iFixit tears down Apple’s $550 AirPods Max headphones

The headphones got a six out of 10 repairability score.
2021-01-19 13:45:02 preview's
Qualcomm's New Snapdragon 870 Reheats the Snapdragon 865 for 2021 Phones

Qualcomm has announced a new mobile phone processor: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870, a successor to last year's Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus models. To be clear, the 870 isn't a new next-gen design -- that title goes to the Snapdragon 888, which makes far more substantial improvements in performance and new features. From a report: The 870, on the other hand, is virtually identical to the 865 and 865 Plus, with the same design right down to the Kryo 585 CPU and Adreno 650 GPU cores. The 870 is clocked at 3.2GHz, however, making it about 10 percent faster than the original 865's 2.84GHz and about 3 percent faster than the 865 Plus (which offered 3.1GHz speeds). Think of it almost like a Snapdragon 865 Plus-plus. Qualcomm says that the reason for the new chip is in response to manufacturer and market demands. The 870 is designed for companies that want to offer a top-tier processor but don't need the absolute best features that the flagship Snapdragon 888 offers and the higher price tag that it demands. Instead, the company says that it expects that Snapdragon 870 phones should hit a sub-$800 price tag (although, confusingly, we've already seen Snapdragon 888 phones like the $799 Galaxy S21 start to bleed into that range). Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2021-01-19 10:45:02 preview's
Capsaicin Spices Up Perovskite-Based Solar Cells To Record Efficiencies

"Researchers claim achievement of new record photovoltaic conversion efficiencies for perovskite-based solar cells by spicing them up with a little capsaicin," writes Slashdot reader ffkom, adding: "Of course everyone who loves to eat chilis already knew capsaicin energizes you to record levels." The researchers have published their findings in the journal Joule. From the report: Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) suffer from significant nonradiative recombination, limiting their power conversion efficiencies. Here, for the first time, we directly observe a complete transformation of perovskite MAPbI 3 surface region energetics from p- to n-type during defect passivation caused by natural additive capsaicin, attributed to the spontaneous formation of a p-n homojunction in perovskite active layer. We demonstrate that the p-n homojunction locates at 100 nm below perovskite surface. The energetics transformation and defect passivation promote charge transport in bulk perovskite layer and at perovskite/PCBM interface, suppressing both defect-assisted recombination and interface carrier recombination. As a result, an efficiency of 21.88% and a fill factor of 83.81% with excellent device stability are achieved, both values are the highest records for polycrystalline MAPbI 3 based p-i-n PSCs reported to date. The proposed new concept of synergetic defect passivation and energetic modification via additive provides a huge potential for further improvement of PSC performance. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2021-01-18 21:15:02 preview's
Apple's iPhone 13 Could Ditch the Lightning Port, Feature Next-Gen Vapor Chamber Cooling and In-Screen Fingerprint Sensor

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 could feature vapor chamber cooling, as well as an in-screen fingerprint sensor. It may also completely ditch the Lightning port in favor of wireless charging. Apple Insider reports: Kuo believes Apple is highly likely to incorporate vapor chamber tech into an upcoming iPhone model, though it is not clear if the system will be ready in time for 2021. Generally speaking, vapor chamber (VC) technology involves evaporation of a liquid (typically water) within a specialized heat pipe or heat retention structure that snakes its way through a device chassis. Heat from processors and other high load electronic components causes the liquid to evaporate into a vapor that spreads thermal energy through the evaporation chamber as it travels to areas of lower pressure. Fins or other condenser bodies remove heat from the vapor, which returns to a liquid state and is carried back to areas of high pressure through capillary action. "The iPhone's critical reason not to adopt VC is because of its reliability test results that cannot meet Apple's high requirements," Kuo writes. "Still, we are optimistic about the VC reliability improvement schedule and expect that at least high-end iPhone models would be equipped with VC in the near future." Kuo believes iPhone will need VC to keep up with rapid adoption of 5G and ever-increasing CPU thermal loads. In a separate report, Bloomberg reports that Apple is testing another key feature for its 2021 iPhone(s): an in-screen fingerprint reader. "This would add a new method for users to unlock their iPhone, going beyond a passcode and Face ID facial recognition," reports Bloomberg. "Apple won't remove its facial recognition scanner though as it's still useful for augmented reality and camera features." The report also mentions that Apple is discussing removing the Lightning port on at least some of the 2021 iPhone models, instead relying entirely on wireless charging or USB-C. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2021-01-18 20:00:05 preview's
Wi-Fi 6E arrives at CES 2021

We roundup the Wi-FI 6E routers, with Asus' model is launching as soon as this month.
2021-01-18 19:00:02