposes, but that didn’t stop HardOCP pitting them against each other in performance tests, and coming up with some interesting results. In every single benchmark, the beefier Nano beat the Atom. In particular it was 59% better in MP3 encoding tests, 37% in Divx encoding and achieved double the frame rate in Quake 4. No surprises there: the Nano is designed to draw a little more current (53W against 45W) than the Atom, so it won’t make it into quite the same hand-held gizmos as Intel’s chip. But the tests revealed that under normal “desktop” usage, the Nano actually drew less power when idling. Looks like Via’s got a hot one in its grip: we might expect to see more of this chip. [HardOCP via BBG]
It’s clearly “Star Trek Comes Nearly True” time, first with the life-signs detector, and now a tiny NMR machine that’s effectively v1.0 of the medical tricorder. Scientists at Harvard Medical School have come up with a neat way to coat bacteria and viruses with nanoparticles, and have simultaneously shrunk all the detector electronics for nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy into a 2mm-square chip. Their prototype device uses a microfluidics network and eight of these chips inside magnetic coils to detect specific nanoparticles: future versions will use more and be portable. It’s apparently 800 times more sensitive than standard NMR machines, and is able to detect just 10 bacteria in a single sample. Beep Beep. [New Scientist]
If your head’s spinning from the buckets of chip splooge that’s shot out over the past couple days, we don’t blame you. There’s been a new mobile chip launched or announced by every major player in the biz (Intel, AMD, Nvidia and Via), so no wonder it’s all sticky and running together. Don’t worry, here’s a quick guide to what matters, who makes it, and what kind of stuff you’ll see it in.
AreoVironment is building the world’s smallest UAV, called the Nano Air Vehicle, that has moving wings instead of a propeller or engine. DARPA has given the company US$636,000 and six months to demonstrate an ultra-small UAV that will be under 7.5cm long and under 10 grams.
Via’s next-gen Isaiah processors that they’re hoping will break them into the mainstream market just got all official, going by the more consumer-friendly Nano moniker. When we talked with Via about them last week, they said that Isaiah-based processors will deliver 4x the performance of their current C7 chips (which power the OQO and Cloudbook) at the same power envelope. The press release touts the chips’ ability to playback Blu-ray and run Crysis—that might be true, but we have the feeling you won’t exactly want to in the latter case. Available to manufacturers now, you should start seeing Nano-powered wares in the fall. The low-power-but-decent-performance chip space is definitely getting a mite crowded.