“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”
William Shakespeare, The Tempest
I present to you the Ontomorphic Quantum Processor – a beauty that came to me in a dream.
Sometime in the future
Imagine a scene out of the 2004 science-fiction action film I, Robot. Four men skilled in combat, myself included, were battling a humanoid robot in a tiny, claustrophobic room. We had trouble subduing it. The robot was nearly as quick as us – but it seemed invulnerable, with a tough composite alloy body. It fought in a windmill style, swinging its arms- metal arms that could cause serious damage to flesh and bone – in circles while rushing at us. There were no weaknesses we could exploit. It did not register pain and attacking it was like striking a lamp post.
The robot was state-of-the-art – more advanced than anything I’ve encountered in my dreams. It could process multiple assailants via its visual feed and anticipate attack vectors before we made our moves, compensating for its slower artificial muscle actuators.
We removed the robot’s chest plate and, through a maze of wiring, found a cryogenic containment system. Why would a robot need a cryogenic system? One of my companions vented liquid helium from the vacutainer, nearly cold-burning his finger in the process. He released the inner pressure seal and that was when we witnessed this most advanced processor.
I consider myself relatively knowledgeable in the field of technology and we had a tech-wizard on the team who could lingo-speak with Tony Stark any day. The technology in front of us was generations ahead of anything we had faced and, given the paraphernalia required to run the processor, it became obvious what we had on our hands.
How a brain works
Our brains comprise neurons connected by dendritic synapses. Signals are first created from a neuron, known as an action potential, which is an electric signal created from chemical charge carriers known as ions. This electrochemical charge is then transferred via ions and neurotransmitters from one neuron to another. More details on the process are described here.
Computer processors work similarly. Almost every processor in use today is based on the manipulation of electrons – hence the term “electronics”. All information technology we have today follows the basic principle of sending electrons where we want them to go.
Batteries store electrons, transistors funnel and direct electrons, LEDs convert electrons to photons and, on a larger scale, integrated circuits are a bunch of transistors and switches turning on and off depending on how or where we want the electrons to go to.
Our brains process and store information via electrical signals, very similar to how computers do it. The only difference is we use neurons and computer processors, transistors. The problem with today’s processors is that you can cram only so many transistors into a piece of silicon.
Eventually, traditional transistor-based processors encounter heat and electron-leakage problems.
The future needs a futuristic processor.
Robotic brains in science-fiction
Science-fiction abounds with the fantastic imagination
of writers. The droids in I, Robot and the Star Wars film franchise are built
brains“, while the killer robots in the Terminator film franchise use
Since a positron or antielectron is the antiparticle or
the antimatter counterpart of the electron, I don’t think it’s implausible to
have a positronic processor as the manipulation of positrons could yield
superior processing power. Positrons are subatomic particles that have the same
mass as an electron, but a positive instead of a negative charge. When these
two particles encounter each other, they annihilate and produce two or three
gamma-ray photons, (high-energy light) in an event referred to as electron-positron
I’ve yet to see scientific evidence of how a positron manipulation is possible today and the most advanced scientific research into positrons are the creation and study of positrons. So, a positronic brain is still in the realm of science-fiction.
I’ve yet to see scientific evidence of how a positron
manipulation is possible today and the most advanced scientific research into
positrons are the creation and study of positrons. So, a positronic brain is
still in the realm of science-fiction.
Now, the neural net CPU in the Terminator franchise is
described to be based on quantum effect chips. Quantum computers
are no longer the stuff of science-fiction and are even commercially available
from Google and IBM.
Today’s quantum computer systems are in their
infancy and fraught with engineering challenges. They are almost comparable
to the first integrated circuit released in 1958. Over the last
six decades, the first integrated circuit has now become a supercomputing
device that fits in our palm – what we now know as a smartphone. Imagine going
back in time and showing someone from the 1960s the capabilities of your
smartphone. That piece of glass and metal in your hands would be considered
magic. The technology required to create a smartphone would have been
Ontomorphic quantum processor
Some 40 years into the future, the Ontomorphic Quantum Processor, which we dug out of the robot, is a self-learning quantum processor that does not need to be chilled to absolute zero to maintain quantum states. It is based on known science but is still beyond the capabilities of technology now.
The processor’s four interior walls contain four silicene/graphene-based quantum nano-electronic circuit boards. The circuits are then connected via what I call the electro-optic lattice. The lattice structure comprises optical and electrical conducting strings. The optical conductors transmit information photons of light via optical fibers made from yttrium aluminum garnet or sapphire crystals. The electrical wires are made from multi-wall carbon nanotubes that are superconducting in the cryogenic socket.
Four quantum circuits are enclosed by a large quantum memory crystal based on a diamond. This diamond-based quantum memory stores quantum information that is transmitted across the lattice via photons. If you compare it with today’s conventional processors, you could call this a quad-core CPU with shared memory, something already present in graphic processing units.
The lattice acts like a neural network, shoving light-signals where they need to go at near-light speed, and changes depending on the information being processed, which brings about its “learning capabilities” or the ontomorphic portion of this processor.
The word ontomorphic does not exist, but ontogeny refers to the inception and lifelong development of an organism physically and psychologically to its eventual maturity and subsequent senescence. I use this word because our human learning capabilities come from our interaction with our environment and experiences throughout our lives.
When one learns to perform a task, like ride a bicycle, do a cartwheel or master a new language, one is often awkward, clumsy and inefficient. But over time and practice, the brain forms new synaptic connections to streamline the knowledge.
One gets better, more efficient. That is the formation of new neural pathways in the brain, but the total number of neurons remains relatively the same.
This is the same for the Ontomorphic Quantum Processor. The number of quantum gates is limited by the initial design and construction of the processor, but the electrooptic lattice allows signals to be routed more efficiently over time. A simple example could be: “How can we arrive at 100 from 0?”
A child could start with 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1… till he reaches 100. For this to happen, the child needs to understand the concept of numbers and the arithmetic function of addition. He would eventually arrive at the number 100. A triple-digit constant. Great!
Could this be done more effectively? A child introduced to the multiplication function could attempt a more efficient approach: 10 x 10 = 100. Even better. But now, the child needs to commit to memory what multiplication does and the tables associated with it.
All this assumes that no errors occur in the process, which is almost impossible. Which is where I come to the morphic capabilities of the
Ontomorphic Quantum Processor.
Learning and evolving from error
What is often referred to today as evolutionary or mutation computation is essentially a computer attempting a trial-and-error process to determine the most efficient and optimal solution. There will come a point where memorizing the entire multiplication tables will take too much memory to be viable or useful to the individual. What’s 5424 x 2413?
Yes, one could learn novel arithmetic to compute that mentally, but most adults will reach for a calculator. The process is comparable to determining that there’s a shortcut through an alley on your way home or discovering that a button on the photocopying machine scans a two-page document in half the time.
Evolution computation has been used to design more efficient antennas  and chairs, often exceeding what humans can envision manually. The ontomorphic capabilities of the Ontomorphic Quantum Processor come from the new junctions and spin-spin interactions from the electrooptical lattice, known today as neural networks , but much more advanced and far faster at near-lightspeed interaction.
This processor learns and becomes better at what it’s instructed to do.
The primary principle of the Ontomorphic Quantum Processor is quantum logic , using quantum-mechanical superposition and/or entanglement to perform computation functions. Quantum computers are vastly different from traditional computers in that they use quantum logic gates and qubits and have the potential to compute complete equations hundreds of millions of times better than a traditional computer. In that perspective, today’s most advanced transistor-based processors would look like an abacus beside a quantum computer system.
Silicene/graphene nanoelectronic board
Quantum logic gates are delicate structures and
traditional printed circuit boards aren’t going to cut it. So silicene/graphene-based
boards are required  as a foundation for the nano-electronic circuits that
contain billions of quantum gates . Silicene is an allotrope of
silicon, much like graphene
is an allotrope of carbon. Both have hexagonal honeycomb structures and exhibit
remarkable properties of electrical conductivity and functionalization Silicene
would provide the base for traditional transistor construction with its band-gap tunability
and stronger spin–orbit coupling which is important to maintain the Quantum spin Hall
effect. It’s as small as it gets – atomic-level transistors.
Graphene will be utilized as the circuit foundation,
for it is better at conducting electricity than copper, which makes it ideal
for ultra-fast circuits . Moreover, graphene’s photovoltaic
effect has been shown to conduct electricity after absorbing light .
These two incredible properties of graphene mean optoelectrical signals can be
transferred from quantum gate to quantum gate at ultra-fast near-lightspeeds
The silicene/graphene nanoelectronic board will contain all the quantum gates and convert the signals and information from light to electricity and vice versa.
Quantum memory diamonds
As you can imagine, you probably can’t use traditional memory to store quantum information. Diamonds being used as quantum memory is a recent development [7-11]. Normally, a diamond is composed of only carbon atoms in a tetrahedral structure. Introducing a nitrogen atom into the structure instead of carbon and specific sites leaves a hole or vacancy in the crystal lattice. The nitrogen atom and the empty site can accept different quantum states and are used to store a quantum bit of information .
Diamond is an ideal material for quantum memory as the crystalline structure achieves strong coupling between phonons and vacancy spins which can be stored or read from as pulses of light, known as phonon-mediated quantum photonics [7, 8]. The probable reason why the diamond is arranged in such a way is to allow for shared-memory and faster access to memory from one nanoelectronic circuit board to another. Plus, diamond is an excellent heat conductor because of the strong covalent bonding and low photon scattering. Thermal conductivity of natural diamond is measured to be about 2200W/(m.K), five times more than silver, the most thermally conductive metal. This allows the whole processor to be effectively cooled to just above absolute zero to reduce quantum errors.
Computers have come a long way since 1960 and will continue to go further. Historically, there is an incredible breakthrough every century with major advancements in technology, from the bronze and iron ages to modern industrial, atomic and space ages.
Today, we are at the forefront of the information age
that is seeing no sign of stagnating, and systems are already incredibly
impressive. Isaac Asimov’s robot science-fiction novels have captured the
imaginations of many and many of his stories have become fact in recent years.
2060 will mark one century of computing progress and possibly the quantum age of mankind. Hopefully, I will live long enough to see it.
The performance of the Ontomorphic Quantum Processor will be unlike anything we can imagine today. It would perform more accurately and incredibly faster than any human can. That’s gonna rattle some cages.
Imagine seeing one firsthand. Now that will be exciting.
I’ve had my trusty 2TB Western Digital Passport for a while now, and a couple of thumbdrives of varying capacities lying around and as file sizes get bigger, instead of “how much capacity”, the question is now “how fast can I read/write my stuff?”
Transferring a 40Gb ISO file took forever, and I thought it was high time to upgrade. One of the biggest improvements in computing in the last decade was the growth of flash storage (storing data on chips instead of magnetic discs). Think about how much boot up and loading time SSDs have saved you. Speed aside, SSDs also have a size advantage. Today, it is possible to cram as much as 2TB of storage onto an M.2 drive the size and weight of a stick of chewing gum. Since all my PCs are on SSDs now it’s time to move away from hard drives. Up to 256Gb thumb drives exist now and Hardwarezone reviewed a couple of external SSD-based storage gadgets here. If you need more storage, there’s always Kingston’s new DataTraveler Ultimate Generation GT in 1 and 2 TB capacities. Kingston’s previous largest flash drive, the 1 TB DataTraveler HyperX Predator, is currently selling for over US$1,400 on Amazon as of July 2017. Yea. A thousand dollars for a thumb drive, oh well bragging rights are never cheap. I didn’t really need to carry 2Tb around all the time, and one grand is too much to stomach for a flash drive, so I went and assembled my own SSD-based thumb drive from an M.2 mSATA SSD. I got the M.2 to SSD converter enclosure here. There are other sellers that sell this item, however, it lacks a model number and thus you must search for it with generic search terms such as “NGFF USB 3.0”. You can pick one of these up for around $10 US. My SSD is a standard desktop grade M.2 by Adata SP900 2280 SATA in 512GB, based on synchronous MLC NAND flash and LSI SF-2281 controller, which I got for about $300.
Pitting them head-on, both plugged into the USB3.0 port of my PC.
As expected, on an OS with UASP support, in this case Windows 10, we can connect in UASP mode. I was getting 427 – 486MB/s read and topping out at 230 – 260MB/s write speeds on the SSD across two benchmarking utilities, both more than ten times faster than the hard drive.
Real-world file transfer
A simple un-optimized transfer with individual file sizes exceeding 4Gb saw an average speed of 192MB/s, nicely transferring 26.6Gb of data is 180 seconds, or about 3 minutes, reasonable with a bus write speed of 260Mb/s, the same transfer would have taken 1,016 seconds or 17 minutes on the harddrive!
Power consumption is always a concern when you’re mobile, in this case my SSD consumes about 30% less power when active than my hard drive and idles at 139mA on average when there is no activity, significant when you’re on the road running off battery power.
The SSD consumes between 0.14A and 0.36A when idle and active (read/write).
For geeks, the controller is based on the ASM1153E USB 3.0 to SATA III controller chipset from AS Media, the SOIC-8 PH25Q40B chip beside it is a SPI 4Mbit flash memory, which is likely used to store device ID reported to the host device as well as specific addresses of programming. Findchips and Octopart yielded nil results, but looking at the pin-outs and the footprint of the chip, it could be a clone of a similar 4MBit SPI 512KB x 8 NOR flash memory by Winbond with the part number “W25Q40B”
Conclusion: All in all, I’m pretty satisfied with the results and hopefully it’ll last me for the next half a decade as my previous storage devices have reliably done so!
Hi all, several divers have asked me about my current buoyancy control device (BCD) configuration and I think it’s a good time to share a little more on how arrived at my current setup. After testing and researching half a dozen BCD manufacturers and their product solutions, I found that none of them really matched what I preferred as an off-the shelf solution, so I decided to assemble my own.
There are two main types of BCDs, a jacket and a backplate-wing. As a backplate, however typical backplate BCDs are made from stainless-steel for its rigidity and strength, the downside is that SS is heavy, and weight counts when travelling. With the addition for further gear and apparatus to my setup, I realized that it’s a challenge to keep the weight of the checked luggage below Airline recommended limits up to 32kg (depending on the airline you’re flying with). Not to mention hefting a 20-30kg odd piece of luggage/gear when moving from boat to boat is a recipe for a potential accident. That started the weight-loss pursuit for my bulky scuba gear. The criteria were simple: find or build a BCD that was light and yet technical-capable (pony/stage-tanks etc. That precluded most travel BCDs and typical stainless steel backplate BCDs weigh about 3kg, most of the weight comes from the stainless steel backplate. For inspiration, I looked at several load-bearing harness arrangements from the military MOLLE systems and came up with my own design.
It would be simple, an assembly of existing parts from various scuba product providers and yet won’t deviate too unconventionally for a recognizable gear setup with minimal custom components.
Some features were mainly ergonomic for most efficient anatomical access to essential gear. On my right shoulder pad would be a quick release knife that I could release with my left hand singlehandedly where the thumb release faces my medial sagittal since my master hand is my left.
My SMB will be in a single nylon pouch that is accessible and deploy-able with one left hand on the left of the bcd (left facing forward, it is on the right in the sketch) maybe I should use marine terms ‘port’ and ‘starboard’.
My spare mask will be placed in another storage pouch on the right since I’d likely be using my right hand to replace a lost mask if my left hand is occupied with gear or lines. At the point of the sketch, I’ve yet to decide how to mount my dive torch to the BCD should webbing. I want it to be instantly available and lighted hands-free in the event I need to handle lines / stage-tanks in a murky/poorly-lit environment where I’d need a light yet need my hands-free to manage gear. However if I put my torch mounted on the left, that will interfere with my inflator hose. So likely I will do a quick-release mount on the left in favour over my knife.
The webbing will be the standard 2” continuous system and D-rings in strategic places for mounting/attaching gear and I’ve decided to add a nice handle at the top made from paracord for carrying /drying/ hanging the entire BCD. More details on the different component selected later.
The backplate is the main question. It’s the one major component that has to fat-trimmed. I had initially thought of getting Waterpro’s anodized aluminium backplate, but thought – why not go even lighter?
Waterpro’s anodized aluminium backplate seen at ADEX 2015Whilst aluminium is lighter, it is also mechanically weaker than stainless steel, to ensure that the tough demands of technical diving loads are met; I looked into something even stronger and lighter…
This is the stuff that makes Formula-1 and supercars that one can only dream of, and I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have to custom one as there were automobile-part manufacturers producing carbon-fibre components and body parts.
Dexcraft’s Ultra lightweight carbon fiber diving backplate weighs 400 grams with a tensile strength of 1760MPa (Mega-Pascals) and a cost $330 SGD, or €205.00, 6.75 items lighter than a steel one (2.7kg) and 2.25 times lighter than an aluminium backplate (0.9kg). The CF-backplate is made from a 4/4 unique weave. Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CF) ensures strength a few times improved comparing to steel products of the same weight. Here’s a table of the equivalent strengths of the materials typically used to make BCD backplates:
316 stainless steel
Weight of backplate
Fatigue strength (1M cycles)
Strength to weight ratio
Did I mention the off the charts strength-to-weight ratio of 4.40?! That’s 19 times stronger than 316 marine-grade stainless steel. (Further information on 316-type steels, material comparison table here).
When comparing carbon fibre with other commonly used building materials. The strength and modulus (a measure of how much a material deforms under load) of carbon fibre is impressive. However it’s most important attribute is the combination of high specific strength, specific modulus and fatigue resistance. By dividing the strength and modulus values by the density, one is able to compare the weight of each material required to carry a load. A high fatigue resistance allows a structure to carry loads close to its stress limit, without the fear of unacceptably shortening its working life. Aluminium and stainless steel have poor fatigue properties.
The fatigue resistance of carbon fibre/epoxy resin composite material is far superior to both metals and other composites. It is relatively insensitive to fatigue damage even at very high stress levels. Carbon fibre, despite it’s high cost, is the ideal material, Its properties allow the BCD to be light, strong and durable. I won’t go into the specifics of metallurgy and material engineering so as not to make this entry too technical. It’s just that carbon fibre is currently the lightest and strongest material economically available that Elon musk is building his spacecraft fuel tanks with it.
I got myself a a carbon fibre backplate. It’s so pretty.
As for the bladders, the main consideration with the toughness of the outer cladding, it must be as tough as possible to resist abrasion and abuse from accidentally scraping past rocks or walls during a cave dive or against possible sharp edges in a wreck dive. Since most bladders have standard mounting rings, they will be compatible in a single-tank or twin-tank setup.
The uniformity of the donut is important for stability and balance – meaning no dead zones or air pocket traps, thus making diving trim easy and effortless. A dive trim must remain stable and with a consistently horizontal profile, regardless of the pressure in the cylinders or the amount of air in the bladder. With those considerations, the semi-finalists were a toss-up between the IST Dolphin JT-30D, Sopras Tek xTech Kevlar, Halcyon Infinity, xDeep hydros or the Scubapro x-tek donut wings. Since the weight for each of the bladders were within the ballpark of each other, the last variable consideration was cost:
Scubapro x-tek 30lb
CORDURA® 1680 denier
IST Dolphin JT-30D
CORDURA® 1680 denier
xDeep hydros 40lbs
CORDURA® 1100 denier
Halycon Infinity 30lbs
CORDURA® 1000 denier
Sopras Tek 40lbs
Incidentally the Sopras Tek is made from the strongest material – Kevlar, unfortunately there was scant information available from it and a concern that after-market support will be poor since it’s an uncommon brand, plus it was the most expensive of the line-up. CORDURA® Brand of Ballistic Fabric is as tough as it gets is an inter-woven yarn of nylon used to make military-grade clothing, gear and has various weave (denier) densities from 470 dTex all the way to 1680 dTex.
“Denier” refers to the weight, not the strength of an individual fibre that goes into making a fabric. Therefore, a higher denier count means a denser fabric. Strength and abrasion resistance are achieved via how the fabric is spun, or woven. These characteristics are measured through tenacity (strength per denier), breaking strength (tenacity x denier) and toughness. Cordura 1680 Denier is as tough as it gets and 1050 denier fabric meets U.S. Military Specification MIL-C-12369F-GL.
These nylon materials are sometimes known as “Rip-stop” from various manufacturers, and is used to make parachutes, gliders, tents, tarpaulins and climbing harnesses. They’re strong and don’t tear or rip easily. The Scubapro x-tek’s outer wing is made from 1680D Ballistic nylon outer shell and a 420D nylon inner bladder. I was able to get a great deal from Amazing Dive shop and ScubaPro being one of the biggest names in diving, spare parts for the inflator hose and dump valves would have been easy to procure. Scubapro X-Tek Donut Wing – 13KG Bladder (Single) bladder was thus selected.
Ok, now that the backplate and bladder is settled. I didn’t want to go around with a hard bare backplate, jumping into the water with twenty kilos of gear strapped onto it. After reviewing several backplate padding types, I decided on the xDeep 3D mesh as it was made out of a neutrally buoyant material – aramid. Aramid is a class of synthetic composites used in aerospace and military applications, for ballistic-rated body armour fabric and ballistic composites, they’re used to make fire-men’s uniforms for it’s fire-retardant properties.
Standard backplate padding’s foam material compresses at depth and might require additional weight to compensate. The softness results from springy fibres inserted in a special manner in the mesh structure. A secondary alternative I was considering was the hollis backpad combined with a 1000Denier Corduroy Molle shoulder strap, but that will just be two different manufacturers, more sources to order from, not to mention the Molle shoulder strap will take a longer time to dry.
According to xDeep – the design allows water to easily flow through the mesh, and the pressure does not have any impact on its parameters. Padding made of 3D Mesh does not compensate under pressure, is equally soft at all times and does not require additional weight. It also dries much faster than the classic foam.
Excellent, I got a set.
It is easier to link as many components as possible to one manufacturer/brand since shipping together reduces cost. xDeep’s webbing claimed to be made of polyamide, which is possibly simply nylon and totally resistant to water, so I got a roll and the accompanying stainless steel buckle, crotch strap, tri-glides and 316L stainless steel D-rings.
One thing I really wanted was a quick-release/adjustment system from the BCD in the event I need to release my BCD quickly to assist other divers (i.e. up a dinghy) and tested several systems. Whilst I liked the DiveRite clip system, the release buckles do present a potential weak-spot and point-of-failure. Should the plastic buckles break, overall system integrity is compromised, so the 2” webbing should retain full continuity for maximum strength.
What I found for a quick-release/adjust system was a nifty little retainer/cinch. It basically acts like a figure-8 belay device used in climbing where there is tension in one direction and reduced tension in another direction. The Cinch Quick-Adjust Harness from Halcyon specially designed for this purpose and cost S$188 in Singapore.
You can read more about the retainer in Halcyon’s patent here, the retainer accessory permits a diver to quickly adjust a one-piece continuous piece of webbing by simply pushing or pulling the webbing in the desired direction which allows the webbing to slide on through the attached accessories without affecting the location of the accessories with respect to the diver’s body.
However, I think $188 is too expensive and instead cinch adapters like this are available, or you could make it yourself. I got myself two to test and they work rather well. So now I have a continuous webbing harness that is both strong and quickly adjustable any time prior to a dive or during a dive.
Weight Pockets and carabiners
Weight belts were definitely out of the question, it’s another piece of gear to worry about when you’ve a dozen other items that could get misplaced in the hustle and bustle of diving. Many manufacturers offer “release pockets” specific to their product design and are mainly centred at the waist, the idea is that in an emergency the weight pockets can be discarded.
Well. How often does that happen? Discarding weights for an emergency ascent is a bad idea and isn’t an option at 30 metres – it simply denotes poor dive-planning, so I decided my weight pockets will just primarily be compensating in the event I have to dive in a dry-suit or 7mm wet-suit.
Again, I found inspiration with Halcyon’s setup where the weights are placed as close to the body as possible on the backplate itself! Great for keeping the trim horizontal and keeping weights as close to the body as possible.
I got four affordable weight pockets from EZ-DIVE at $20+ each (although this could be another component that could be avoided for cost-savings) since it’s just a Velcro pocket. The weight pockets were designed to be slipped onto a weight belt, and to solve that, I sewed on some Velcro straps to the pockets so that it can be mounted horizontally onto my backplate.
The weights slip in from the top, and is neatly mounted onto the backplate and hidden by the bladder. Completely out of sight and unobtrusive.
Single Tank adapter and tank bands
The major components are all accounted for, Carbon fibre STAs are available but cost five times more with little gain in weight savings so I got an aluminium Single Tank Adapter (STA) with 2 Super Cinch Straps for $155. The super cinch tank bands are great!
They unclasp completely so you don’t have to slide the BCD over the tank, and instead I will be able to place the BCD flat on a boat deck and place a tank on the BCD or if the tank is in a tank-rack still being charged, I will be able to mount my BCD onto the tank without having to move the tank at all. Extremely convenient over existing tank bands.
Putting it all togetherIt’s time to assemble all the components.
It’s time to assemble all the components.
As for my SMB and reel and spare mask, they are are stored in a military-style bottle holder made from 600D Nylon which actually works out very well and are mounted on the waist-webbing and attached to the backplate via cable-ties. To reduce further weight, all non-load bearing carabineers are plastic and the submersible pressure gauge (SPG) is a nice glow-in-the-dark carabineer.
One unique feature I added is a quick-release mount for my dive-torch based on the military 26mm picatinny rail weapons mount. I decided it will be mounted on my right shoulder pad instead so that it won’t interfere with my inflator hose, and the knife will have to go to my waist webbing. With that, I now have a hands-free torch mount that I can remove and re-mount as and when I need it. It can be removed via a thumb-button with one hand.
The last feature I have is a military-grade type-III paracord, (a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope used in the suspension lines of parachutes) as handle that I’ve attached to two D-rings just aft of my bladder. This allows me to carry the BCD or hang the BCD up to dry on a hook in a more comfortable manner, plus it looks sleek and has a breaking strength of 550lbs (249kg), I won’t even be able to lift that much less worry about it breaking.
Testing and summary
I took it out to the pool for a spin, and it worked fabulously well. (I have to admit I am somewhat biased towards my own work), even in non-saline pool water, no additional weights were needed, buoyancy and trim were great, the setup felt sturdy and the ScubaPro bladder works a charm.
The total weight of my BCD setup is a scant 2.40kg and all in all, this project cost me about S$1.2k give or-take. As of today, I’ve done about 30 dives on this BCD and so far, really satisfied with its performance. The whole endeavour of this exercise is to keep the weight low, and with all accessories mounted or in the pouches (SMB/reel/hook/knife/torch/spare/etc.), the assembly weighs 4.8kg, thus allowing further weight allowances for other gear and devices. For lighter BCDs, you’ll have other options such as travel BCDs or skeleton BCDs, unfortunately they may not provide the same flexibility or versatility as a full-fledged backplate for technical applications.
If you’re still reading this article to this point, I would like to thank you for your interest and to the various instructors, friends and fellow divers who have helped in procurement of the various components and provided me with their opinions, advice and support.
Now that the hype is all and well over the release of Apple’s iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, with no shortage of articles written by bloggers, technocrats and aficionados all around the around the world. I’d like to add a few words to the foray and really delve into the aspects of the iPhone 5S and why I think it has what it takes to make it a win.
Well when Steve jobs departed, industry critics prophesized the demise of Apple’s innovative streak. This was true to a certain extent with market dissatisfactions over the incremental improvements of recent product releases that were lacking in ground-breaking and industry-pioneering features that Apple is well-known for.
With the recent leaks over the internet prior to the official launch of the much vaunted and eagerly awaited iPhone 5S; cyberspace has been rife with speculation and conjunctures – which so far has been accurate both in anticipated features and naming nomenclature, namely the iPhone 5C and 5S.
In this short write-up, as a techie with no affiliation to any platform, I will not re-explore debates regarding Android vs. iOS, nor will I defend any manufacturer, economy or ecosystem. I will present facts and my opinions as it is and point out the winning merits in reference of the iPhone 5S in a straightforward manner.
Aside cost, here’s a breakdown on why I think the iPhone 5S will be a phenomenal success over existing competitors and the comments on the features and components that will leave smart-phone industry giants struggling to keep up in their subsequent smartphone model releases.
There’s no doubt that the built-in camera is one of the most used feature of smartphone. Whilst the megapixel count remains the same at 8MP, Apple made significant strides in its imaging capabilities both in the hardware and software. Briefly speaking, the major advance in recent times is no longer about the megapixel race. Well-informed consumers now know that bigger megapixels doesn’t equate to better pictures. The in-speak now is pixel size, this was first discussed when Nokia released its massive 41-megapixel Pureview smartphone .
A major peeve in smartphone photos are noisy pictures (those grainy stuff you see when taking pictures in a dark environment). That’s because not enough light is reaching the sensor. There are two approaches to solve this problem – 1) make the pixel larger, 2) remove obstacles in front of the sensor.
The larger a pixel is, the more light can be captured by the sensor. The more light captured, the better a picture will look in a darker environment. That’s why DSLR photos look good, because their sensor die areas are huge. DSLRs such as the Canon EOS 700D has an 18-megapixel APS-C sensor and 4.2μm pixel size , that’s four times larger than a typical smartphone camera.
As points of reference, the HTC One has a pixel size of 2.0 µm while the iPhone 5 and Nokia 808 Pureview are 1.4 µm. The HTC One was the first smartphone to feature a sensor with a larger pixel, which they called the “Ultrapixel Camera” , no other smartphone has yet to follow suit. Till now.
Typical CMOS sensors have transistor circuitry in front of the photodiode pixel, hence blocking some photons (light) from reaching the photodiode. To prevent that, an approach called “BSI” (Back-side illuminated) places the wiring behind the photodiode, allowing more light to reach the sensor. Without delving too deeply into camera sensor technologies, two companies who are making great BSI sensors for use in the mobile device industry are Omnivision and Sony.
Apple was using OmniVision’s OV5642 camera module inside the iPhone 4. OmniVision’s secondgeneration OV5650 and OV297AA modules were being used on the iPad 2, the new iPad and the iPod Nano. But Apple switched to Sony’s EXMOR-R sensor for the 4S and 5 .
Although speculation revolved around Omnivision’s 4K2K or Quad Full High Definition (QFHD) being the sensor provider for the iPhone 5S , iFixit revealed the camera to be Sony’s  with serial markings “DNL333 41GRF 4W61W”. According to Chipworks, the “DNL” serials are similar to Sony’s IMX145 sensors in the iPhone 4S and 5, and since we know that the pixel size is 1.5μm, it’s definitely a newer variant.
Whilst we don’t have exact specifications of Apple’s new iPhone 5S camera, chipworks also revealed that the sensor die is likely a Sony Exmor-RS . Sony’s own Exmor-R IMX117CQT is a BSI sensor with a diagonal size of 7.81mm, 1.55 µm pixel size, 12.4 Megapixel at 35fps and can achieve 4K video (4096H x 2160V) at 60fps . This is very consistent with the performance claims of the iPhone 5S.
Sony’s Exmor-R series of CMOS sensors is actually a very good choice, the larger pixels allow more light to be collected, and the Exmor-R is used in Sony’s entire line of Cybershot cameras, Blackfly’s GigE and Flea3 cameras, as well as GoPro’s HERO line of action cameras.
Leap and bounds in improvements
A plausible reason why Apple hasn’t gone into 4K video yet is probably due to memory and/or processor bandwidth limitations, but we’ll not be looking into that yet. Ok, so let’s see what the new sensor is capable of. It’s got a 15% larger sensor, 33% more light captured. A wider F2.2 aperture (compared to the F2.4 of the iPhone 4S, 5 and 5C, that means even more light) and auto image stabilization. Sapphire lens cover, 5-element lens, face-detection and photo geotagging. These are great, but they already exist in consumer point-and-shoots, so what really takes the cake?
For starters, the Slow-Motion (Slo-Mo) feature was first featured in Casio’s High-speed EXLIM line of point-and-shoot cameras in 2010 , that feature brought about stunning footage, but wasn’t compelling enough to buy over enough consumers. Then action camera company GoPro released their line of HERO action cameras  and a mass marketing campaign that birthed an industry of action cameras .
The GoPro HERO line of cameras was a remarkable success, which featured incredible high resolution slo-mo footage. Here’s the kicker. ow the iPhone 5S can do the same. The iPhone 5S can shoot 720p at 120fps footage, this capability bests GoPro’s Hero3 Silver or white edition and can match the GoPro’s flagship black Edition at the lowest setting 720p, the real kicker is that the GoPro retails at $329.99, but for US$399, you can get the 64Gb version of the iPhone 5S!
Between US$329.99 and US$399, what would be the likely choice of consumers? Let’s explore the situation – I would likely carry my phone everywhere I go, but not my action cam. What’s to stop me from getting a water-proof casing and turning my iPhone into an action cam? Waterproof protective casings are widely available [12, 13].
Moreover, with my iPhone 5S, I can take pictures, view and edit and share my footage all on one device instantaneously. Something the GoPro Hero3 has limitations with. There’s no attached LCD screen (unless you buy an attachment), the battery life is a dismal 2.5 hours per charge. Even with the Wi-Fi attachment to a GoPro, I’ll still need my smartphone with Wi-Fi-enabled iOS app to control the GoPro camera.
To further add to the injury, the iPhone 5S is capable of continuous burst mode 10fps photo-stitching mode, 1080p HD video at 30fps, it has live video zoom with auto image stabilization, multiple photos shooting mode. The Slo-Mo video and regular video can be combined to create all new video effects. In Panorama mode, the iPhone 5s can capture 30 fps, which is a 50% improvement over the iPhone
5, plus auto white-balance, exposure, dynamic tone mapping, a 15-point autofocus metering .
Continuous 10fps burst mode and 15-point metering? That’s seriously DSLR stuff! Besides, most DSLRs can’t do 120fps, most topping out at 60fps. As an owner of a DSLR system myself, I find that due to the sheer convenience of my smartphone camera, I often avoid the hassle of taking my DSLR out of its dry box.
The iPhone 5S could possibly the single most devastating competitor to the action camera industry, the consumer point-and-shoot camera industry and the prosumer camera market. The features of the iPhone 5S overlap whole product portfolios in both action cam market segments and DSLR markets. With the iPhone 5S, anyone can be a super-photographer/videographer now.
As a photographer myself, what can we say about this feature of the iPhone 5S? It’s an incredible innovation that is a world’s first! Apple’s solution to a common flash whiteout is so deceivingly simple and yet so effective it has gotten me thinking, “why hasn’t anyone thought of that before?”
Anyone who has used a flash before would have noticed a “white-washout” of faces, that’s because the harsh glare of the LED/xenon flash is not the same colour temperature as human skin, which is of a warmer 3000 Kelvins. Redder colours are “warmer” and have a colour temperature closer to 1000K, whilst bluish-whiter lighting has a colour temperature closer to 10,000K.
To solve the problem of a flash white-out on people’s faces, Apple’s solution is the “true-Tone flash”
and it is truly an original marvel for casual and avid photographers alike . Simply put, two LEDs of different colour temperatures (cooler white and warm amber) is used to create a colour variance to match the ambient colour temperature of the environment where the photo is being taken.
This feature is not just a world’s first on any smartphone; it’s also the world’s first on any camera! Have I already mentioned that the camera has capabilities comparable to point-and-shoots and DSLRs?
Industry-Leading A7 64-bit Processor
As always in the smartphone wars, performances of new devices are always compared with existing market flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S4  and the HTC One , sporting a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor that even the Apple iPhone 5 had trouble competing with.
But the custom 64-bit A7 in the iPhone 5S has a performance improvement almost an order of magnitude better over its predecessors, with phenomenal performance comparable to that of Intel’s latest quad-core Bay Trail processors (it is also impressive that the A7 has only got 2 cores!) .
Even Sony’s latest flagship phone, the Xperia Z1 will utilizing Qualcomm’s top snapdragon 800 processor, is still a 32-bit 2.3 GHz Quad-core CPU has a slower 12.8Gb/s memory speed. Moreover, independent tests have consistently shown the iPhone to be more responsive than any of its Android counterparts [19, 20].
iPhone 5, 5C
Exynos 5 Octa
Smaller is better
Smaller is better
Higher is better
Hype over 64-bit
Without delving too deeply into the technical details, having the first 64-bit processor in a mobile device is a major win point for the iPhone 5S. The A7 is the world’s first 64-bit mobile processor, but what does that mean?
Simply put, chips with more bits can handle more memory. A 32-bit chip is designed to handle memory addresses of up to 32-bits while a 64-bit chip is designed to handle memory addresses of up to 64-bits. The advantages of 64-bit are that more RAM can be addressed; the push to 64-bit architectures will be fully appreciated in high-performance server clusters where more memory is actually needed.
ARM first announced the new 64-bit architecture in October 2012 , which described the CortexA57 and Cortex-A53 processors eaturing multi-GHz performance on advanced FinFET processes technologies. Back then, only a few large players in the semiconductor industry announced that they will be entering the mobile 64-bit platform using the ARM architecture . Even then production was only slated to begin in 2014 , and from then it will take some time before it trickles into the hands of consumers.
One thing is for certain, no one saw it coming. Even veterans in the industry were surprised during the keynote announcement of the 64-bit architecture in the A7. The A7 was made available to the public barely 11 months after the original announcement made by ARM, which is commendable on how fast Apple managed to design and manufacture the chip completely under the radars of global chip-giants.
Apple isn’t the only company building their own SoCs (System on Chip) processors, the ARM architecture is being modified by chipmakers all around the world. Semiconductor giant Samsung has their latest Exynos, Qualcomm’s snapdragon series, NVidia’s Tegra series, Texa’s Instruments OMAPs, Freescale’s i.MX and so on and so forth.
What’s remarkable is that Apple isn’t in the business of selling chips. They built the A7 because no other chip was good enough! On paper the A7 is already superior to NVidia’s next-generation Tegra 5 “Logan”, which will be running a Quad-core cortex-A15 ARMv7 28nm process that is not available in any consumer device yet and will only be released in Q2 2014. Furthermore, the A7 can already be said to match NVidia’s touted claims of its Tegra 6 “Parker”, which will be running NVidia’s 64-bit solution, is slated to be released in 2015. Based on these projected timelines, the iPhone 5S is industry leading by at least one to two entire years.
This diminutive chip has shaken up semiconductor giants in the mobile processor industry. The desktop PC industry took over 10 years to transit from 32-bit to the common 64-bit we have in our computers today, hence it is a logical move for Apple to have introduced the 64-bit architecture in the A7. It’s arguable that 64-bit doesn’t boost performance for a mobile device for now , but as with the progression of hardware, eventually smartphones will arrive with 4Gb of RAM. When that happens, Apple will not only have the hardware but an entire application and operating ecosystem that can take advantage of the full benefits of 64-bit .
Hardware and Software Integration
Given that the industry momentum will take time to make the transition to 64-bit, Apple’s 64-bit chip will already have laid the foundation for the software market to catch up. How did Apple managed to win the mobile wars so suddenly and so decisively?
The tight integration of software and ecosystem has allowed Apple to release new products without being tied down by external supplier constraints. The biggest point we must look here is that Apple now already has a commercially available 64-bit processor in its newest flagship smartphone, and in terms of software, the 64-bit iOS that was developed in-house would have immediate and unrestricted access to the architecture of the hardware.
However, integration and cooperation between development of Android OS and hardware application processors are not as tightly integrated as the iOS ecosystem and Android OS users have traditionally suffered from OS fragmentation. Android devices obsolete quickly where new OS releases are not compatible with older hardware and users are left without future updates [26-31], a situation made worse when developers release apps for iOS earlier than for the Android platform , this is also a reason why iTunes has been a tremendous commercial success, consumers on the iOS can buy creative content on the go, but Android users are left lacking . The ball will keep rolling; developers will now be driven to transit to the iOS platform, where a 64-bit architecture is already ready.
Little is known about Google’s upcoming Android OS, Kit-Kat 4.4 , but for hardware manufacturers the cat and mouse game begins. If the OS isn’t 64-bit yet, so why build a 64-bit processor? Even if Samsung releases a 64-bit processor, the OS won’t support it , or if Google releases a 64-bit OS, none of the existing applications processors can run it. It’s the chicken and the egg story again.
The A7 64-bit processor of the iPhone 5S isn’t a selling point for one smartphone; rather, it’s a long-term future-proof selling point for the entire iOS app ecosystem.
Becoming an independent chipmaker
Unlike most other phone vendors, Apple began designing its own custom processors after the release of iPhone and has been incrementally acquiring chip-design firms such as PA Semi , Anobit , Intrinsity  and AuthenTec  and aggressively building its own chip design team [40, 41].
These acquisitions have helped Apple build a series of increasingly customized SoCs called the “Aseries”. The first few generations of processors were originally manufactured by Samsung  and is also confirmed as the manufacturer of the A7 .
With several years of chip-design experience since the introduction of their first in-house designed processor, the A4, Apple has made considerable advances in chip-design know-how [43, 44] and is now actively seeking manufacturing capabilities.
Building a fabrication plant is extremely expensive and there aren’t many semiconductor fabrication plants in the world that can manufacture chips on such a scale. Most semiconductor firms are fabless (e.g. Qualcomm, NVidia, Broadcom, AMD, Marvell and Xilinx etc.). A company that operates a fabrication plant for the purpose of manufacturing the designs of other companies and do not produce ICs of their own design are known as “Pure-Play” foundries, some of world’s biggest pure-play foundries based on revenue are TSMC, UMC, Global foundries and SMIC .
Semiconductor industry mega-giants who can fab their own chips are known as “Integrated Device Manufacturers” or IDMs. Intel, Samsung, NXP, STMicro, Freescale, Cypress, National Semiconductor, Texas Instruments, Infineon, Bosch and a few other smaller players.
One question begs to be answered, why did Samsung use its competitor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processors in a variant model of its flagship Galaxy S4 and Note 3 instead of its own Exynos 5 processor? Of the amount of resources spent in developing the octa-core Exynos 5, the high cost and performance could have forced Samsung to use a competing chip in its devices. Signs show that Samsung is losing the race  and manufacturing contracts from Apple [47-49].
Apple now has both Samsung, TSMC and Global UniChip to manufacture its chips [50, 51], but TSMC and Global Foundries both make the competing Snapdragon processor for Qualcomm, which is used to power the HTC One and Galaxy S4 smartphones, so much less is needed to be said about Samsung being the primary contractor for Apple’s A7 chips.
There is evidence that Apple building its own fabrication capability to reduce reliance of competing foundries [52, 53], and this is true, Apple will be moving into a new strategic direction to create its own chips, completely making itself independent of rival foundry manufacturing facilities and further shrouding itself in technological secrecy, most important of which Apple will no longer need to share IP about its new products with Samsung or any other rival firm for that matter.
With its market capitalization, cash in the bank and development in this direction, Apple will become a force to be contended with in the semiconductor industry.
M7 Motion Co-processor
There’s nothing new here, basically an integrated accelerometer, gyroscope and a compass. The Galaxy S4 is using Invensense’s MPU-6050 and the HTC’s One is using the Invensense MPU-3050 which has similar capabilities. But what’s the industry-shaking news regarding this diminutive little chip that most of us take for granted in our own smartphones?
The thing is, the M7 doesn’t need the A7 to work. It’s an independent SoC, with the M7 constantly monitoring movement, this feature overlaps wellness devices like the Fitbit and jawbone . Given the rich iOS ecosystem, built-in radio communication and various other advantages that a smartphone will have that discrete tracking health devices doesn’t have, fitness gadget manufacturers are going to see a major chip in their sales when consumers choose a smartphone that can already do what a wellness tracker can do and more .
Whilst existing wellness devices tout other features, the iPhone 5S is a fearsome contender in the growing wearable’s market that other wellness companies are paying attention to right now [56, 57]. Fitness giant Nike has taken the lead by integrating Nike+ move app for use with the M7 .
Chipworks provided a lot of insight into the M7 system . It turns out that the M7 is not an integrated 9-DOF (degree of freedom) MEMs sensor. It’s simply a discrete ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller based on the LPC18A1 by NXP, the LPC1800 series is 120Mhz 32-bit MCU .
It is a separate MCU processing data from the 3 discrete MEMs sensors – Bosche Sensortech BMA220 3-axis accelerometer , ST microelectronics gyroscope and Asahi Kasei Microdevices’s AK8963 3-axis compass . Why Apple didn’t choose to use other established industry MEMs sensors like STmicro, Freescale or Invensense can only be speculated. We also need to note that Invensense has repeatedly lost out to other MEMs providers in Apple’s decision-making process.
The advantages of having the M7 is tremendous, battery consumption is reduced during tracking as the A7 isn’t engaged. Your phone will now know when you parked your car and maps could transit from diving mode to walking [62, 63]. If you’re moving the phone won’t ask you to join a Wi-Fi network and if you’re sleeping, network activity will decrease to future extend battery life [64, 65].
The M7 system is like a little Fitbit or jawbone within the iPhone 5S, when this feature was first announced, analysts were surprised too, it’s a new direction for apple although several clues have shown Apple’s desire to enter the wearable electronics market [66, 67], and it could serve as an ominous tracking device, reducing our nearly non-existent privacy further .
TouchID Fingerprint Sensor
A much-vaunted feature of the iPhone 5S worth shining the spotlight on is the Touch ID biometric sensor. Fingerprint sensors have been around for some time and are present in many PDAs (who uses that term anymore) and business laptops, but if it’s so secure, why hasn’t it been widely adopted by the mobile industry?
Well, the capacitive swipe-down type of fingerprint sensor hasn’t been exactly easy to use and too often reads erroneously, creating consumer frustration. Optical fingerprint sensors used at security checkpoints are far too bulky to be installed in a mobile device. There are many OEM fingerprint providers in the market, with big names such as Motion Micro Solutions , DigitalPersona , Fingerprints , Validity , so why did Apple choose not to adopt existing sensors but instead develop their own?
Getting it done right
The tricky balance of biometric security and ease of use has always been at the expense of each other. Most sensors don’t do a very good job at reading fingerprints, are too bulky or utilize too much power for a mobile device, but Apple’s TouchID seems to have all those issues covered [72, 73] with hardware encryption and security integrated at a native level within the processor architecture , something unseen is existing fingerprint scanners.
Apple has taken a very thorough and methodical approach with the release of Touch ID system and we can see that there has been a fantastic amount of convergence work done. Efforts spanned several years and have included many patent applications, acquisitions, a custom processor and the integration of ARM’s TrustZone suite all unified together into what we know now as the Touch ID.
Its clear Apple bought AuthenTec specifically for its fingerprint sensors. After closing the deal, Apple sold off the company’s encryption technology . It is not only the first and only fingerprint sensor in a smartphone today; the sensor is no ordinary swipe-down type capacitive either. To tighten things further, Apple’s AuthenTec TouchID technology will remain exclusively to Apple, the technology will not be released to developers  and competitors will not be able to purchase it [77, 78].
With the proprietary TouchID sensor, the iPhone 5S possibly being the most secure smartphone ever [74, 79], the iPhone 5S could be the single device creating a sudden massive consumer demand boom in online commerce transactions. If it works as advertised, this will likely be the best combination we’ve seen of smartphone security and convenience.
This mobile device is going to generate millions of dollars in online revenue in consumer dollars , and although not demonstrated yet, in the near future through retail payment card transactions [74, 81], which is major motivational factor for retailers and merchants to scramble to accommodate and accept iOS transactions, a major self-generating cycle of win for Apple.
Well it only makes sense to add a bigger battery and shrink the electronics if the overall volume must remain the same, Apple advertises a modest 10 hours of talk time, LTE or Wifi internet browsing, 250 hours of standby time. Anandtech managed to dig out some details from FCC , and this has been confirmed from teardowns [6, 83].
It is now revealed that the battery is made by Desay Batter Co., Ltd from Huizhou, China . Whilst retaining the similar form factor and build volume over its predecessors, the 5S has managed to retain its talk time to 10 hours (equal with the iPhone 5 and 5C) and standby time to 250 hours as compared with the older iPhone 4S with 8 and 200 hours respectively. This bests the S4’s 7-hour talk time.
That’s two full days of standby time (granted most of us are already accustomed to charging our phones daily). We also must keep in mind that the hardware being utilized is far more advanced, (64-bit M7, TouchID sensor, M7 processor), so it’s a notable improvement.
Amongst the various consumers that I had the opportunity of discussing the volition of their choice of smartphones, I learnt that what type of technology doesn’t really matter. As long as it’s got a great battery life, looks good, works well and takes great pictures. Despite industry criticisms, the “smaller” screen size of the iPhone hasn’t deterred consumers and sales have been booming .
With new acquisitions in semiconductor expertise, mapping, security, an entire slew of innovative features in the iOS7 environment, the features and strategic decisions that Apple has made so far will be entirely in their favour. Comparisons have already been made between the existing flagship competitors [86-89], but the iPhone 5S already has a series of distinct features – particularly its leading ecosystem and a lock on important content and enterprise markets, further increasing its lead by standing out in an otherwise poorly differentiated market of smartphones.
In summary, Apple has over-delivered expectations with new and unexpected capabilities. The iPhone 5S has challenged industry giants across markets and is going to shake up entire industries. I might not be wrong to speculate that executives at dozens of companies now are biting their nails and holding emergency meetings to discuss on what the impact of the iPhone 5S will do to their portfolios.
Industry analysts are already predicting massive successes of the new iPhone 5S , and the launch weekend saw a record number of 9 million new iPhones sold [91, 92]! Trends are already pointing towards favorable consumer responses in converting consumers over to its iOS ecosystem with the new iOS7 .
With all the factors in the equation, I believe the iPhone 5S is going to be a massive success for Apple in the months to come.
Sony, IMX117CQT Diagonal 7.81 mm (Type 1/2.3) Approx. 12.40M-Effective Pixel HighSpeed, High-Sensitivity Back-Illuminated Color CMOS Image Sensor for Consumer Digital Still Cameras and Camcorders. 2012.
Staff, A. Apple buys chip designer PA Semi for $278 million. 2008 Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 05:00 am PT (08:00 am ET) [cited 2013 18th September 2013]: http://appleinsider.com/articles/08/04/23/apple_buys_chip_designer_pa_semi_for_278_millio n.html