Monday, August 31, 2009

Snapfish by HP brings smart creativity to photo books

PALO ALTO, USA: Snapfish by HP announced a simple new way for people to quickly create custom photo books, along with a host of convenient tools designed to make accessing and sharing photos easier for customers wherever and whenever they want.

New from Snapfish, Magic Layouts allows people to create the photo books they imagine by providing more control over photo book designs. Snapfish worked with HP Labs, the company’s central research arm, to develop the tool, which enables customers to achieve professional-looking results without the frustration.

Other new tools and enhancements from Snapfish include:

* A Facebook app that allows Facebook users to print photos directly from their Facebook photo albums at Snapfish.com;
* Snapfish Express Upload, for faster web-based, high-resolution uploading;
* A Snapfish app available through the Apple App Store for easy uploading and sharing from iPhones or iPods;
* An Apple iPhoto plug-in for Mac users to upload photos directly from their desktops; and
* One-touch access to Snapfish via the new HP Photosmart Premium All-in-One.

“We know our customers are savvy and juggle busy, on-the-go lives while wanting the ultimate in convenience when considering ways to make the most of their photos,” said Ben Nelson, general manager, Snapfish by HP. “By adding speed and introducing new platforms, we are simplifying the way they upload, create and share their memories.”

MEMSIC’s collaboration with game developers brings new level of motion-game integration to cell phone manufacturers

ANDOVER, USA: MEMSIC Inc., a leading MEMS solution provider and supplier of motion sensors to the mobile phone industry, combining proprietary MEMS technology with advanced mixed signal processing and system solutions, announced a new game and application solution for the mobile phone market.

By collaborating with game developers, MEMSIC is now able to bring a new level of motion-game integration, along with motion-based user interfaces and screen savers, to allow cell phone design houses and manufacturers to offer more value to their end users.

Motion-based UIs in mobile phones for features such as image orientation, menu navigation, and shake-to-change have seen increasing popularity in a wide range of mobile phones over the past several years due to lower prices of motion sensors and the availability of more applications which take advantage of these UIs.

In order to provide more value-added solutions to cell phone design houses and manufacturers who want to incorporate exciting applications which use these UIs in their mobile phones, MEMSIC began to co-operate with game developers to develop games with motion-based controls that create a more realistic gaming experience than joysticks or key input.

With a library of about 50 popular motion games in the intelligence, shooting, racing and leisure game categories, MEMSIC and its partners can enable mobile phone designers and manufacturers to shorten the development times of new products that incorporate a library of motion-driven games, and bring them to market more quickly.

Due to memory limitations in mobile phone architectures, until now it has not been feasible to have a wide variety of games available on a single device. However, by using a virtual run-time environment (VRE) platform, memory limitations are removed, greatly increasing the number of games and applications available to the end user.

MEMSIC will use the VRE platform to integrate its entire library of games and applications onto a single T-flash card, which means that mobile phone companies can offer their customers a much wider array of applications.

MEMSIC and its partners will continue to create and develop new motion game and application solutions based on MEMSIC’s sensors by deeply cooperating with game partners. The VRE platform will support game access website download, providing their customers with the ability to download new applications directly to their phones.

MEMSIC also provides vivid motion-based UIs and screen savers that utilize its motion sensors. These motion UIs can also be integrated into the phone via the VRE platform, creating an interesting and dynamic mobile phone desktop or screensaver that customers can customize with different themes. MEMSIC will provide customers in the mobile market with these customized themes through its dedicated application develop team.

IBC gears up for 2009

IBC 2009, AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS: The broadcast and electronic media industry is turning its attention to IBC2009, looking forward to a lively and successful event. IBC is the world’s most important industry meeting place, combining a comprehensive exhibition, thought leadership in its conference and unrivalled networking opportunities. IBC2009 is set to be no exception.

“After the financial challenges of the last year, now is definitely the time to invest in the knowledge that will help you run your businesses better in the future,” said Michael Crimp, IBC’s chief operating officer.

“IBC is still the best place to make that investment in knowledge, and, with advance visitor registrations looking good, I believe that we will see a strong attendance from those organisations who are ready to break out of the recession and move forward.”

The exhibition will welcome more than 1000 exhibitors, including more than 100 companies who have never appeared at IBC before, filling 12 halls plus outdoor exhibits. The new conference structure tackles three key issues: advances in technology, creative innovation and the business of broadcasting.

Keynote addresses will come from some of the world’s leading authorities including Rory Sutherland of Ogilvy Group, Gary Morse of 20th Century Fox, Arnaud Simon from Eurosport and Marty Pompadur, late of News Corp, who has recently founded a new consultancy.

Innovations this year include the Production Village (Hall 9), which combines unrivalled opportunities to compare cameras, free technical and production training, demonstrations and a networking bar. The IBC Big Screen once more presents the state of the art in digital cinema and stereoscopic 3D presentation, including the chance to enjoy a couple of movies such as Monsters Vs Aliens in 3D (courtesy of Dreamworks animation).

The IBC conference runs from 10 to 14 September, the exhibition from 11 to 15 September, at the RAI in Amsterdam.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Stimulus stimulates US education projector market

EL SEGUNDO, USA: While politicians are debating the efficacy of the US stimulus package, there’s no debate that the program has benefitted sales of projectors to the American education market, according to iSuppli Corp.

Shipments of projectors in North America rose 12.4 percent in the second quarter to reach 440,322 units, up from 391,646 in the first quarter.

This contrasts with a 0.4 percent sequential decline in global projector shipments during the quarter.

“The primary factor responsible for the growth in the US projector market is the increase in shipments of front projectors in K-12 classrooms and universities,” observed Sanju Khatri, principal analyst, projection and large screen displays, for iSuppli.

“The US education market is benefitting from Title IID funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), with about $650 million appropriated for the use of new or existing technologies to improve academic achievement for elementary and secondary schools. As the funds have become available in July, education spending on projectors in the United States is now on the rise.”

The education sector, a major driver for the projector market, is expected to account for 38 percent of shipments in 2009.

The strong performance in the United States contrasts markedly with those of some other regions.

In the Europe/Middle East/Africa region, shipments declined by 19 percent in the second quarter compared to the first. Seasonal factors contributed to the low shipments, as well as weak sales in Germany, Eastern Europe, and Africa and the Middle East.

Projector shipments worldwide are expected to grow at a more healthy rate in the third quarter due to further increases in education sales in the United States and Europe/Middle East/Africa. North American shipments will rise 18.2 percent in the third quarter to reach 520,578 units, while the worldwide market will climb to 1.3 million units, up 15.4 percent from the second quarter.

“Shipments will rise due to increased sales in education market in the United States as school districts make use of the ARRA funding,” Khatri said. “The front-projector market is expected to benefit from this as the technology still remains the most cost-effective solution for large-sized displays. Furthermore, the Europe/Middle East/Africa market is expected to recover as education and corporate demand picks up.”

Global and China large-size TFT-LCD industry report 2008-2009

NEW YORK, USA: Reportlinker.com has added the Global and China Large-size TFT-LCD Industry Report, 2008-2009 to its list.

The economic rebound in the first quarter of 2009 was mainly due to LCD TV. The economic recession of Europe and America will only make consumers reduce the consumption on such necessities in the late phase.

Although Europe and America suffered economic recession, the market shares of LCD TV did not fluctuate much because of manufacturers’ promotion strategies, WON depreciation and further development of LCD TV in the first quarter of 2009.

With the push of China and other emerging countries, the market rebounded significantly. Japanese enterprises were panicked and reduced production greatly when economic recession arose, resulting in short supply. This strong rebound was still lack of powerful support, especially in emerging countries. In China, when the property market begins to rebound, real estate sales will promote the consumption on home appliances.

In the mid and late rebound phase of the property market, consumers will wait and see, and real estate sales will decline, so that home appliances consumption will also drop. The unemployment rate is still rising in Europe and America and economic recession has not ended, so if consumers are aware of the fact, they will certainly cut expenditure.

From Q1 2005 to Q4 2010, the fluctuation of TFT-LCD industry seems to be magnified, but the fact is not. The global economy has experienced the most significant recession since the Great Depression in 1929. TFT-LCD industry is the upstream of consumer electronics and IT industry, and the two industries always follow the trend of the global economy.

Excluding external factors, the fluctuation of TFT-LCD industry is lessened, especially the extent of decline shrinks, which is because LCD TVs develop rapidly, IT industry is relatively stable and notebook computers develop well. Before 2000, 80 percent of TFT-LCDs were used in notebooks, thus on which the TFT-LCD industry was highly dependent, and then TFT-LCD industry fluctuated a lot.

In the future, the LCD TV industry, netbook industry and LED notebook industry will enter the mature stage, which will make TFT-LCD industry tend to fluctuate less, but on the other hand, the industry will lack growth momentum.

The TFT-LCD industry relies heavily on upstream raw materials and components. In the cost structure of TFT-LCD, upstream components account for 70-85 percent. Therefore, to be cost-efficient shall be supported by the strong upstream, but for Chinese enterprises, it is hard to do so. In many Chinese enterprises, including joint ventures, profit is often transferred to the upstream.

In addition to glass substrates, Taiwan has nearly all of upstream industrial chains, which is the biggest driver for Taiwan's success in TFT-LCD industry. TFT-LCD industry can prompt a huge industrial chain. Japanese manufacturers occupy the top position in the industrial chain, and they usually sell their technology rather than products.

Almost every Taiwanese manufacturer in the upstream industrial chain has received technical support from Japan, so do South Korea manufacturers. Taiwanese manufacturers’ success lies in fast access to market through technology licensing, while Japanese manufacturers rely on supporting Taiwanese enterprises to combat South Korea rivals. Japanese manufacturers still master the upstream firmly.

Upstream components include glass substrate, color filter, polarizer, backlight module, driver IC, CCFL lamp and LED.

As for non-key components, these companies have adequate resources, especially AUO and Chimei. Mainland China enterprises invest on the middle and downstream which brings production value fastest, but they neglect the efficiency and quality of the investment, and thus lack cost competitiveness.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

E-Paper display revenues forecast to reach $9.6 billion by 2018

AUSTIN, USA: In its recently released E-Paper Displays Report, DisplaySearch forecasts that the total e-paper display market will grow to 1.8 billion units and $9.6 billion in revenues in 2018, from 22 million units and $431 million in revenues in 2009, for a CAGR of 41 percent for revenues and 64 percent for units.

The market for e-paper displays — which are found in e-books, e-textbooks, e-newspapers, e-magazines, mobile phones, electronic shelf labels, point–of-purchase and public signage displays, displays in smart and credit cards, clothes and other wearable items, and other applications—has taken off this past year, becoming one of the few shining stars in the economic downturn.

“E-paper displays are taking off with consumers due to their low power consumption and ease of reading, especially in sunlight,” noted Jennifer Colegrove, Director of Display Technologies at DisplaySearch.“In addition, e-paper displays are 'green' because they reduce paper consumption, and electronic shelf labels can save time and labor costs by enabling dynamic pricing in stores.”

Fig. 1: E-Paper Display Forecast
Source: DisplaySearch E-Paper Displays Report

E-book displays currently account for the majority of e-paper revenues. Nearly all e-book devices currently in the market use E Ink’s electrophoretic display technology, with a small number—such as Fujitsu’s FLEPia—using cholesteric LCD (liquid crystal display) technology. Other electrophoretic display suppliers SiPix and Bridgestone have announced that they will also commercialize e-book displays.

Additional findings from the DisplaySearch E-Paper Displays Report:
* The number of e-book/e-text books (5-9.x”) models went from one model in 2003-2004 to three in 2006, to about five in 2007. In 2009, the number of models jumped to about 20. The e-paper display market for e-books and e-textbooks (5-10”) is forecast to grow from about 1 million units in 2008 to 77 million units in 2018.
* Color e-book displays recently entered the market with Fujitsu’s 8” FLEPia e-book. Due to the high price and technical challenges, DisplaySearch forecasts color e-books will not reach high volumes before 2011.
* Electrophoretic was the leading technology in 2008, and DisplaySearch forecasts that the technology will continue to lead the e-paper display market growth for this forecast period, and reach $5.8 billion by 2018.
* Bi-stable LCD was the second largest e-paper display technology by revenues in 2008; DisplaySearch forecasts this segment will reach $2.5 billion by 2018.
* MEMS (micro-electro mechanical system) display technology will expand from small size mobile phone displays to color and medium size e-book displays over the next few years.
* Electrochromic displays are targeting low-cost, high-volume smart label and card display applications. DisplaySearch forecasts that electrochromic will become the leading technology in terms of unit volume for e-paper displays by 2013.

Table 1: Comparison of E-Book Display Technologies
Source: DisplaySearch E-Paper Displays Report

Microfluidics industry, on route to a mature market?

LYON, FRANCE: Yole Développement has released its new report, Emerging Market of Microfluidic Applications (EMMA) dedicated to the microfluidics applications in the diagnostic and life sciences fields.

Microfluidics has entered the Life Sciences market as a key technology to provide solution to the market requirements in terms of analysis automation, reduced analysis cost by lowering sample volume and reagents used faster analysis. In 2014, the market of microfluidic devices will exceed $3 billion, according to Yole Développement.

Drug discovery remains the first microfluidics market, and will continue to grow significantly as well. This is particularly true for the technologies enabling multiplexing. However, the largest growth is expected in the field of Point of Care diagnostics.

Yole’s report includes market data for 2006‐2008 and market forecasts for 2009‐2014 for life sciences and in‐vitro‐diagnostic applications…A specific section is dedicated on the analysis of what happened over the last three years, which are key elements to understand the actual and future microfluidic market.

Microtechnologies or Microsystems technologies are considered today as a mainstream miniaturization and parallelization approaches for Life Science applications. Indeed, microsystems skills, associated materials and processes are often of great value to achieving new steps towards automation, portability, lower response time, parallel processing of samples (multiplexing).Source: Yole Développement.

Alliances, mergers and acquisitions allowed the organization of the microfluidic market
The microfluidics supply chain is now structured, in particular in Europe and USA where 70 percent of the active players in the field of microfluidics are companies, with the other 30 percent being university groups and Contract Research Organizations (CRO).

This market structuring goes together with a significant number of mergers and acquisitions. As one example, Siemens has acquired three major diagnostic companies, DPC, Bayer Diagnostics and Dade Behring and consequently has become one of the top three diagnostics companies. Amic, setup in 1998 as a microfluidics fab, refocused its business in 2003 and positioned itself as a diagnostics company, has been recently acquired by Johnson & Johnson to be integrated into Ortho‐Clinical Diagnostics.

The evolution of the microfluidics market over the last three years presents a regular growth. This quantification is based on the reported sales of the top 150 players worldwide. Yole Développement estimates that these top 150 companies, which include fabs, system manufacturers and diagnostics companies represent 90-95 percent of the total market.

Point of Care, the largest growth in the microfluidic industry: +37 percent CAGR between 2006 and 2009
Today, Point of Care represents 15 percent of the market, and has shown tremendous growth over the last two years: +37 percent CAGR between 2006 and 2009. Following this trend, its share of the microfluidics market for IVD applications is expected to exceed 30 percent by 2014.

Pharmaceutical research is also an area where microfluidics plays and will play a significant role. It includes however many types of applications and technologies such as genomics, proteomics, cell research.

Cell based assays, an opportunity of the microfluidic industry
One area of particular interest in pharmaceutical research is cell based assays. In order to reduce the time necessary to develop new products, drug manufacturers have begun to move away from traditional assays and pay greater attention to cell based assays for drug discovery. Cell‐based assays have a high potential to replace traditional assays because drug action on single cells and cellular activity can be measured and monitored with very high accuracy, in environments very closed to real living conditions.

Although this particular market is very small today, tremendous growth is expected in the coming years, anticipated to exceed 30 percent.

The microfluidic market is still changing today. For example, some products are moving from research applications to the clinical diagnostics and point of care fields. This trend is limited due to:
‐ The relative high manufacturing costs of many microfluidic devices.
‐ The fact that significant hurdles remain in the technology itself and its fusion into the healthcare system.

However, the microfluidic market organization really started and ensures now a profitable market for several key players. With 2009 EMMA release, Yole Développement provides to the players, keys to understanding the current and future microfluidics market. The company presents its analysis (key players, key products) and its data for the period 2009‐2014. Moreover this report contains a special chapter focused on analysis of the last three years.

Blu-ray sings the PC blues!

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Despite a rapid rise in the sales of consumer Blu-ray players, a fall in their prices and an increase in the number of high-definition movie titles, Blu-ray Drives (BDs) in PC systems have been left singing the blues, according to iSuppli Corp.

By 2013, BDs will be found in only 16.3 percent of PCs shipped, up from 3.6 percent in 2009. The figure presents iSuppli’s forecast of the penetration of BDs in global PC shipments.

iSuppli: Forecast of Global Blu-ray Drive Percentage Penetration in PCs, 2009-2013 (Percentage of Total PC Shipments)Source: iSuppli, USA

“BDs won’t be replacing DVDs as the primary optical drive in PC systems through at least the year 2013,” said Michael Yang, senior analyst for storage and mobile memory at iSuppli. “They eventually will find success, but during the next five years, that success will be limited in the PC segment.”

According to Yang, the two main reasons hampering the adoption of Blu-ray drives in PCs include cost, as well as the lack of a library of movies to justify the need for consumers to move to a different drive in their PCs.

Cost, Yang said, is the primary impediment. Given the high price of the product, consumers are unwilling to pay the extra money in order to obtain a high-definition drive. “The cost issue is amplified by the fact that the library of content is so small that there really isn’t a reason for users to switch at the moment,” Yang added. And while this is changing and studios are rolling out more Blu-ray content every week, there remains a long way to go.

Succession crisis
A tertiary factor worth mentioning is the difficulty of supplanting an incumbent storage medium in PCs—a distinction currently held by the DVD-RW drive.

From a historical perspective, each of the successful storage media in PCs has gained popularity only when content became available and when consumers actually understood that what they were getting was easy to use and worth the cost.

For instance, the once-ubiquitous 3.5-inch floppy drive had a lifespan of 15-plus years, surviving well past its prime. Eventually, it was replaced by CD-ROMs—which, in turn, gave way to DVD drives. A changeover occurred and the floppy disk finally supplanted when it became apparent that CD-ROMs not only offered a distinct advantage but were also the medium being adopted by everything from music to games to movies.

Such a pivotal moment, Yang said, has not yet arrived for the Blu-ray drive. “It’s undeniable that Blu-ray delivers a higher-definition picture, better sound quality and larger storage space for home entertainment,” he remarked. “However, these benefits may have little or no value when viewing the content on a smaller desktop or laptop PC screen and using poor speakers.”

Until BD costs decline and user knowledge increases, the technology will continue to struggle.

Set-top box shipments rise in 2009 despite economic downturn

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Defying the current economic turmoil, global Set-Top Box (STB) shipments are expected to rise in 2009 due to rising demand from Asia and from products supporting High Definition (HD), Digital Video Recording and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), according to iSuppli Corp.

Worldwide STB shipments are set to grow to 136.7 million units in 2009, up 4.2 percent from 131.2 million in 2008, as presented in the attached figure. Shipments will rise to 201 million systems by 2013, growing at a CAGR of 9 percent during the forecast period.

STB sales have continued to expand during the worse phase of the current downturn.

“In the fourth quarter, when the wheels were literally coming off of the world’s economies, the leading STB makers were reporting surging sales,” said Jordan Selburn, principal analyst for semiconductor design and STBs at iSuppli.

“This phenomenon carried over into 2009 and beyond with first-quarter shipments of STBs. And while they were down from the fourth-quarter holiday season, they were still ahead of the first quarter from 2008—an unusual event for any product in today’s depressed electronics market.”

Although terrestrial and satellite STB shipments were essentially flat during this time period, cable boxes have showed very strong growth, driven in particular by increasing rollouts in China and other parts of the Asia-Pacific region.

IPTV STBs are continuing to proliferate as well, shipping over 50 percent more systems in 2008 than during the previous year. The growth of IPTV STBs nearly matched that of cable in terms of the number of systems shipped in 2008.

Must-see STBs
“Premium boxes — like DVR-enabled STBs and HD products — will grow at a substantially higher rate than the 4.2 percent level for the overall STB market in 2009, Selburn said. “These STBs will buoy the entire market as non-DVR and standard-definition from this point forward.”

Shipments of premium boxes in 2008 almost doubled to 22.4 million systems. This growth will continue to be substantial in 2009, with a 28 percent rise.

“This is a strong growth number for any era, but considering the state of the economy and business environments, it is even more impressive,” Selburn said.

Among premium boxes, HD STBs are on their way to becoming the new standard in the home. Shipments of these boxes are set to grow at a 22.8 percent CAGR between 2008 and 2013, and by the end of the forecast period will take the lead in market share. This is being helped by a number of factors, including HD display sales, increasing access to broadband technology and improving HD content from service providers.

DVR-enabled boxes are growing at a rapid rate as well and will maintain a CAGR of 18 percent through 2013. The plummeting cost of hardware—especially Hard Disk Drives (HDDs)—is making the DVR HDD a more affordable purchase for consumers. However, rising sales of whole-home DVRs used as in-home media servers will continue to push sales of non-DVR boxes that act as clients to a central STB containing a hard drive.

iSuppli: Worldwide STB Unit Shipment Forecast, 2006-2013 (Millions of Units)Source: iSuppli, USA

Printer, copier and multifunctional product market drops 20 percent in H1-2009

EGHAM, UK: The worldwide combined printer, copier and multifunctional product (MFP) shipments market totalled 51.3 million units in the first half of 2009, a 20.2 percent decline over first half of 2008 shipments, according to Gartner Inc.

“The market witnessed a weak demand as both businesses and consumers reduced spending and the drop in shipments was also impacted by tighter inventory controls in order to minimise inventory levels in the channels,” said Lai-Ling Lam, senior research analyst at Gartner. “The situation was further exacerbated by the shortages of popular low-end inkjets and page printers to home, small businesses, and small and medium businesses (SMBs).”

Not a single region was spared the downward trend. The emerging regions of Eastern Europe, Middle East and Latin America were the worst hit as shipments declined 41.8 percent, 28 percent and 22.9 percent, respectively in the first half of 2009.

Office printing devices fuelled the overall decline in the global print market, with a 24.5 percent decrease in the first half of 2009. “In this tough economic environment, businesses are delaying or eliminating purchases of new equipments altogether.

The global downturn has also forced them to review their printing needs, which could change their print consumptions in the long term. At the same time, it also makes print vendors increasingly look at alternative hardware strategies such as managed print service (MPS) and smart MFP adoption as ways to increase revenue,” added Ms Lam.

The consumer inkjet products were less impacted by the global economic downturn, declining 17.3 percent in the first half of 2009. Despite cautious consumer spending, there are opportunities as demand for wireless inkjets buoyed the consumer market.

From a vendor perspective, Hewlett-Packard dropped at a faster pace than the overall market (see Table 1). HP lost 3.4 percentage points market share to total 40 percent market share in the first half of 2009 as it maintained a tighter control over its channel inventory levels amidst weakening demand. “HP’s loss was Canon’s gain, which had stable performance in Americas and Asia/Pacific, helping it to increase its market share to 19 percent in the first half of 2009.

Table 1
Worldwide printer, copier and MFP unit shipments, 1H-09
Source: Gartner (August 2009)

Despite signs that the world economy is improving, there are no indications that the worldwide print market is going to see improvement in the second half of 2009.

“A best case scenario will see some improvement in demand, loosening in inventory control and fulfilment of back orders which would uplift the market, ending the year with a single-digit decline. However, we do not expect the market to recover before 2010,” concluded Ms Lam.

Global LCD TV unit shipments stronger than expected

AUSTIN, TEXAS: In a nearly mirror image of Q1’09 results, global TV revenues fell 12 percent Y/Y to $23.7 billion while shipments declined slightly less, down 8 percent Y/Y to 44.6 million units according to the latest results from the DisplaySearch Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report.

Not all technologies fared equally though as LCD TVs continued to post remarkably strong unit growth, while all other technologies showed Y/Y declines in units. However in revenue terms, all technologies were down Y/Y as the marketplace remains impacted by frugal consumers looking for the lowest prices amid the global economic downturn.

Globally, flat panel TV share jumped from 68 percent in Q1’09 to 74 percent in Q2’09 as LCD TV price erosion continued at the same annual pace as Q1’09, falling 22 percent Y/Y on average. LCD TV market share increased as a result from 62 percent to 67 percent, acquiring nearly all that market share in a rapid shift from CRT to LCD in China as well as a big increase in North America market share from better than expected sell-through.

Despite tight supply conditions for LCD panels in Q2’09, LCD TV shipment growth managed to maintain the same pace as Q1’09, rising 27 percent Y/Y to 30 million units although revenues fell 1 percent Y/Y. Plasma market share increased about half a percent to 7 percent, while CRT share plummeted from 32 percent to 26 percent on a unit basis. Both North America and China reached record shipment levels.

“LCD TV market growth remains impressive, gaining market share from incumbent technologies like CRT at a quickening pace despite higher prices and a tight supply situation in Q2’09” noted Paul Gagnon, Director of TV North America TV Market Research at DisplaySearch. “Advanced technologies like high frame-rate LCDs and 1080p resolutions also continued to increase in market share as the price premium narrows, even in these tough economic times.”

North America dramatically took back the top position among global regions for TV shipments on a unit basis while reaching more than 10 million units shipped for the quarter. North America reclaimed the crown from China where unit shipments fell 10 percent Q/Q and 14 percent Y/Y, mostly on a large decline in CRT TV unit volume that wasn’t entirely made up by surging LCD growth.

Western Europe continued to experience weakness with total units declining 3 percent Y/Y and was overtaken for the #3 market position by Asia Pacific. A review of global TV shipment performance by technology can be seen in Table 1:

Table 1: Q2‘09 Worldwide TV Shipments by Technology (000s)Source: DisplaySearch Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report

On a brand basis, Samsung remained the global brand share leader in revenues for the 14th straight quarter, rising to a record revenue share of 23 percent and also hitting a record unit share of 18.2 percent. LGE remained #2 after surpassing Sony in Q1’09, slightly increasing their revenue share to 13.7 percent with small share gains in both LCD and plasma offsetting a decline in CRT share. Sony held the #3 brand position worldwide in revenues, although losing a little more than a point of share.

Samsung reclaimed the top LCD unit share position from Vizio in the highly competitive North America market. Vizio fell to #2 on a unit basis in LCD TV for North America, but continued to see strong growth from a year ago with distribution in the growing discount channels like Walmart.

Funai, which includes the Philips and Magnavox brand in North America, surpassed Sony and rose to #3, having the strongest Q/Q unit growth among the top five North America LCD TV brands. Funai is prospering from close strategy alignment with discount channels and more frugal consumers.

China remains a very competitive market as well, one dominated by domestic brands. The top five LCD TV brands in China on a unit basis are all Chinese and collectively account for nearly three-quarters of all units shipped to the region in Q2’09. Skyworth was the top LCD TV brand at nearly 20 percent unit share, but was followed closely by Hisense at #2. TCL rounded out the top three with 15 percent unit share.

Many foreign brands are eager to gain a foothold in China’s rapidly growing market, but must compete with lower-cost Chinese brands to do so. Chinese consumer demand is currently being boosted by several government stimulus programs and TV brands are eager to participate, especially domestic brands. A complete review of the top five global TV brands can be seen in Table 2:

Table 2: Q2‘09 Worldwide TV Brand Rankings by Revenue ShareSource: DisplaySearch Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Actis launches India's first 'VC on-demand' mobile videoconferencing solution

MUMBAI, INDIA: Actis Technologies, India’s most trusted audio visual specialists, have launched the country’s first ever High Definition mobile video-conferencing solution -– the Actis MVU Series (MVU-1000P, MVU-1100MP, MVU-2000MP and MVU-2100MP).

These self-sufficient, integrated videoconferencing systems are mounted on a trolley with castors and allow businesses and institutions an unprecedented amount of flexibility. They can invest in one system for multiple rooms as the system can be moved from room-to-room on castors without disassembly.

The MVU series videoconferencing trolley offers an unmatched High-Definition (1080p at 30-frames per-second) viewing experience and includes an integrated display (single or dual monitors), camera, codec, mike and speakers in the unit.

Preconfigured to make Videoconferencing calls within minutes (has ISDN and IP support); the MVU series is extremely cost-effective because of the greater bandwidth flexibility it offers and its adherence to open standards. Ideal screen height enables excellent eye-contact between participants and a powerful remote driven interface makes operation extremely intuitive.

The Actis MVU Series is targeted at the telepresence and video conferencing industry which is fast becoming a powerful business tool in India. While the global industry is poised to grow into a USD$4.7 Billion by 2014, Asia Pacific is expected to contribute $1.7 billion, a recent Frost & Sullivan report revealed.

With Actis’ new MVU Series Mobile Videoconferencing System, organizations can enjoy more flexibility than what their specialized video conferencing rooms can offer.

Commenting on the launch, Abhimanyu Gupta, Director, Actis Technologies said: “At Actis we keep our customers’ business needs at the top of our priorities. Several clients wanted more flexibility from their video conferencing systems hence we addressed this by designing a mobile system that delivers quality, flexibility, seamless collaboration and ease-of-use.”

“Our new mobile Videoconferencing System provides customers with a great degree of flexibility because they have point-to-point and multi-point capability, can adapt to various degrees of bandwidth availability and use open standards to provide easy compatibility with existing systems. Most importantly however, it allows video collaboration to move beyond dedicated conferencing rooms.”

While the Actis MVU Series allows easy integration with any existing or old video conferencing solution, it functions well with as little as 128 Kbps upto 6 Mbps bandwidth speeds, ensuring cost-effectiveness in operation and real time PC content sharing.

The Actis MVU Series will benefit enterprises with organizational and sales teams across locations in applications such as customer interaction, recruitment interviews, internal reviews, cross-location training, etc.

It is also suitable for educational institutions where it allows sharing of one system between multiple rooms. Expected to hit the market this September, the new MVUs will be priced in the range of Rs. 7 lakh and Rs. 14 lakh, respectively.

Actis MVU series models range comprises MVU-1000P, MVU-1100MP, MVU- 2000MP and MVU-2100MP for single to dual displays and with single to multi-point system features.

Acer India and AMD bring cheer for Onam with AMD based laptop

BANGALORE, INDIA: With the onset of the harvest festival Onam; Acer, the world’s second largest notebook brand, has announced the availability of its brand new offering, the Acer Aspire 5536G, powered by an AMD processor and graphics as a special offering for India.

The product is being made available first up to the consumers in Kerala and from there would pan out nationally. The Acer Aspire 5536G notebook is powered by the AMD Turion™ X2 processor and is based on the latest AMD M780G Chipset with 3GB DDR3 RAM. Additionally, the Acer 5536G will have an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 graphics card with 512 MB dedicated VRAM.

S. Rajendran, Chief Marketing Officer, Acer India Pvt. LTD said, “Onam is the perfect time to bring home a powerful new notebook computer. With contemporary designs and technology to match, Acer Aspire 5536G provides a compelling combination of technology, performance and price. Through our strategic association with AMD, we have been able to make cutting-edge technology mobile computing accessible to consumers in Kerala as they celebrate Onam.”

“High quality content requires suitable technology to provide the best visual experience. With AMD’s Turion X2 mobile processor at its heart, the Acer Aspire 5536G is able to provide exceptional performance and incredible visual computing at a great price,” added Deepanshu Sharma, General Manager, Marketing, AMD India.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

MIT and Stylus Automotive chose ThinkDesign for VDS Vision 100 car

BANGALORE, INDIA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a private research university located at Cambridge, Massachusetts, US and Stylus Automotive Pvt. Ltd, a design services company founded by India’s first woman automotive designer, have chosen think3’s ThinkDesign as the best CAD package for the VDS (Vehicle Design Summit) project to design the eco friendly car, VDS Vision 100, which is set to thrive the streets of India.

The aim of the Vehicle Design Summit is to serve as a launch-pad for a global consortium drawing from academia, industry and the public/private sector to solve some of the most pressing challenges of our time. The VDS team at MIT -- co-ordinated by VDS project founder Director, Ms. Anna Jaffe -- got in touch with Stylus Automotive to start a collaboration for the design of a hybrid vehicle, an eco friendly car for the Indian market: VDS Vision 100.

Stylus Automotive had been approached by MIT VDS team to work on the styling and conceptual design of the vehicle. For the MIT VDS project, Stylus Automotive had chosen ThinkDesign as the only tool to complete the given task with great results and at a faster speed. Stylus Automotive and MIT appreciated think3’s ThinkDesign as the CAD software can cover the entire product definition cycle and achieve the desired results in less time, at low cost, allowing rapid modification and iterations.

The result of this project, the VDS Vision 100 is designed to thrive in the busy streets of India. Its entry is both a car and much more importantly, a strategy to deal with congestion and enable development in a way that will lead to more vibrant, safe and enjoyable urban centers.

"I’m very glad about this collaboration between MIT, think3 and Stylus Automotive” states Ms. Anna Jaffe. “think3 will allow VDS to rapidly and dynamically evolve the design of the VDS Vision to develop the best possible vehicle without going beyond deadlines”.

Ms. Sanghamitra Datta, Stylus Automotive Pvt. Ltd. Founder, says: "We at Stylus Automotive were looking to create a unique yet economical design development process, which complimented our brand of global design services for our clients.

"We narrowed down to ThinkDesign after trying out other softwares, as it is an 'art to part' software, and is applicable in three stages, from Styling concept 3D models and quick variations to engineering, support to creation of tooling design, also significantly reduces their development time and cuts out a lot of back and forth and recreation of data time, while leaving enough flexibility for creative design and engineering solutions.”

She further adds: "The best part of this experience was the flexibility and enthusiasm of the think3 team, in creating an opportunity for the Stylus Automotive team to use ThinkDesign. We hope to have a long lasting relationship with think3, which will be studded by awesome transportation design products, styled, engineered & tooled in this most creative of software."

"The choice of ThinkDesign made by MIT VDS and Stylus Automotive for the project of an eco friendly car for Indian roads is a big honor and a strategic win for think3," states Silvano Joly, Vice President worldwide Marketing at think3.

"With respect to the market offering, our main differentiators ‘Total Process Coverage, Multi-Data Representations, Multiple Approach Modeling’ supported by TD PLM (the Task Driven PLM extended platform) have really made the difference and will determine a competitive advantage for MIT and Stylus in this challenging initiative."

IP STBs to generate over $3 billion in market value by 2014

SINGAPORE: In line with the global phenomenon of switching over from analog to digital TV services, set-top boxes now have a more crucial role in the home for accessing of entertainment and information services provided by television service operators.

This is especially apparent in mature high-speed Internet economies where service providers strive towards providing interactive bi-directional television, thereby leading to the growth of IP set-top boxes. According to new set-top box market data from ABI Research, IP STBs will generate a market value above $3 billion by 2014.

This analog-digital switchover has also brought about a progressive momentum towards sophisticated box types as well as advanced compression technologies.

As ABI Research industry analyst Serene Fong notes: “Shipments of basic boxes across all television platforms have declined and will continue to fall throughout the six-year forecast period. In contrast, shipments of boxes with HD capabilities and MPEG-4 compression technologies – including HD hybrids – will head north.

This is closely associated with consumers’ thirst for higher quality content which is often satisfied through HD quality videos. The increased ownership of HDTVs especially in the homes of technologically advanced nations is a good indicator of where the market is heading.

In terms of vendors’ market standing, Motorola and Cisco Systems continue to sit at the top of the cable STB vendor list with a combined market share close to 50 percent in 2008. Thomson and Panasonic ranked highest in the DBS and DTT segments respectively in the same period.

“Vendors’ strategies for retaining their market shares are targeted towards emerging technologies such as HDTV, IPTV, and digital TV, as these are expected to be the main driving forces for STB sales in the coming years,” Fong concludes.

USB-IF announces SuperSpeed USB peripheral development kit

BEAVERTON, USA: The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) today announced the availability of the USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed USB) Peripheral Development Kit (PDK). The kit helps promote interoperability and provides SuperSpeed USB developers the opportunity to benchmark and test against host solutions in the emerging SuperSpeed USB ecosystem.

The PDK is key to SuperSpeed USB development, and its delivery marks the availability of host solutions to test emerging SuperSpeed USB designs. The kit contains reference hosts, which enable the testing of a wide variety of peripherals.

The reference hosts are devices that have been utilized in extensive testing of the USB 3.0 Specification. It is recommended that all systems developed in conjunction with the PDK engage in compliance testing, when available, to ensure compliance to the USB 3.0 Specification.

The PDK includes two PCIe host add-in cards, a one meter SuperSpeed USB cable, PDK documentation and the USB 3.0 Command Verifier tool, which is the official tool for USB 3.0 Hub and Device Framework testing. The PDK also includes a prototype driver and a compliance driver that have been tested on the Windows 7 platform.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Earthquake causes minor disruption in LCD glass supply

EL SEGUNDO, USA: An earthquake in Japan this month at a plant operated by Corning Inc. will slightly exacerbate an existing shortage of glass for LCDs, but the impact is not likely to have a major impact on panel supply during the holiday season, according to iSuppli Corp.

“Because of the earthquake, Corning has suspended production at its glass manufacturing facility in Shizuoka, Japan,” said Sweta Dash, senior director of LCD research for iSuppli.

“This supply interruption will disrupt LCD production at Sharp. Corp.’s eighth-generation fab, which supplies panels for 32-inch and 40-inch as well as larger LCD-TVs. However, with glass suppliers increasing their output to meet rising demand for Christmas, the overall demand for this key raw material is expected to exceed demand by the start of the fourth quarter.”

All other LCD glass facilities operated by Corning and other glass manufacturers worldwide continue to operate normally. Corning expects to restore its Shizuoka facility to full production within a few months.

LCD glass supply has been in a state of oversupply since the second half of 2008.

After suffering a supply glut of 13 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, conditions shifted dramatically in the first quarter of 2009 as panel makers idled many of their production lines in order to adjust to reduced demand. This caused demand to exceed supply by 0.5 percent in the first quarter.

The undersupply rose to 1 percent in the second quarter primarily due to strong panel demand, especially from China’s television market. The shortage is expected to intensify in the third quarter to a 2 percent undersupply, before reversing to a 4 percent oversupply in the fourth quarter as panel demand cools following the holiday purchasing season.

Demand-driven shortfall
While the glass shortage has contributed to tight availability of large-sized LCD panels, the major factor behind the short supply is strong demand.

“In a positive sign for the global large-sized LCD market, panels are in short supply mainly due to strong demand from television and PC makers that are building supply in advance of the Christmas selling season,” Dash said. “This indicates that computer, monitor and LCD-TV makers are anticipating strong demand during the upcoming holiday season.”

iSuppli defines large-sized panels as those having a diagonal dimension of 10 inches or more. Aggravating the shortage, LCD panel buyers are engaging in overbooking, i.e., placing more orders than they really need, in order to secure supply in the face of limited availability and despite some increase in inventories among channels and buyers.

Taiwanese troubles
Beyond the direct impact on Sharp, some Taiwanese suppliers are concerned that their supplies may be impacted if glass shipments are diverted to Japan.

The Taiwanese suppliers already were bearing the brunt of the glass shortage at their older fifth- and sixth-generation LCD fabs. Such fabs specialize in producing smaller displays used in products like desktop monitors, notebook PCs and smaller-sized televisions.

Glass supplies get clearer
“Fortunately for the global large-sized LCD panel industry, the Corning supply disruption is coming at a time when most of the idled glass tanks in the world are starting to come back to full production mode,” Dash said. “That will help to reduce the total impact on LCD panel supply.”

Previously idled glass tanks are expected to return to normal production levels by the end of August. In the fourth quarter, most of the glass issues are expected to be resolved, allowing panel suppliers to operate at full production levels.

Because of this, many panel suppliers are already planning expansions of their newer eighth- , 8.5- and tenth-generation fabs in the fourth quarter.

Prices affecting profitability?
The combination of strong demand and short supply caused large-sized panel prices to rise sharply during July. For example, the price of a representative large-sized LCD, the 32-inch WXGA television panel, climbed 10.4 percent in July. The price increase moderated to a 5.8 percent rise in August.

The figure presents average global pricing for 32-inch WXGA LCD panels for the period of October 2008 through August 2009.

iSuppli: Global Average Pricing for 32-inch WXGA LCD TV Panels (Pricing in US Dollars)Source: iSuppli, Aug. 2009

“The increase in pricing is certainly welcome news for panel suppliers especially after facing several quarters of pricing below manufacturing costs,” Dash said. “However, at this point it comes as bad news for branded vendors of televisions, desktop PC monitors and notebooks, as their profitability is being squeezed by rising panel prices.”

iSuppli already is noting that monitor and TV system makers are suffering losses in profitability due to these hikes. As a result, some panel buyers have become conservative about building their panel inventories and are resisting accepting any sharp price increases. This is causing price hikes to moderate somewhat in August.

“iSuppli anticipates a downward price correction in the fourth quarter as LCD panels return to a state of oversupply,” Dash said. “This correction could be of a greater magnitude than the industry expects.”

Friday, August 21, 2009

Samsung cuts into Vizio's lead in US LCD TV market

EL SEGUNDO, USA: While Vizio Inc. maintained its leadership in the US LCD-TV market in the second quarter, No.-2 ranked Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. closed the gap significantly as buyers gravitated toward its LED-backlit sets, according to iSuppli Corp.

Samsung’s share of US LCD-TV unit shipments rose to 21.3 percent in the second quarter, up 3.5 points from 17.8 percent in the second quarter. The gain represented the largest increase of any LCD-TV brand in the United States in the second quarter. With its strong rise, Samsung of South Korea in second quarter cut Vizio’s lead to only 0.4 percentage points, down from 3.6 points in the first quarter.

“Samsung in the second quarter was very aggressive in introducing and marketing its LED-backlit LCD-TVs, allowing it to boost sales of these sets,” said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst, television systems, for iSuppli.

“US consumers increasingly are warming up to higher-specification LCD-TV models, including those using new LED-backlighting technology,” Patel added. “iSuppli estimates 2.2 percent of LCD-TVs shipped in the US in the second quarter used LED backlights, up from zero during the same quarter a year earlier.

“In mature markets like the United States, while many consumers are moving up from their CRT or rear-projection televisions, an increasing number of LCD-TV purchases are replacements of first-generation flat-panel sets. In these cases, consumers are gravitating toward higher-specification televisions, such as those with LED backlights.”

Unlike traditional Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) televisions that generate their own light, LCD-TVs require an additional illumination source—or backlight—in order to present a visible image. LCDs historically have employed Fluorescent Lamps (CCFLs) as backlights. However, due to price reductions, LEDs in recent years have become a viable alternative to CCFLs.

“LEDs deliver multiple advantages compared to CCFLs,” Patel said. “These include achieving greater power savings and thinner form factors for LCD-TV sets and the elimination of toxic materials employed in CCFL manufacturing.”

Global penetration of the LED-backlight technology for LCD-TV panels will increase to 37 percent of all shipments in 2013, up from 3 percent in 2009, iSuppli predicts.

Vizio retains market lead
Despite Samsung’s surge, Vizio retained leadership in the US LCD-TV market for the second consecutive quarter.”

“US-based Vizio continues to benefit from its combination of low-cost and full-featured sets, combined with its high-volume retail channels, including Wal-Mart,” Patel said. “The company seems to have found the right balance between price and features that appeals to many consumers.”

US LCD-TV market rebounds in Q2
The overall US LCD-TV market posted a strong performance in the second quarter, with shipments rising by 8.7 percent to 6.9 million units, up from 6.3 million in the first quarter. This represents a major turnaround from the first quarter, when shipments plunged by 15.3 percent.

“While sales of consumer electronics often decline in the first quarter compared to the hot holiday season in the fourth quarter, LCD-TVs have been so popular that they have defied this trend in recent years,” Patel said.

“For example, US television shipments rose by 5 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter of 2008. And even though the economic downturn clearly had a major impact on sales in the first quarter, the rebound in the second quarter shows the market has entered a recovery.”

Beyond demand for LED-backlit sets, second-quarter demand was stimulated by declining prices for older models.

CTS Corp. and ZF TVS (India) sign marketing agreement

INDIA: CTS Corp. announced that it has entered into a marketing agreement with ZF Electronics TVS, a designer and manufacturer of electrical and electronic products located in Madurai, India. The marketing agreement will allow CTS to market its successful line of automotive and electrocomponent products to new customers in India’s fast growing markets.

CTS will market its rotary and linear position sensors, ceramic fuel cards and other products in various market segments in India, with an initial focus on 4- and 2-wheeler automotive markets, which are experiencing strong growth.

“As electronic content in Indian automobiles grows and emission laws are being tightened through the implementation of Bharat Stage III and IV emissions norms, CTS’ products are an excellent fit for these applications. We look forward to partnering with ZF Electronics TVS to help support OEMs with advanced solutions, as they meet India’s growing transportation needs,” commented Vinod M. Khilnani, CTS Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

HotChips Symposium selects Symwave’s USB 3.0 storage solution

LAGUNA NIGUEL, USA: Symwave Inc., a leading silicon supplier of system solutions for SuperSpeed USB devices, announced that its USB 3.0 storage controller has been chosen by the HotChips Symposium Program Committee.

The technical paper will be presented by Gideon Intrater, Symwave’s Vice President of Solutions Architecture at the HotChips Symposium 2009 to be held in Palo Alto, California, August 23-25, 2009.

HotChips - “A Symposium on High-Performance Chips” is the industry’s premiere venue focused on design innovation and performance advancement techniques.

Symwave’s presentation will introduce its USB 3.0 System-on-Chip (SoC) storage controller architecture and the associated engineering challenges in achieving both industry-leading performance and integration. The SoC will be used in both HDD and SSD external storage products and will include a bridge to the SATA interface.

The device supports USB 3.0’s data rate of 5Gbps with storage-specific IEEE 1619 and IEEE1667 standards for encryption and authentication as well as legacy USB 2.0 devices. New high-performance external storage products from Symwave’s Tier-1 OEM partners are expected to be available in late 2009.

“We are honored that Gideon’s presentation was selected by HotChips. This recognition by such a prestigious organization is a clear testament to the strength of our team and our engineering execution,” said Yossi Cohen, President and CEO of Symwave. “The momentum around USB 3.0 is growing rapidly and will provide Symwave a great opportunity for our family of high-performance devices leveraging this innovative architecture.”

linentracker RFID system revolutionizes hospitality industry

LOS ANGELES, USA: At a time when hotels are experiencing countless challenges, Linen Technology Tracking, LLC. announces the launch of a cost savings opportunity for the hospitality industry: linentracker, its Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system.

In the hospitality industry, one of the largest expenses of room occupancy is linen supplies. Major hotel brands are operating without knowing the true cost of these supplies and with limited control of inventories that shrink because of theft, laundry damage and normal wear and tear. Linentracker provides the needed control by monitoring these movable assets as they travel throughout the property.

“Our proprietary patented technology integrates passive UHF Radio Frequency Identification technology with high performance smart tags (Gen2) that withstand commercial washing, drying and pressing,” said Jonathan Eisenberg, Vice President, Sourcing Operations.

The system is a turnkey solution that enables tracking and monitoring of all linen assets as they move throughout the hotel. Customized software is the engine that accounts for all item specific smart tags and shows their location and history in real time.

This information can be accessed by hotel management through the linentracker dashboard. As a result, hotel management will be able to record the current loss, age of their inventory and up to date inventory counts. This information will assist properties and provide specific quality controls to make sure the room presentation is consistent across specific brand standards, ultimately enhancing the guest experience.

Early assessments have shown that the linentracker system enables hotels to streamline the flow of expensive linen. Hotels believe the system will greatly improve linen utilization, reduce costs, and increase their ability to meet guest satisfaction goals.

“We are confident that when full deployment of the linentracker system is achieved, it will revolutionize how linen is managed in the hotel environment by taking greater control of inventories, purchasing less products and reducing costs all around,” said William Serbin, Executive Vice President, linentracker.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Samsung's new lineup of Bluetooth accessories

RICHARDSON, USA: Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), No. 1 mobile phone provider in the US, announced the availability of three new sleek, premium performance Bluetooth headsets –- the WEP870, which combines the best of two Bluetooth devices, the award-winning WEP850 and the cost-effective WEP470 –- that all offer an optimized mobile experience with crystal-clear conversations.

Samsung WEP870 unites a premiere noise-cancelling Bluetooth mono headset with high-fidelity Bluetooth music streaming to premium stereo ear buds all in one device. Featuring multi-connection technology, the WEP870 can be paired simultaneously with two Bluetooth enabled devices at once.

The WEP870 is a mono-style headset with chrome trim and a graphite finish that can be worn on either ear to facilitate calls or listen to music through its high fidelity earpiece. The

headset also features a stereo earbud lanyard that can be attached to the headset and worn comfortably around the neck for full music enjoyment. While worn around the user’s neck, the WEP870 can still be used during phone calls. The headset’s microphone is engineered to point toward your mouth when worn on the lanyard and the call can be heard through the stereo ear buds.

If while listening to music the user receives an inbound call or initiates a call, the music will gently mute during the call and return to the music streaming once the call has ended. The WEP870 features dual-microphones and active noise and echo cancellation technology that provides clear communication, as well as an intuitive LCD screen which displays battery level, call status and Bluetooth connection status.

The award-winning Samsung WEP850 is a sleek mono-style headset with a minimalistic design and premium capabilities. The WEP850 offers multipoint technology and advanced dual-microphone noise cancellation and echo reduction that eliminates unwanted background noise.

Independent lab testing has proven that the WEP850’s active noise and echo cancellation is amongst the best in the industry when compared against products with pricing up to 80 percent higher.

The affordable Samsung WEP470, a small and lightweight, simple-to-use Bluetooth headset, offers superior sound with fully integrated background noise filtering and echo cancellation. Equipped with packet loss concealment technology, the WEP470 can block out background noise similar to Bluetooth products that feature dual microphone technology, but at a much better price.

The WEP470 also features an LED battery level indicator, a dedicated on/off switch and a detachable crystal ear hook that can be worn on either ear for comfort.

All three headsets offer the latest version of Bluetooth technology that extends talk-time use, provides more than one week of standby time and simplifies pairing with your phone.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dolby brings surround sound experience to netbooks

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Dolby Laboratories Inc. recently showcased the first netbook computers incorporating Dolby Headphone technology.

The new Lenovo IdeaPad S12 and S10-2 are lightweight, ultraportable PCs that offer an equally enthralling surround sound experience as desktop or laptop PCs.

Dolby Headphone creates a personal surround sound experience through any set of headphones, allowing listeners to feel immersed in the entertainment. It creates up to five virtual speakers in a virtual room.

This results in a more natural listening sensation, which improves listening comfort and prevents the listener fatigue that often accompanies typical headphone use. Dolby Headphone works with any PC audio source.

“Dolby is synonymous with rich, multichannel audio, and with Dolby Headphone, we’re proving that small portable products like the IdeaPad S12 and S10-2 netbooks need not sacrifice the entertainment experience for size,” said Mary Anderson, Marketing Director, PC Segment, Dolby Laboratories.

“In designing our new IdeaPad S10-2, Lenovo’s main objective was to provide the perfect balance of size, performance, and cost, and with Dolby Headphone, we’re confident that we are also able to deliver a full entertainment experience,” said Wei Jun, VP, Notebook Business Unit of Lenovo Idea Product Group.

“The processing efficiency of Dolby Headphone allows the new IdeaPad S10-2 to process a rich surround sound experience without overburdening the processor and battery life.”

Dolby Headphone technology can be included in almost any product that incorporates a headphone output and can process stereo or multichannel audio, including portable DVD players, PCs, digital TVs, and wireless devices.

Premium tier netbooks take center stage

BOSTON, USA: Netbooks with higher specifications are gradually morphing into very functional, small, form-factor notebooks, as described in the Strategy Analytics updated Wireless Enterprise Strategies service report, “Netbook Vendor Product and Specification Database.”

”The netbook market is no longer only a low-cost market for casual use, as highlighted by the shift in price tiers Strategy Analytics analysts have seen,” commented Andrew Brown, Director of Wireless Enterprise Strategies and author of the report.

“Now available are a number of new models with higher specifications, and mobile broadband bundling, provided by companies like Sony which have enthusiastically entered this market.”

The average price of a netbook is now up to $456, while the most popular price point remains $349 overall. The average price of a Linux-based netbook now stands at $322, with the average price of a Windows-based notebook much higher, at $531.

Over 40 percent of netbooks now even have 160GB hard disk drives. Both Dell and HP are shipping larger, 250GB versions, a trend that Strategy Analytics believes will be replicated by other vendors.

Windows-based netbooks remain the most popular product, with Windows XP Home the most dominant operating system with 55 percent operating system share. Linux-based netbooks, already unpopular, stand at only 23 percent.

Dolby Digital Plus chosen as an audio format for Windows 7

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Dolby Laboratories Inc. announced that Windows 7 will support Dolby Digital Plus to offer high-quality multichannel audio.

Available on the Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions, Dolby Digital Plus will deliver home theater-quality audio to the PC, improving the listening experience of music, movies, or videos.

The next generation of Dolby Digital, the multichannel audio standard for DVDs and select HD broadcasts worldwide, Dolby Digital Plus is a high-efficiency audio codec that maintains the quality of Dolby Digital at a lower data rate and is fully compatible with all current Dolby Digital A/V receivers.

“As Windows 7 amplifies the entertainment experience on the PC, it makes sense that Dolby Digital Plus is selected as the audio format for delivering high-quality surround sound,” said Ramzi Haidamus, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Dolby Laboratories. “With Blu-ray Disc, DTV broadcasts, and rich multimedia delivered through the Internet, Dolby Digital Plus ensures that people will hear outstanding audio on any device.”

“Customers have told us that having a solid media experience is a critical part of their computing experience,” said Mike Nash, Corporate Vice President, Windows Product Management, Microsoft Corp.

“We are delighted to be working with Dolby Laboratories, the leaders in high-quality audio and surround sound, to provide Dolby Digital Plus to our mutual customers. Built into Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise, and Windows 7 Ultimate, Dolby creates a richer entertainment environment at home or on the go.”

The Dolby Digital Plus audio format is a complete audio system that spans Internet-delivered content to terrestrial digital and HDTV services and optical discs. It provides support for up to 7.1 channels and advanced features like bitstream mixing for secondary audio tracks.

Dolby Digital Plus is also the broadcast audio standard for HDTV services in key countries including France, Italy, UK, Spain, and Sweden.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Medion sued for MPEG-2 patent infringement

DENVER, USA: MPEG LA, LLC, a world leader in alternative one-stop patent licenses, announced that several patent holders in MPEG LA’s MPEG-2 Patent Portfolio License have filed separate patent enforcement actions in District Court Dusseldorf, Germany against Medion AG for infringing patents essential to the MPEG-2 digital video compression standard used worldwide in digital television broadcasting and DVD.

According to the complaints, Medion offers in Germany products, such as desktop computers, laptop computers, digital television sets and DVD players, which use patent protected MPEG-2 methods without having entered into licenses with the individual patent holders or a portfolio license that includes these patents offered by MPEG LA.

The suit seeks, among other things, monetary damages and an injunction prohibiting Medion from using MPEG-2 patents in its products and from offering, marketing, or importing them.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tieline Technology announces new IP codec

AUSTRALIA, IBC: Leading codec manufacturer Tieline Technology has announced the development of a low cost, high performance stereo IP codec, for main or backup studio-to-transmitter links, audio distribution and simple remote broadcast links.

"Tieline’s new Bridge-IT IP codec is the perfect solution for low cost, point-to-point IP audio links,” said Darren Levy, Tieline Technology’s International Marketing Manager. "Bridge-IT will deliver studio quality audio over a variety of IP data networks such as wired and wireless WANS, LANS, the Internet, satellite IP, Wi-MAX and Wi-Fi."

Bridge-IT has an SD card slot for failover playback of prerecorded audio and the unit’s user-friendly menus can be fully programmed using comprehensive front panel hardware that includes a keypad and LCD display, or by using a web interface. It is designed for desktop use or two units can be installed side-by-side in a purpose-built 1RU mounting bracket.

"Bridge-IT leverages off the reliability of Tieline’s existing G3 codec range with the inclusion of the QoS Performance Engine technology for managing lossy IP network connections," said Levy.

It will also be SIP-compatible and will connect to all major brands of codecs, as well as to our existing G3 range of codecs. Tieline is also implementing a Traversal server solution for very simple negotiation of firewalls, automatic address book population of other codecs in your network (codec buddy list) and one-touch dialing.

Bridge-IT comes with a range of high performance broadcast algorithms plus optional AAC LC and AAC HE. Standard algorithms include 16 Bit 22kHz linear audio at less than 12 ms encode delay for uncompromised audio, G.711 G.722, MPEG Layer 2 and Tieline Music.

The Tieline MusicPLUS algorithm also provides 22 kHz mono, dual mono and stereo with 20ms encode delay at under 100 kbps, offering huge savings on your IP data bills and outstanding audio quality.

Unlike most low cost IP audio codecs, Bridge-IT has all the broadcast input connectors you would expect on a fully-featured codec. Simultaneous analog and digital AES/EBU audio outputs are provided on XLR connectors and it includes a ¼” (6.35mm) stereo headphone output.

Tieline’s Bridge-IT codec and Traversal server solution will be on display during IBC 2009 at Booth 8.E75 (Hall 8) and is expected to ship in the final quarter of 2009.

Friday, August 14, 2009

InFocus' new wireless technology cuts cord for presenters

WILSONVILLE, USA: InFocus Corp., the industry pioneer in digital projection technology, unveiled its new wireless solution that eliminates the need to have wired connections between computers and select InFocus projectors.

Made possible by a partnership with Wisair, a leading provider of single-chip based wireless USB solutions, the InFocus DisplayLink wireless system allows presenters to easily connect to InFocus DisplayLink-enabled projectors and share HD content on the big screen without wires.

Travelling salespeople and lecturers are no longer bound to projectors by cords; the DisplayLink wireless adapters allow for easy connectivity from anywhere in the boardroom or lecture hall. With little initial set-up required, the DisplayLink wireless system is the ultimate in plug-and-project technology.

Simply plug in the DisplayLink wireless adapters and instantly connect with your InFocus projector from distances of up to 30ft. The new technology allows users to share high-quality content and video with their audience at high-bandwidth speeds of 99Mbps net data rate.

A key feature of the InFocus DisplayLink Wireless solution is the ease of setting up the system. InFocus is using pre-paired adapters, meaning that the PC Adapter and projector are already associated with each other upon purchase. Also, upon initial set-up, an onboard driver in the PC adapter speeds up software installation.

The solution provides peer-to-peer high speed connectivity that does not load the WiFi network nor degrades its performance. In addition, the wireless link between the computer and the projector supports the InFocus DisplayLink Manager, enabling users to control the projector from the PC over the wireless link without the need to physically access the projector.

"In working to develop this technology, our major focus was on making the connection between presenter and projector as seamless as possible," said Stephen John, product manager at InFocus. "Before a presentation, the last thing someone wants to hassle with are cords, or possible delay due to A/V equipment not working right. So we made the InFocus DisplayLink wireless simple: a USB plug and a projector is all you need."

The InFocus DisplayLink Wireless solution is currently compatible with the InFocus IN1100 and IN3100 series, and will be available soon on the IN1500, IN5300 and IN5500 series as well as future DisplayLink-enabled projectors.

SanDisk slotRadio wins “Best of Show” award at 2009 Flash Memory Summit

SANTA CLARA, USA: SanDisk Corp. announced that the slotRadio player has received the 2009 Best of Show award in the Consumer Application category at the fourth annual Flash Memory Summit, held at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

The slotRadio player is a small, stylish, portable device that plays music directly from pre-loaded slotRadio cards, eliminating the hassle of software installations, time-consuming music selection and file-by-file downloading. Most slotRadio cards contain 1,000 songs featuring artists from Billboard top charts. The cards are professionally arranged into a variety of genre-themed playlists.

"SanDisk has delivered a seamless solution for music lovers who want to listen to their favorite songs but don’t want to deal with the hassle of downloading content and creating playlists," said Jay Kramer, chairman of the awards program and vice president, worldwide marketing, SEPATON.

"The slotRadio player and card give listeners instant access to 1,000 songs at an affordable price, and we are proud to select the slotRadio player for the Best of Show Innovation Award."

"We are honored to receive the Best of Show award for the innovative flash memory consumer application that is the slotRadio player and card," said Noam Kedem, vice president, content, SanDisk. "slotRadio entertainment is all about making great music effortless –- and this translates into a quicker and easier experience for consumers who wish to simply enjoy the music without the technological drama."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New cash-for-clunkers cars stop short on tech features

EL SEGUNDO, USA: While the US cash-for-clunkers incentive has been an overwhelming success in terms of spurring sales and retiring gas guzzlers, the most popular cars bought under the program are slightly below average in terms of their technology content, iSuppli Corp. reports.

According to iSuppli’s Technology Availability (TA) index, the Top-10 best-selling cash-for-clunkers cars score an average of 14.5, compared to 17.8 for all model-year 2009 autos in the United States. The TA score indicates how many infotainment and Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) are available for each model.

A range of car technologies is covered by the TA, comprising infotainment functions like navigation, iPod connections and satellite radio, to advanced ADAS features like park assist, Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and telematics services such as General Motors’ OnStar,

“The low TA scores reflect the fact that buyers for the cash-for-clunkers cars are seeking smaller and more fuel-efficient cars, which tend to be low-end models,” said Mark Boyadjis, analyst and regional manager for North American automotive research for iSuppli.

“Despite the proliferation of more advanced technologies throughout carmakers’ lines, automakers still haven’t migrated all these features to these less-expensive vehicles.”

The table presents iSuppli’s TA index for the top-10-selling cash-for-clunkers models.Source: iSuppli, Aug. 2009

Cash for clunkers is no clunker
By August 5, the cash-for-clunkers program had sold more than 184,000 autos. General Motors accounted for 18.7 percent of those cars, followed by Toyota at 17.9 percent, Ford at 16 percent, Honda at 11.6 percent and Chrysler at 10.6 percent.

“The additional $2 billion that Congress allocated this month will bring the cash-for-clunkers sales to about 700,000 units when completed,” said Egil Juliussen, principal analyst and fellow for iSuppli’s Automotive Practice.

The attached table also presents sales for the Top-10 cash-for-clunkers cars in June and July. These 10 cars are different from the models that had the overall highest sales in July; note that the cash-for-clunkers program was only available for the last week of July. The total US auto sales increase from June to July 2009 was 16 percent.

From an environmental perspective, autos sold under the program had an average fuel efficiency of 25.3 Miles Per Gallon (MPG), a 60 percent improvement from 15.8 MPG for the traded-in models, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data through August 5.

Carbon dioxide emission reductions are proportional to MPG improvements, so the environmental impact appears very promising as well.

Infotainment features prevalent
While the top cash-for-clunkers models are far from being loaded from a technology standpoint, they do include some essential infotainment features formerly available only on higher-end vehicles.

Features such as satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity and portable music device integration are widely available on the top-selling models under the cash-for-clunkers program.

All but one model offers Bluetooth connectivity, and three also include Bluetooth A2DP or audio streaming. All of the models offer satellite radio, either XM or Sirius, and six of the models offer USB inputs.

On the other hand, embedded telematics is largely absent from these vehicles, with only the OnStar-equipped 2009 Chevy Cobalt integrating this feature in the form on OnStar.

Ford vehicles offer mobile device telematics using the driver’s Bluetooth phone and have some telematics services, including turn-by-turn navigation, Automatic Collision Notification (ACN), and remote diagnostics programs.

“The Ford Sync option is a hit among Ford buyers and likely contributes to the overwhelming popularity of the top-selling Ford Focus,” Boyadjis observed.

HD Radio is only available on one model: the Ford Escape. This discrepancy is a result of the standardization and saturation of satellite radio in the automotive market, as well as the relative infancy of HD Radio technology in the automobile.

The safety features of the 10 models are much better than the trade-ins since every model has ESC and tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Few of the Top-10 models have added driver assist systems—only two models had park assist and none had any other driver assist systems.

iPhone killers are lifesavers for display demand

EL SEGUNDO, USA: The new generation of so-called “iPhone killers” is set to drive demand and increase sales of displays commonly used in smartphones in 2009, despite an expected decline in the overall mobile-phone display market this year, according to iSuppli Corp.

Worldwide shipments of mobile-phone LCD displays between 2.5-inches and 4.9- inches in size diagonally, and with pixel formats of QVGA and higher, are projected to rise to 149.9 million units in 2009, up an impressive 22.1 percent from 122.8 million in 2008. In contrast, overall shipments of all mobile phone displays are expected to decline by 11 percent for the year.

The figure presents iSuppli’s worldwide shipment for LCD displays sized between 2.5-inches and 4.9 inches diagonally, and with pixel formats of QVGA and higher.

iSuppli: Global Forecast of Unit Shipments of Displays From 2.5-Inches to 4.9-Inches in Size with Pixel Formats QVGA and Higher (Thousands of Units)Source: iSuppli, Aug. 2009

While a large number of smart phones use smaller displays and LCDs with other pixel formats, these displays are most likely to be used in high-end, feature-rich products. Thus, their growth provides an accurate picture of growth in smartphone display demand.

“The continued success of Apple Inc.’s iPhone is driving market demand for competitive products,” said Vinita Jakhanwal, principal analyst for small and medium displays at iSuppli.

“Companies are rolling out a range of iPhone killers, including new products based on Google’s Android operating system. To this end, many OEMs are introducing higher-end, multimedia-enabled phones that include larger displays with superior resolutions.”

The rising demand for smart-phone-oriented displays and the continued strength in demand from the Chinese mobile phone makers are helping propel a recovery in the mobile phone display market, with sequential growth starting in the second quarter, after two consecutive quarter of decline.

Normal seasonal factors, combined with the continued economic downturn and large inventories, caused overall shipments to decline sequentially by 17.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 and by 8.5 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

In the second quarter, shipments actually slowed in May compared to April due to a shortage of components such as driver ICs and LCD glass. However, most of this shortage, particularly for driver ICs, was resolved by June, allowing mobile-phone display shipments to rise by 4.6 percent in the second quarter.

“Early indicators from the Taiwanese small/medium suppliers are pointing to a strong third-quarter performance,” Jakhanwal said.

“The Taiwanese vendors are significant suppliers to the Chinese mobile phone makers for both the branded and clone markets. Incentives from the Chinese government have helped boost demand for consumer electronics, including cell phones, in rural China. The government is looking at expanding this program further.”

The third quarter is usually the strongest period of the year, as panels are shipped to meet the end-year holiday demand for electronic devices. Strong demand is expected from Tier-1 handset OEMs in this quarter, too. However, uncertainty in consumer demand persists. If mobile-phone sales fail to pick up the fourth quarter, oversupply in the mobile phone display market could build up.

Google to acquire On2 Technologies

CLIFTON PARK & MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: On2 Technologies Inc. and Google Inc. jointly announced recently that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Google will acquire On2, a leading developer of video compression technology.

Under the terms of the agreement, each outstanding share of On2 common stock will be converted into $0.60 worth of Google class A common stock in a stock-for-stock transaction. The transaction is valued at approximately $106.5 million.

"Today video is an essential part of the web experience, and we believe high-quality video compression technology should be a part of the web platform," said Sundar Pichai, Vice President, Product Management, Google. "We are committed to innovation in video quality on the web, and we believe that On2's team and technology will help us further that goal."

"We're thrilled that On2 is joining one of the world's most innovative companies," said Matt Frost, interim CEO of On2. "After intensive review of On2 products, Google confirmed our long-held beliefs as to the quality of our video technologies. This transaction is a testament to the hard work of every On2 employee and the strongest possible endorsement of our products and people. On2 will continue to improve, support and sell our products throughout the transition.

"We believe that Google shares our ambitions and know that our products and expertise, combined with Google's globally recognized brand, ingenuity and resources, will create an incredible team."

The number of shares of Google class A common stock to be received by On2 stockholders will be determined by dividing $0.60 per share by the volume weighted average trading price of a share of Google class A common stock based on the sales price of every share of Google class A common stock traded during the twenty trading-day period ending on and including the second trading day prior to the date of the meeting of On2's stockholders to consider and vote on the merger agreement.

$0.60 per share represents a premium of approximately 57 percent over the closing price of On2's common stock on the last trading day immediately prior to the announcement of the transaction, and a premium of approximately 62 percent over the average closing price of On2's common stock for the six month period immediately prior to the announcement of the transaction.

The transaction, which is subject to On2 stockholder approval, regulatory clearances and other closing conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Potter Anderson & Corroon served as legal counsel to Google, and Credit Suisse provided M&A advisory services to Google.

Covington Associates, LLC served as financial advisor to On2 and its board of directors and Duff & Phelps, LLC served as an independent financial advisor to On2's board of directors, and each of them provided an opinion as to the fairness, from a financial point of view, to the public stockholders of On2 of the exchange ratio in the proposed transaction. Hogan & Hartson LLP and Richards, Layton & Finger served as legal counsel to On2.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Marvell intros Qdeo HD video evaluation Blu-ray disk

SANTA CLARA, USA: Marvell Semiconductor Inc., a leader in storage, communications, and consumer silicon solutions, has introduced a new high definition (HD) test disk that enables objective evaluation of the quality of video processing in HD audio-video products like Blu-ray players, AV receivers and HDTVs.

The HD test disk has been designed to provide a mechanism for comprehensive testing of the main elements of video processing, namely noise reduction, format conversion, and image enhancement. The noise reduction test patterns check the ability of the system under test to reduce analog and digital noise.

The format conversion test patterns provide a comprehensive test of the capabilities of the de-interlacing done by the system. The enhancement patterns check for the presence and performance of a variety of leading-edge types of enhancements including detail enhancement, adaptive contrast enhancement, intelligent color remapping, and bit-resolution-expansion.

The disk also includes a set of test patterns for calibration of the video settings of the system, as well as a demonstration section and an HD video montage to show the visual impact of high quality video processing.

"Consumer demand for pristine image quality from HD video systems continues to grow and we're constantly striving to make home theater visual experiences better and better," said Dr. Nikhil Balram, Vice President and General Manager of the Digital Entertainment Business Unit, Communications and Consumer Business Group at Marvell.

"In order to easily differentiate between inferior and superior video processing solutions, and to better appreciate the advances that are being made, manufacturers and reviewers need a comprehensive objective benchmark for HD video processing. We developed the Qdeo HD Video Evaluation Blu-ray Disk with this important need in mind, and hope it will help improve the home theater experience for end-users."

Marvell's high-definition digital entertainment solutions are designed to enable world-class media processing and provide consumers with groundbreaking visual experiences.

The availability of objective video quality testing is intended to help educate the market and consumer about the differences between high quality video processing like Qdeo versus commodity processing offered by many other solutions in the market.

2010 CES puts spotlight on digital imaging showcase

ARLINGTON, USA: The 2010 International CES® will feature top companies with the latest products in digital imaging hardware and software in its Digital Imaging Showcase.

Produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the 2010 International CES, the world’s largest tradeshow for consumer technology, returns to Las Vegas, January 7-10, 2010.

“Digital imaging connects consumers and their memories across multiple product categories,” said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, events and conferences, CEA. “With consumers looking to improve the quality of their digital libraries, the Digital Imaging Showcase at this year’s CES will be bigger than ever before, as innovative companies exhibit their latest products.”

Digital imaging -- and high quality digital cameras in particular -- remain a central focus for consumers, as household penetration of digital cameras reaches nearly 80 percent and shipments of digital cameras featuring more than 10 megapixels are projected to increase by 237 percent in 2009. Shipments of digital cameras will generate $6 billion in sales in 2009, with more than 30.5 million units sold.

The Digital Imaging Showcase will feature more than 37,000 square feet of exhibit space, with more than 60 exhibitors in South Hall 3 of the Las Vegas Convention Center. This dedicated exhibit area will feature all aspects of the imaging product category, including cameras and capture devices, storage, software, printers, kiosks, bags and accessories.

Top imaging companies will be featured at the 2010 CES such as ATP, Kodak, Iomega, Tiffen, Wacom and Wynit. Other major imaging companies exhibiting at the 2010 CES include Canon, Casio, Fuji, JVC, Lowepro, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony.

The 2010 International CES will feature the latest consumer technology products throughout 30 product categories including digital entertainment, high-performance audio, digital imaging, electronic gaming and more.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

USB market will get SuperSpeed boost after slower 2009

SCOTTSDALE, USA: With over 3 billion devices shipped in 2008 alone, USB is the most successful interface ever, according to In-Stat.

Fueled by new “SuperSpeed” technology, also known as USB 3.0, and continued adoption across computing, communication and consumer devices, over 4 billion USB-enabled devices will ship in 2013 representing a 6.6 percent CAGR compared to 2008.

Among the key growth segments for USB-enabled devices are:
* Digital TVs with USB will grow to 140 million units shipped in 2013.
* USB-enabled LCD PC monitors will grow to about 70 million units, propelled by a CAGR of over 150 percent.
* Blue-ray DVD players with USB will see a CAGR of over 90 percent.

These growth segments will complement the enormous volume of markets such as handsets, where internal USB capability can be found in more than 1 billion units shipped annually, and where USB ports are becoming much more common.

“USB dominates its traditional applications while simultaneously spreading into new applications,” says Brian O’Rourke, In-Stat analyst. “SuperSpeed USB silicon vendors hope to open up the number of applications, hence increasing the potential for device interaction and enlarging the USB ecosystem.”