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AM News: New iPad Features, IBM Holey Chip Transfers Data at 1Tbps, Amazon to Launch 2 New iPad Rivals in 2012?

Apple has announced that A5X, the processor that powers the new iPad is twice as fast as its predecessor, the A5 and four times as fast as the Tegra 3 which powers a flurry of iPad and iPhone rivals like the Acer Iconia A510, the Asus Transformer Prime and the HTC One X. Apple only said that the SoC contains a quad core graphics. Given that it is twice as fast as the A5, one can safely assume that Apple is using the Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX543MP4 solution.

Perhaps the biggest improvement on the new iPad compared to the old iPad 2 is the introduction of the new display type, a new Retina Display screen with a resolution of 2,048 by 1,536 pixels (that's nearly 3.2 megapixel), four times the resolution of the old one with the same display resolution. At 264ppi, the pixel density is way lower than on the iPhone 4 which stands at 326 ppi.

The new iPad comes with a massively improved iSight rear camera with a resolution jump from one megapixel to five megapixels. There's a good reason why Apple did that; it wouldn't be logical to have a 3.2-megapixel screen with a one-megapixel camera. The new iSight features some of the technology we saw on the iPhone 4S. A five-element lens, IR filter plus the image signal processor is built in the A5X system on chip, auto focus, tap to focus, face detection, geotagging (audio and video) and auto exposure.

The new iPad come with 4G functionality etched in (assuming that you buy the non Wi-Fi model). The baseband chipset used is likely to be a Qualcomm Gobi model, part of the MDM9000 family. Like for the iPhone 4S, the iPad circa 2012 comes with Bluetooth 4.0 rather than Bluetooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi. The 4G (UK version) adds LTE (700, 2100 MHz); UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz).

IBM has anounced unveiled a prototype optical chipset nicknamed "Holey Optichip" which the company says is the firsst "parallel optical" transceiver capable of moving one terabit of data per second. That's equivalent to 7.5TB of data (or roughly 1800 DVDs) per minute and would siphon the entire U.S. Library of Congress web archive in 60 minutes.

Online retailer Amazon is said to be preparing two new tablet devices, a 7-inch model and a 10-inch one, both being timed to be launched in the second half of the year. This, according to Steve Shen and Siu Han from Digitimes, could "cast a shadow on the future development of e-book readers", citing unnamed industry sources and pointing to the fact that Amazon has apparently reduced demand for e-paper products from E Ink Holdings as the latter announced revenue drops of 62 per cent year on year and nearly a quarter month on month.