Friday, October 30, 2009

RDP 7 available on 10ZiG Windows embedded standard thin clients

PHOENIX, USA:10ZiG Technology (formerly BOSaNOVA Inc.), the emerging market leader in development of thin clients and network appliances, announced the availability of RDP 7 on 10ZiG Windows Embedded standard thin clients.

RDP 7, announced yesterday, offers enhancements which provide an improved end user experience. Not only is performance enhanced, the latest release of RDP boasts features including bi-directional audio (for VoIP support), enhanced multi-monitor support, multi-media redirection, and more. 10ZiG has a wide range of Windows Embedded Standard Thin Clients available with RDP 7 including the V-Series units which are designed for virtual desktops.

“This release was much anticipated and we’re pleased to be one of the first thin client vendors to announce the availability of RDP 7. RDP 7 paired with 10ZiG Thin Clients provides an enhanced end user experience and improved performance,” comments Martin Pladgeman, 10ZiG Technology President.

“We pride ourselves on our flexibility and ability to stay on top of technology allowing us to immediately offer RDP 7 in addition to being one of the first to offer support for the newest release of Citrix HDX.”

10ZiG’s Windows Embedded Standard Thin Clients are available for purchase through 10ZiG resellers.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Axis strengthens its network video systems with latest offerings

INDIA: Axis Communications, the market leader within network video, announced its first network video camera with ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) support, highest video quality pan/tilt/zoom camera with HDTV performance and 18x zoom for indoor surveillance applications and several new products that help strengthen its network video system offerings.

The firmware version 5.10 for AXIS P3301 Fixed Dome Network Camera includes support for ONVIF, the global interface specification for network video products. “This demonstrates our commitment to supporting the ONVIF specification in our products,” says Erik Frännlid, Director of Product Management at Axis Communications.

“This is only the first step in the company’s strategy to provide ONVIF support in its network video products. Moving forward, we will implement ONVIF support in the majority of our network video products, either directly at launch or in firmware updates.”

ONVIF was founded in 2008 with the goal to develop a global standard for the interface of network video products. The forum has already attracted more than 90 member companies and according to a recent analysis by IMS Research, ONVIF members command nearly 60 percent of the market revenues for network video surveillance equipment.

Axis introduced its highest video quality pan/tilt/zoom camera with HDTV performance and 18x zoom for indoor surveillance applications. Together with an IP51-rated protection against dust and dripping water, the AXIS P5534 PTZ Dome Network Camera is ideal for use at airports, train stations, warehouses, shops and schools.

AXIS P5534 offers HDTV 720p in compliance with the SMPTE 296M standard of 1280 x 720 pixel resolution, full frame rate, high color fidelity and a 16:9 format. The camera can deliver multiple, individually configurable H.264 and Motion JPEG video streams simultaneously.

H.264 greatly optimizes bandwidth and storage use without compromising image quality, while Motion JPEG is supported for increased flexibility. AXIS P5534 also has day and night functionality for high image quality in low light conditions.

Apart from the above, the latest offerings from Axis, includes:

* AXIS P7701 Video Decoder with support for H.264
AXIS P7701 provides a simple monitoring solution by enabling analog or digital monitors/projectors to connect to and display live video from Axis network cameras and video encoders. AXIS P7701 is ideal for use with a public view monitor, and in large and small surveillance systems. The video decoder can decode full frame rate video streams in H.264, MPEG-4 and Motion JPEG in all resolutions up to D1 (720x480 pixels in NTSC, 720x576 in PAL) and provide either digital or analog video output.

Video from any number of cameras can be shown in sequence. When an alarm is triggered in a network camera or video encoder, AXIS P7701 can be configured to automatically display alarm-triggered video. AXIS P7701 also decodes mono audio. The video decoder can be powered either through Power over Ethernet (PoE) or through an external power supply.

* AXIS P8221 Network I/O Audio Module
AXIS P8221 provides eight configurable input/output (I/O) ports and audio capabilities to a network video system that either does not have such support or require additional support. Sensors such as a door switch, smoke detector, IR detector or glass break detector—used for triggering an alarm event—can be connected as inputs on AXIS P8221.

Output ports can be connected to control devices or relays, for instance, to open/close doors or turn on/off lights upon alarm. AXIS P8221 supports two-way audio and has a built-in low power amplifier for small speakers so there is no need for an external preamplifier. It also has phantom power for a balanced microphone.

* AXIS T8412 Installation Display, a device that makes it easier to set up a camera
AXIS T8412 is a battery-powered handheld device that greatly simplifies the field installation of both Axis network cameras and analog cameras. It displays live video from a camera and makes setting a camera’s viewing angle and focus at the installation site easier than with the use of a laptop or remote computer. It offers user-friendly features such as touchscreen, zoom and snapshot functions.

AXIS T8412 can connect directly to a camera, or to a network and search for Axis network video products. An Axis camera with built-in PoE support can even be powered directly by AXIS T8412, which gives installers greater flexibility.

Mixed Signals and Miranda to deliver industry's most comprehensive video monitoring solution

DENVER, USA: At the Cable-Tec Expo 2009, Mixed Signals, the leading provider of digital content monitoring solutions, and Miranda Technologies, a manufacturer of high-performance hardware and software for the television broadcast industry, announced a joint solution that enables video service providers to ensure an exceptional quality of experience (QoE) for viewers.

The solution is a pairing of Mixed Signals’ award-winning Sentry® digital content monitor with Miranda’s proven iControl Quality of Experience monitoring system, to create a complete and cost-effective monitoring solution.

“Partnering with Miranda expands the reach of Sentry into other vertical markets, including broadcasters and content providers, where Miranda has established a well-deserved reputation for excellence,” said Eric Conley, CEO of Mixed Signals. “With Miranda, we can offer an enhanced QoE monitoring solution to the industry and expand our customer base, which already includes nine of the top 10 major US MSOs.”

With the Mixed Signals and Miranda integrated solution, video service providers can cost-effectively and visually track service quality, from end to end in real time across hundreds of programs, and perform the following:

* Monitor video service quality and manage operations based on viewers’ actual video and audio QoE.
* Set different priority alerts based on how much and how long customers are impacted by video and audio errors.
* Track subscribers’ QoE by service (or program) from acquisition to the network edge.
* Make timely decisions on fail over to minimize customer impact and increase service up time.
* Simplify operations by pinpointing the source of the problem and reducing the amount of alerts generated.

IDC expects slow recovery for digital frames market

FRAMINGHAM, USA: Digital photo frames have proven to be a popular option for enjoying the digital images captured by a growing number of camera-enabled devices. Unfortunately, the market has been directly impacted by the global economic downturn, which has caused a sharp reduction in discretionary consumer spending.

IDC now expects the market will experience two years of negative growth in 2009 and 2010, followed by a slow recovery and returning to pre-recession shipment levels in 2013.

With 9.1 million units shipped in 2008, the worldwide digital frame market achieved year-over-year growth of 6.3 percent. The United States was the dominant region in 2008 with shipments of nearly 5.9 million units.

The worldwide market is expected to decline by nearly 10 percent in 2009 with shipments falling to 8.2 million units while the US market will decline by 11 percent. Single digit growth is forecast to resume in 2011 and continue to improve throughout the rest of the forecast period, resulting in a 2008-2013 CAGR of 0.4 percent.

The 7-8.9 inch frame category was the most popular market segment in 2008, representing nearly two thirds of the 9.1 million units shipped. Looking ahead, IDC expects this category will continue to represent the lion's share of the market, although the 9-10.9 inch category is expected make notable gains over the next four years. Average selling prices (ASPs) will continue to decline throughout the forecast period with more than 60 vendors globally competing for market share.

"While the recession has been a major factor inhibiting demand for digital frames, the market has also been hurt by other factors – unsatisfactory user experiences, a limited number of repeat buyers, and the complexity of updating frame content," said Ron Glaz, program director for IDC's Digital Capture Devices and Photofinishing research.

"To overcome these problems, future digital frames will need to seamlessly fit into the evolving digital home content ecosystem by supporting easy access to personal digital content for display."

The features that digital frames will need to incorporate to fit within the home ecosystem are multiple interfaces, such as, WiFi, USB, and memory slots, for quick and easy access to content, and imaging features that eliminate the need to pre-edit images prior to uploading to the frame.

The inclusion of wireless technology within the digital frame has been particularly slow, largely due to cost. However, IDC expects this to change over the next several years with nearly two thirds of the digital frames shipped in 2013 incorporating wireless technology.

Toshiba turns to DisplayLink USB graphics technology for universal wireless docking station

PALO ALTO, USA: DisplayLink Corp.’s innovative USB graphics technology is helping Toshiba deliver completely simple, cable-free multi-monitor computing.

Toshiba’s new universal dynadock wireless U USB docking station features wireless USB technology that eliminates the need for a cable between the docking station and laptop, even for displaying multi-monitor graphics. Thanks to DisplayLink’s DL-160 silicon and software solution integrated into the dock, users can wirelessly connect their laptops to an extra VGA or DVI monitor with up to 1680 x 1050 resolution.

Coupled with the docking station’s “automatic connectivity” feature, that means laptop users in wireless range quickly and seamlessly access the productivity of an additional monitor – giving them more screen space for business tools, social media applications and other online programs they need. In addition, business travelers surfing from desk to desk can slide into any docking station area and be working on a bigger screen in an instant.

“DisplayLink’s USB graphics technology is key to helping Toshiba deliver on the promise of a ‘world without wires,’” said Dennis Crespo, executive vice president of marketing and business development for DisplayLink. “The dynadock wireless U has universal compatibility that is sure to be appealing to businesses and consumers alike.”

The new dynadock wireless U USB docking station follows the previous generation of dynadock U USB-connected docking stations, which also relied on DisplayLink technology to deliver graphics via USB.

Other features of the new wireless dock include a “one touch” undock button to ensure all peripherals shut down properly when undocking, six USB 2.0 ports including two that provide power to charge cell phones and MP3 players, dedicated wireless radio, and easy-to-install video and audio drivers. It will be compatible with all versions of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 and Mac OS X and Snow Leopard.

The Toshiba dynadock wireless U USB docking station is available mid-September from major consumer electronics and computer stores or at www.toshibadirect.com for an estimated retail price of $299.99.

Indilinx, Cavium Networks and Narinet bring industrial grade SSD into networking storage systems

MILPITAS, USA: INDILINX announced that INDILINX’s Barefoot Solid State Drive (SSD) controllers with its proprietary Ndurance technology, in collaboration with Cavium Networks, a leading provider of highly integrated semiconductor products that enable intelligent processing for networking, communications, storage, wireless and video applications, are integrated into Narinet family of xTCA Networking Storage Systems setting with unprecedented performance aimed for IPTV, 3G wireless, LTE, and security applications.

The collaboration between three companies demonstrates how SSDs based on Indilinx Barefoot SSD controller solutions can be used in the telecommunication and networking industrial market.

Narinet’s xTCA Networking Storage Systems (NSTM-1000/NSTM-1010/NSTM-200) configured with Cavium Network OCTEON processor and Indilinx Barefoot SSD controller with proprietary Ndurance technology solution deliver new level of cost reduction by reducing the overall footprint of the system design and energy consumption, while providing higher levels of performance and lifespan of SSDs that would otherwise be difficult to achieve without using multiple number of hard disk drives.

The result is unparalleled rendering of significant total reduction in total cost of ownership of the entire networking storage system. In addition to the SSD controller, Indilinx provides optimized file system, streaming, and I/O scheduling technology solutions to Narinet xTCA networking storage systems for the most reliable, dependable, and highest performance.

“The value added by tight integration of the Cavium Networks OCTEON multi-core processor and Indilinx Barefoot SSD controller & solutions is the key differentiator behind our partnership,” said Taeck Geun Kwon, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Narinet.

“The recent multimedia applications such as IPTV and wireless data service put a lot higher expectation on the role and the performance on the storage subsystem in ATCA platforms, which boosts the increasing demand by cable and wireless operators worldwide. The proven combined value added solutions will provide an optimized storage solution for various ATCA based application platforms such as IPTV, security, and cloud computing – and adds up our technology competency and continued leadership in the ATCA storage market.”

“We are very pleased to announce that Indilinx Barefoot SSD controller solution is apt to industrial segment such as in telecommunication and networking market in which the requirements are rigorous 24 x 7 operations,” said Bumsoo Kim, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Indilinx.

“The joint collaboration between three companies, Indilinx, Cavium Networks, and Narinet shows how excellent technologies can be integrated together to deliver the best in the class products. This announcement represents the fact that Indilinx SSD controllers are not just for enthusiast market but a serious contender for industrial and OEM markets in which require much more robust and extensive storage qualification processes.”

“Cavium Networks’ OCTEON multi-core MIPS64 processors offer simultaneous high performance for both networking packets/sec and storage IOPS,” said Amer Haider, Sr. Director of Corporate and Business Development at Cavium Networks. “Narinet has put together a compelling solution for OEMS building network and storage applications for event logging, streaming and back-up. We look forward to working together with Indilinx to continue to provide tightly integrated high performance SSD based networked storage solutions.”

Narinet network storage blade systems with Cavium Networks OCTEON processor and Indilinx Barefoot SSD controller solutions are available now.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

JVC announces popularly-priced Blu-ray player

WAYNE, USA: JVC today announced the availability of a new entry-level Blu-ray player.

The new JVC XV-BP11 is a truly versatile high definition player, offering playback of high definition Blu-ray discs, plus playback of the AVCHD format, the high definition format widely used for HD camcorders, including the JVC HD Everio line.

JVC XV-BP11 Features
Playable Discs: BD-Rom, BD-R/RE, DVD-Video, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, Audio CD, CD-R/RW
Playable Formats: AVCHD, WMV, JPEG, MP3, WMA, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital plus, Dolby True HD, DTS, DTS HD Master Audio/Essential
Connections:
o Video: HDMI V1.3, composite.
o Audio: Analog L/R, coaxial, HDMI V1.3.
o USB Host (front panel).

Convenience Features: Quick loading, cinema zoom (x16), parental lock, slim design

The new JVC XV-BP11 Blu-ray player is available immediately for $199.95.

Xerox scientists develop “Silver Bullet” needed to replace silicon circuits with low-cost, durable plastic

MISSISSAUGA, CANADA: With the development of a new silver ink, Xerox scientists have paved the way for commercialization and low-cost manufacturing of printable electronics.

Printable electronics offers manufacturers a very low-cost way to add “intelligence” or computing power to a wide range of surfaces such as plastic or fabric. This development will aid the commercialization of new applications such as “smart” pill boxes that track how much medication a patient has taken or display screens that roll up to fit into a briefcase.

“For years, there’s been a global race to find a low-cost way to manufacture plastic circuits,” said Paul Smith, laboratory manager, Xerox Research Centre of Canada. “We’ve found the silver bullet that could make things like electronic clothing and inexpensive games a reality today. This breakthrough means the industry now has the capability to print electronics on a wider range of materials and at a lower cost.”

Until now, bringing low-cost electronics to the masses has been hindered by the logistics and costs associated with silicon chip manufacturing; the breakthrough low-temperature silver ink overcomes the cost hurdle, printing reliably on a wide range of surfaces such as plastic or fabric.

As part of its commercialization initiatives, Xerox plans to aggressively seek interested manufacturers and developers by providing sample materials to allow them to test and evaluate potential applications.

Integrated circuits are made up of three components – a semiconductor, a conductor and a dielectric element – and currently are manufactured in costly silicon chip fabricating factories. By creating a breakthrough silver ink to print the conductor, Xerox has developed all three of the materials necessary for printing plastic circuits.

Using Xerox’s new technology, circuits can be printed just like a continuous feed document without the extensive clean room facilities required in current chip manufacturing. In addition, scientists have improved their previously developed semiconductor ink, increasing its reliability by formulating the ink so that the molecules precisely align themselves in the best configuration to conduct electricity.

The printed electronics materials, developed at the Xerox Research Centre of Canada, enable product manufacturers to put electronic circuits on plastics, film, and textiles. Printable circuits could be used in a broad range of products, including low-cost radio frequency identification tags, light and flexible e-readers and signage, sensors, solar cells and novelty applications including wearable electronics.

“We will be able to print circuits in almost any size from smaller custom-sized circuits to larger formats such as wider rolls of plastic sheets –unheard of in today’s silicon-wafer industry,” said Hadi Mahabadi, vice president and center manager of Xerox Research Centre Canada. “We are taking this technology to product developers to enable them to design tomorrow’s uses for printable electronics.”

R&D samples of the materials including the new conductive silver ink are available by contacting Xerox.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

LifeSize resets bar for mainstream telepresence

MUMBAI, INDIA: LifeSize Communications, Inc., the global leader in high definition video communications, today announced another series of industry firsts with the new LifeSize® 220 Series products.

Introducing the first embedded Full HD multipoint control unit supporting up to eight sites, the first HD video system with embedded Full HD MCU for under $12,000 and the first full HD video communications system for under $7000. With full HD across the 220 series, telepresence has never been more flexible or accessible to any company and any environment.

The LifeSize 220 series sets new price-performance levels for telepresence. The 220 series support 1080p30 video for the highest resolution, as well as 720p 60 video for ultimate motion handling.

Dual display support, integrated content sharing and LifeSize Adaptive Motion Control are standard features on 220 series products, enabling distributed teams to collaborate in real time as effectively as if theyre physically in the same room.

The 220 series is designed to enable companies to scale their telepresence networks. Priced for broad deployment and uniquely flexible, LifeSize 220 series systems deliver HD video at just 768kbps, extending the reach of telepresence communications to any office or any size business, such as to healthcare providers extending care to rural communities or to educational institutions enriching their curriculum through visual communication.

Utilizing the proven LifeSize architecture, LifeSize systems uniquely adapt to any network environment and seamlessly integrate into the enterprise IT framework.

Europe becomes key region for electronic goods as US concedes ground

EUROPE: Figures released recently have revealed that Western Europe (19 percent of global total) will surpass North America (18 percent) as the region with the largest volume share of technical consumer goods (TCG) in 2009.

Sales of the three main categories of the electronics market (mobile phones, TVs and PC) in Western Europe will rise by 2 percent over 2008 to reach $131 billion whereas North America will experience a substantial decline of 12 percent.

The financial crisis has taken its toll on the industry, with the global TCG market valued at $681 billion for 2009, falling by 2 percent over 2008. This is still an increase of 12 percent over the 2007 figure, however.

Japan saw the most impressive climb (+19 percent) although no region accelerated their rate compared to 2008. The Eastern Europe market declined most dramatically – falling by 36 percent in 2009 over 2008.

In terms of products, sales of LCD TVs have risen much higher than expected, to reach a global total of 145 million sets sold in 2009, compared to 108 million in 2008.

The findings are based on real, POS sales data from over 400,000 retailers worldwide through GfK Retail and Technology’s recently launched ‘Digital World’ forecasting service.

Working with the CEA, the US industry authority, this brand new comprehensive global database allows all those with an interest in the IT, Telco and CE markets to compare, contrast and forecast their portfolios in detail for the first time.

Entropic, Advanced Digital Broadcast announce first MoCA 1.1 certified STB

SAN DIEGO & BROOMFIELD, USA: Entropic Communications Inc., a leading provider of silicon and software solutions to enable connected home entertainment, and Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB), a leading supplier of technology to the global digital TV industry, announced that Advanced Digital Broadcast's ADB-6882CDMX set-top box has become the industry's first MoCA 1.1 certified cable set-top box.

The ADB-6882CDMX is designed specifically for Multiple System Operator (MSO) to offer new home networking options to their subscribers.

The ADB-6882CDMX is powered by Entropic's EN2210/EN1010, MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance) compliant chipset, which enables a complete coaxial network solution for the distribution of multiple streams of HD video, broadband data and other digital content throughout the home.

The ADB-6882CDMX delivers the newest features and performance enhancements of MoCA 1.1, the standard for home entertainment networking, using existing coaxial cable in the home and providing superior throughput and range versus other wired and wireless networking technologies available today.

"By using Entropic's market leading silicon and leveraging their proven MoCA deployment experience we are bringing to market the first MoCA 1.1 certified set-top box to cable operators," said Tim Schermerhorn, senior vice president and general manager of Advanced Digital Broadcast's Americas cable business unit.

"Entropic's silicon solutions combined with ADB's set-top box design and engineering expertise offer MSOs the most advanced, robust technology today for connected home entertainment applications based on the MoCA standard."

"This is a significant milestone for the MoCA standard worldwide and we congratulate Entropic and ADB for developing the industry's first STB to receive MoCA 1.1 certification," said Rob Gelphman, chair, Marketing Work Group, Multimedia over Coax Alliance. "By working with ADB, a top-tier European vendor, to develop this STB, Entropic continues to build momentum and promote their commitment to the MoCA standard for worldwide adoption in both the cable industry and home networking market."

The MoCA 1.1 certified ADB-6882CDMX will take advantage of the breadth of features that the latest MoCA standard offers including:

* Turning existing coax wiring into a high-powered home entertainment network for streaming HD movies and multi-room content sharing.
* Higher network throughput over MoCA 1.0, up to 175 Mbps of application layer throughput.
* Increased network size of up to 16 MoCA devices.
* Built in network management support for gathering data rate statistics.
* Service operator class robustness and reliability with support for Parameterized Quality of Service (PQoS) protected delivery of premium content across the home network.
* Fueling the future convergence of high-bandwidth, personal content applications without compromising the delivery of premium service offerings.

"This MoCA 1.1 certification for an advanced cable STB provides further momentum for MoCA as the de facto standard for home entertainment networking providing new ways to experience and consume multimedia content in the home," said Vinay Gokhale, senior vice president marketing and business development, Entropic.

"ADB's selection of Entropic's silicon is a testament to our commitment to deploy a complete and comprehensive value set for increased performance, ease of use, lower power consumption and reduced implementation cost. By working with ADB to deliver this STB, we continue to lead the charge in the evolution of home entertainment networking."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Power electronic in electric and hybrid vehicles

LYON, FRANCE: The HEV/EV power module market stands at $ 300 million in 2009 and is likely to grow strongly until 2020 at a growth rate close to 30 percent to reach $ 5 billion in 2020. This booming market may use SiC or GaN technologies before 2020.

Yole DĂ©veloppement has released its brand new report Power Electronic in Electric & Hybrid Vehicles.

This report presents the detailed major market metrics of the current and projected HEV/EV power module, power devices and substrate business, describing the HEV/EV market and architecture, the power devices applications, the key players, the supply-chain, the volumes and related market size of each segment.

A $5-billion power module market in 2020
Toyota, the world leading car producer, has been dominant on the hybrid market up to now, but this niche market is becoming a must for car makers as the focus on car C02 emissions intensifies. Hybrid is defined in different levels: micro, mild, full, and plug in hybrid.

Micro hybrid will see the highest growth due to its low cost and easy integration, specifically in Europe. Mild and full hybrid will continue their strong penetration in the US market. Plug-in hybrid is a bridge to EV technology, and uses the same high voltage battery technology and plug-to-grid for recharge.

EV car business will really ramp up in 2010 with the arrival of big car makers (Mitsubishi, Renault, GM, Ford, Daimler). Limited drive range (40 miles) and high cost, are still issues, but it is expected that huge investments in new Li-ion batteries will increase the performance/cost ratio of EVs.

Globally, more than 17 million cars will be hybrid or electric in 2015 and some forecasters suggest sales will reach 50 million units in 2020, meaning half of the cars produced.

Power electronics are a key technology for hybrids and represent 20 percent of the material costs. It is even bigger for EV cars. HEV/EV power devices are used in DC/DC converters and DC/AC inverters. There are various configurations depending on the hybrid version and car makers’ choices.

Inverters are roughly the same for full hybrid, plug in hybrid and EV cars with an average power of 50 kW. This application alone represent 74 percent of the total power module market for HEV and EV cars in 2009.

IGBT is the device of choice for such high power applications and represents 80 percent of the total HEV/EV power module market. Standard voltage of IGBT devices is 650V but there is a trend to increase it. It is still unknown if it will be 700/800V or directly 1.2kV which is already a standard.

The HEV/EV power module market stands at $300M in 2009 and is expected to grow strongly until 2020 at a growth rate close to 30 percent to reach $5B in 2020. Today, the power module market is mainly dominated by Toyota who manufactures the module internally. With the near universal involvement of other car makers, semiconductor companies (Infineon, Fuji, Mitsubishi, STM…) will enter the market and will take a big market share in the power device pie.

As HEV and EV remain expensive, car makers and tier one suppliers want to cut the cost. Power modules represent about 50 percent of the inverter and converter cost so power module cost reduction is the main goal of all the market players. It is expected that the power module average cost will be reduced by more than 25% in the coming years.

HEV/EV power devices value chain
Up to now, Toyota was dominating the HEV market and power module value chain. With the market growth and arrival of many players at the different levels (car makers, tier one suppliers, semi conductor companies), the landscape will change drastically.

Automotive tier one suppliers invest heavily in HEV/EV powertrain and will play an important role in HEV/EV power devices value chain: Bosch, Continental, Valeo, Delphi, Denso, Hitachi…. They have the knowledge of specific automotive requirements that are very stringent for power devices. Some of them design the power modules themselves to cut the cost.

At the same time, semiconductor companies try to climb the value chain by developing new power modules. Hence, it will be a hard time in the next years for power modules manufacturers to find a significant place on the HEV/EV market.

SiC and GaN: key technologies for HEV/EV power device applications?
Several companies (Mitsubishi, Rohm, Toyota, …) have developed inverter prototypes based on SiC diodes and switches that show significant size reduction up to ¼ of the size with silicon devices.

SiC has clear advantages in HEV/EV applications (better power density, less losses, higher operating temperature) but cost pressure for automotive is a big challenge. To succeed, the availability of SiC switches is paramount because it would allow reduction of the cooling systems cost.

At the same time, SiC devices cost would need to be significantly reduced and the passive components and packaging adapted to support high operating temperatures.

If the SiC devices cost can be reduced, then SiC may be an option for HEV and EV. Maybe, it will be introduced first in EV applications that are more sensitive to losses to gain distance range.

GaN is another possible option thanks to its better performance/cost ratio compared to SiC. Toyota and many other companies evaluate this solution and consider that if SiC cost can’t be reduce, it would be an affordable substrate specially for inverter application that is very cost sensitive.

This report presents the detailed major market metrics of the current and projected HEV/EV power module, power devices and substrate business, describing the HEV/EV market and architecture, the power devices applications, the key players, the supply-chain, the volumes and related market size of each segment.

It gives the possible total accessible market for SiC and GaN, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of those materials over the current established silicon technologies.

Windows 7: Kick-start that IT services industry needs or another dud?

Jens Butler, Principal Analyst & Adam Jura, Senior Analyst, Ovum

UK: Apparently, there’s never been a better time to be a PC. There may also never be a better time to be a systems integrator. However, the inclusion of some core functionality may bring about pitfalls for some software and managed services vendors.

On the back of the obligatory marketing blitz, Microsoft upgraded its core Windows platform offering to Version 7 yesterday. Initially, there appears to be a collective sigh of relief and the early feedback is generally positive despite a few niggles.

With over 8 million beta downloads, 40,000 hours of customer experience work, months of working with partner ecosystems and over 500 million client feedback sessions, Microsoft has certainly attempted to reveal more during the development process and to use the customer as the guiding light.

Interestingly, Microsoft took an alternative approach by focusing on the customer concerns first: security, reliability, compatibility and speed, and needing the PC to “just work” and not hinder them. Then, and only then, did the obligatory ‘feature fest’ come into play, with offerings such as multi-touch, remote streaming, DirectAccess, Search Federation, BitLocker and group sharing.

Microsoft could be systems integration industry’s saviour
Beyond the impact of the global financial crisis on discretionary spend, there has been a distinct drop-off in organisational uptake of regular transitions to the ‘next’ Windows release.

There are many XP instances that are eight years old or more –- a consequence of the general rejection of the transition to Vista. With Extended Support for XP due to be phased out by Microsoft in 2014, the clock is ticking and pent-up demand for a new platform certainly exists. Enterprise customers signed up to Software Assurance also want to see something for their money, especially if they missed out Vista.

From an IT services providers’ perspective, particularly those offering systems integration services, this could well be the shot in the arm that initiates a wave of implementation work moving into 2010 and beyond, especially when aligned with the current hardware refresh cycle.

After substantial training from Microsoft, systems integrators are now able to provide a suite of services to help minimise the pain of what could be one of the first large IT projects after the global financial crisis.

Not all partners will be happy
For some partners, the inclusion of additional functionality within Windows 7 could negatively impact potential revenues. Windows 7’s DirectAccess technology enables remote workers access to corporate networks without a VPN, which could impact some of Microsoft’s partners.

Microsoft believes that this will not hurt partners too much, expecting them to provide more functional, value-driven VPN solutions. Expect the security area to be greatly analysed.

Of greatest concern is the impact that running Windows 7 will have on existing customer business applications, and especially ERP offerings, often developed for the XP platform. While Ovum expects some teething problems for those with a large portfolio of in-house developed applications, much functionality will be retained.

The XP mode, still somewhat an unknown quantity in enterprise environments, has the potential to facilitate XP-only applications. Rigorous testing procedures (be they internal or externally provisioned) will need to be carried out to ensure that critical application downtime and impact is minimised and the line of business offerings fully supported.

Microsoft still retains a consulting and services practice, which is designed to support systems integrators and other services partners in complex or challenging implementations, providing some degree of risk mitigation.

Positives should outweigh negatives
Overall we are positive about the release of Windows 7, particularly for the enterprise market, where adoption interest is expected to be strong in the next 12 months.

However, this is not a green light for upgrading without rigorous costing and planning initiatives. In addition, it provides a substantial opportunity to ‘clean up’ systems and rationalise the enterprise applications estate.

While there will no doubt be initial issues around both pricing clarity and integration, the overall increased functionality, reliability and efficiency provided should outweigh the negatives. In our eyes the timing couldn’t have been better, with the release aligning nicely with enterprise and hardware upgrade cycles, a slight easing of the pressure on IT budgets and increased focus on building foundations for 2010 and beyond.

Critically, Microsoft has involved a wider number of stakeholders and has worked closely with its mission-critical partner ecosystem to give the product more chance of getting to market quickly and in a cleaner state.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Microsoft simplifies the PC with Windows 7

NEW YORK, USA: Microsoft Corp. announced the worldwide availability of its new Windows 7 operating system. Windows 7 delivers on a simple premise: make it easier for people to do the things they want on a PC.

The new operating system offers a streamlined user interface and significant new features that make everyday tasks easier and allow people to get the most out of computers of all styles and sizes.

“With Windows 7, there’s never been a better time to be a PC,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “Together with our partners, we’re bringing more choice, flexibility and value to the market than ever before. With Windows 7, you’re sure to find a PC that fits your life.”

Building Windows 7 has been a collaborative process from the beginning, with Microsoft’s engineers and designers working with customers and partners to build an operating system that delivers on the vision of the PC, simplified. In a speech in New York, Ballmer thanked the millions of volunteers who helped improve the product by testing early versions.

“A project with the global customer reach of Windows can only be done as a team,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, speaking at a launch event in Tokyo. “We are grateful for the valuable contributions from customers, partners and developers around the world that helped make Windows 7 such a collaborative project.”

On sale worldwide
The global availability of Windows 7 is joined by an unprecedented array of new PCs and software programs. With more PC options available for customers today at a wide range of price points starting under $300, customers can choose the PC that fits their personality, style and needs, from netbooks, ultrathin notebooks and highly interactive multitouch laptops to all-in-one desktops and high-end, water-cooled gaming machines.

A newly launched section of Windows.com called PC Scout will guide users through selecting and purchasing the right PC. Customers can purchase PCs with Windows 7 or software upgrades online or in-store from technology retailers or at the new Microsoft Store, launching in its first retail location in Scottsdale, Ariz., and expanded online.

Retailers and technology partners are also featuring a series of limited-time offers for customers looking for great deals on Windows 7-based PCs, devices and software. Information on these offers can be found at http://www.windows.com.

To show how Windows 7 simplifies the PC, today Microsoft is launching the next wave of its global “I’m a PC” campaign. The global enthusiasm of Windows users is also contributing to the way many people around the world will experience Windows 7 for the first time. Tens of thousands of customers have volunteered to host launch parties or meet-ups beginning today, showing off Windows 7 to friends and family members.

Windows 7 launch - No better time to be involved

Jens Butler, Principal Analyst, Ovum

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: According to the Oct 22nd launch marketing blitz, there’s never been a better time to be a PC. It may also never be a better time to be a systems integrator, given that this launch fits into the timing of PC upgrade cycles, and the ageing and retirement of Windows XP with the ending of official Microsoft support in April, 2009.

Ovum expects to see significant interest in adoption in 2010 and which will in turn have a positive impact across the whole PC ecosystem (hardware suppliers, applications developers, systems integrators and channel providers, for example).

From a buyer perspective, Ovum expects the Windows 7 launch as an opportunity to undertake some serious housekeeping, especially for organizations that have stuck with XP.

One has to give Microsoft credit, this version of the Windows platform has had far more engagement with stakeholders than previous versions, with users (consumer and enterprise) and partners having substantial input, with specific demands for security, reliability and speed being the development cornerstones. Microsoft has also driven through its shortest beta testing cycle ever – cynically, one could say it needed to be.

Overall, the messaging of simplicity, choice and value seems to resonate, and it has the potential for Microsoft to rebuild some of the trust lost through Vista. Even with that legacy, expect enterprise uptake and migration programmes to start to appear during the first two quarters of 2010, with greater acceleration once budgets become released on the back of the greenshoots of recovery and when XP support is phased out by Microsoft’s channel partners.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

CEA’'s industry forum delivers economic analysis, retail strategy, green trends and industry advice

PHOENIX, USA: The current and future state of CE retail, breakthrough technology innovation and social media trends were among the hot technology topics discussed on day two of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Industry Forum. Designed to connect, educate and inform consumer technology professionals, CEA’s 2009 Industry Forum wrapped up in Phoenix, Arizona with sessions presented by CEA’s Small Business Council.

CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro opened Tuesday's annual member meeting luncheon with a recap of CEA's achievements throughout 2009. He outlined recent CEA market research, industry standards, policy initiatives, the launch of the Innovation Movement, the upcoming Greener Gadgets and CEA Line Shows in New York City and highlights of the 2010 International CES this January.

He then welcomed to the stage Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder, president and CEO of NVIDIA, who described his company's transformation over the past 15 years into the world leader in programmable graphics processing technologies and one of the semiconductor industry's largest fabless companies.

Huang described the evolution of consumer technology over the past several decades and concluded that the Internet is today's killer application and that the next generation of innovation will bring the fidelity of the Web to consumers in increasingly convenient ways. Huang demonstrated NVIDIA's augmented reality technology and described the benefits it delivers to a variety of industries.

The conference session Charting the Churning Waters of CE Retail: Understanding How Changes in Channel Dynamics Affect the Industry featured CEA's Steve Koenig and TraQline's Eric Voyer outlining consumers' quest for value and the CE industry’s need to determine what value means to their customers and then deliver it.

Price deflation is rampant as the industry faces maturing markets. The presenters noted that discounters and online retailers are gaining market share. Koenig and Voyer discussed how the industry must safeguard innovation to help grow opportunities.

Another morning session, Economic Outlook: The Economy in CE Terms was moderated by CEA’s Chief Economist Shawn DuBravac and included presentations from Dr. Tom Davis, corporate vice president, finance operations, Motorola and David Prince, economist, Intel Corp. The economists agreed that there is a global economic recovery happening.

Prince said, “We anticipate three to five percent growth next year but it will take three years to get back to where we were.” Davis said, “Due to the fiscal stimulus, we will see an impact in 2010.”

DuBravac asked what the greatest risks are for next year. Davis answered, “The dollar going south is the thing I worry about – it is a key issue for me.” However, Prince said he didn’t believe inflation would be a major concern in the short turn until unemployment has dropped. “GDP [growth] will have to be two to three percent.” Both economists were upbeat about the future. Davis said, “It is time to plan for the upturn.”

Next, CEA'’s Steve Koenig outlined the current state of 3-D TV in the session 3-D TV: The Next Big Thing for Displays? He discussed how the technology is demonstrating clear success at movie theatres and will gradually evolve into other facets of consumers' viewing habits.

He noted how 3-D TV is similar to HDTV in that consumers are more likely to want it once they have truly experienced it. Koenig described how the consumer market is emerging for 3-D, particularly as Blu-ray continues to gain market share. In addition, Hollywood studios should have several titles ready by summer 2010.

Generally, Koenig stated that the industry needs to have reasonable expectations for 3-D. It is gaining momentum but may not hit critical mass for several years.

Katie Fehrenbacher, editor, Earth2Tech moderated The 10 Things You Will be Doing in Five Years panel. The panel discussed the benefits of manufacturers establishing voluntary recycling programs and how the industry is best suited in making products "greener”. The panel agreed that environmental education will be vital to all manufacturers going forward as well as the need for standards on how to define what is "green" and the criteria to make products more sustainable.

Steve Smith, editor-in-chief, TWICE magazine led the panel The Future of Retail during an afternoon session. The panel discussed ideas on strengthening the retail industry and experience in the coming years. The important role that social media will play between the consumer and the sale was a hot topic. The changing environment of retail was also discussed.

Panelist Jeanette Howe, executive director, Specialty Electronics Nationwide summed it up by saying, “It's not just simple retail anymore, it is project management; it's not just selling one thing but rather selling a product, the installation and the experience.”

CEA Chief Economist Shawn DuBravac gave a sneak peek of the top trends and technologies likely to prominently feature at the upcoming 2010 International CES. Interactive TV topped the list as a trend to watch with a variety of partnerships, widgets, menus and new ways to manage content across screens likely to generate buzz at the upcoming CES. 3-D TV also will be a big trend, with the question of whether 3-D glasses or an alternative solution will emerge as the most viable option.

E-books and Netbooks were also highlighted as top 2010 CES trends. DuBravac concluded by presenting several other technologies to watch, including iPod and iPhone software and applications, green technologies, digital health, augmented reality and further integration across the three screens (TV, PC and phone).

Jesse Thomas, CEO and founder of Jess3, moderated the session "Social Media and Business: Where's the Money?" with panelists Ben Grossman and Intel's Kelly Feller. The discussion focused on the best ways to measure social media, including free and paid monitoring services. Particular attention was paid to how social media can positively impact all parts of the sales cycle, especially the post-purchase evaluation cycle.

"Companies can make a name for themselves in the social media sphere by answering customer questions and building trust. Companies should weigh the cost it would take to produce a social media resource (ie. video) versus the opportunity it creates to impact consumer behavior. The panelists agreed that the next big trends include mobile/portable applications and Open I.D., the concept of having a single address book across a variety of networks that integrates the information and more easily allows you to connect with friends and communities.

Tuesday wrapped up with The CE Hall of Fame Dinner, honoring consumer electronics industry leaders who have made vital contributions to the products and services that consumers value and are vital to our nation and its economy. The CE Hall of Fame includes inventors, executives, engineers, retailers and journalists who are selected by an independent panel of industry judge. A full list of the 2009 Hall of Fame inductees can be found here.

Industry Forum concludes today with a host of sessions sponsored by CEA’s Small Business Council. In today’s first session Plain Talk on the Economy, Fox News Channel anchor Stuart Varney discussed the current global crisis and its unprecedented far-reaching scope. Varney outlined the existing financial situation and described what it means for individuals, their families and their businesses.

In the session, How to Use Challenging Times to Your Advantage, Bill Rancic, winner of Donald Trump's original Apprentice and star of A&E's new hit series, We Mean Business, leveraged his extensive entrepreneurial experiences and high-profile stint as the first-reigning Apprentice to offer insight into how businesses can use challenging times to their advantage. Rancic enthralled the crowd with examples of how the CE industry can make the most of these difficult times.

Luncheon Keynote speaker Ken Schmidt, dispensed his business advice by reminding attendees to “Make Some Noise.” Schmidt is a dynamic speaker who transformed the public perception of motorcycles when he was the branding guru for Harley Davidson.

He entertained the crowd as he shared his advice of how businesses of any size and scope can - by focusing on understanding and harnessing the most basic drivers of human behavior - improve their competitiveness in even the most difficult marketing environments.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

LifeSize shatters boundaries of video communications; brings telepresence experience to masses

MUMBAI, INDIA: LifeSize Communications Inc., the global leader in high definition video communications, today introduced LifeSize Passport, a ground-breaking HD video conferencing system that provides the telepresence experience to the masses.

One-third the size, one-third the weight and one-third the price of any other system in its class, Passport delivers telepresence in the palm of your hand. LifeSize Passport is also the world’s first HD video communications system to enable Skype audio calls to the more than 480 million registered Skype users.

LifeSize Passport is the only HD video communications system that delivers on the promise of making high quality, life-like video communications a mainstream business tool. No longer is HD video bound by conference room and board room systems at the high end, or web cam quality at the low end.

With LifeSize Passport, users can communicate in telepresence-quality HD video and audio at a price that enables even small businesses to take advantage of video communications, as well as allows enterprises to cost-effectively implement video throughout their organization. At less than 1 pound, Passport can be easily deployed anywhere, making it an ideal solution for remote employees and teleworkers.

From the LifeSize interface, Passport users can easily connect directly with any Skype user worldwide, as well as with other LifeSize and standards-compliant enterprise video systems. LifeSize Passport is software upgradeable, easily supporting new product features and protecting user investment.

Video surveillance market not immune to dismal economy

SCOTTSDALE, USA: The video surveillance market is showing limited unit growth in 2009, but still seeing revenue declines as the weak economy takes its toll. However, the impact is greater in some segments than others, according to In-Stat.

Due to their higher cost, IP cameras will see a large slowdown in 2009 shipment growth. As the Networked Video Recorder (NVR) segment is tied to IP camera shipments that area will be impacted as well. Meanwhile, stimulus programs are actually increasing surveillance equipment shipments in select applications.

“In-Stat sees Digital Video Recorder (DVR) channel shipments growing faster than camera shipments, with hybrid DVRs that can connect to both analog and IP cameras increasing at the highest rate,” says Michelle Abraham, In-Stat analyst. “We expect the overall market to return to growth in 2010.”

Recent research by In-Stat found:
* After a decline in 2009, revenue from analog cameras, IP cameras, DVR/NVR, and IP encoders will grow to US$19 billion in 2011.
* Video encoding for DVRs, IP cameras, and IP encoders is moving to H.264 from MPEG-4 part 2. This is enabled by more powerful ICs able to encode multiple streams of H.264 on a single IC.
* As pricing comes down, the attach rate for video analytics in video surveillance equipment will increase at a fast pace.
* Semiconductor revenue for the video surveillance equipment will be stable through 2013, with lower average selling prices offsetting shipment growth.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Apple Q4 results -- most profitable quarter ever; record Mac and iPhone sales

CUPERTINO, USA: Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2009 fourth quarter ended September 26, 2009. The Company posted revenue of $9.87 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.67 billion, or $1.82 per diluted share.

These results compare to revenue of $7.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.14 billion, or $1.26 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 36.6 percent, up from 34.7 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 46 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

In accordance with the subscription accounting treatment required by GAAP, the company recognizes revenue and cost of goods sold for iPhone and Apple TV over their estimated economic lives. Adjusting GAAP sales and product costs to eliminate the impact of subscription accounting, the corresponding non-GAAP measures* for the quarter are $12.25 billion of “Adjusted Sales” and $2.85 billion of “Adjusted Net Income.”

Apple sold 3.05 million Macintosh computers during the quarter, representing a 17 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The company sold 10.2 million iPods during the quarter, representing an 8 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 7.4 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 7 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter.

“We are thrilled to have sold more Macs and iPhones than in any previous quarter,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve got a very strong lineup for the holiday season and some really great new products in the pipeline for 2010.”

“We are delighted with our September quarter and fiscal 2009 results,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “For the full year, we grew revenue by 12 percent and net income by 18 percent in extraordinarily challenging times. Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2010, we expect revenue in the range of about $11.3 billion to $11.6 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share in the range of about $1.70 to $1.78.”

iSuppli fast facts on Apple’s fourth fiscal quarter results

EL SEGUNDO, USA: To support media coverage of the Apple Inc.’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings announcement today, iSuppli Corp. is issuing the following fast facts:

* Apple’s iPhone has been gaining share in the global smart phone market in 2009. The iPhone held a 12.1 percent share of global smart phone shipments in the second calendar quarter of 2009, up from 10.1 percent in the first quarter. Although iSuppli hasn’t finalized its third-quarter market share figures, we believe Apple’s share of the smart phone market increased again in the third calendar quarter.

* The iPhone is dramatically outperforming the overall smart phone market. Worldwide smart phone unit shipments are set to rise by 11.6 percent in calendar year 2009 compared to the previous year. In contrast, shipments of iPhones are set to soar by 37 percent in 2009.

* After a weak start to 2009, the global PC market recovered significantly in the third quarter. iSuppli’s preliminary projection of global PC shipments—consisting of desktops, notebooks and entry-level servers—amounted to 73.8 million units in the third quarter, up 9.8 percent from 67.2 million in the second quarter. Despite this sequential rise, third-quarter shipments are estimated to have declined by 6.7 percent from 79.1 million in the third quarter of 2008, based on iSuppli’s preliminary projection. iSuppli plans to issue its final third-quarter PC shipment figures within the next few weeks.

* Apple has been gaining share in the global PC market in 2009. The company's share of global unit shipments rose to 3.7 percent in the second quarter of 2009, up from 3.2 percent in the first quarter, according to a preliminary projection from iSuppli. iSuppli will issue its final second quarter and preliminary third-quarter PC market share figures within the next few weeks.

Source: iSuppli, USA

Toshiba, N-trig make multi-touch computing fun, easy and accessible

KFAR SABA, ISRAEL & AUSTIN, USA: N-trig, providers of DuoSense solution combining pen and capacitive multi-touch in a single device, in collaboration with Toshiba, announced the launch of the new Satellite U505 notebook with multi-touch capabilities for consumers.

This is further fueled by Microsoft’'s launch of its new Windows 7 operating system, set to be released on October 22. Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQ0txf4rOFA, to view a video demonstration of the fun multi-touch capabilities on the new Toshiba Satellite U505 multi-touch enabled notebook.

The DuoSense solution enabled in the Toshiba Satellite U505 multi-touch notebook, in conjunction with the launch of the Windows 7 operating system, opens up a wealth of new computing opportunities for different types of users, including adults, teens and children, to interact directly on their screen and further break down the barriers for a more intuitive and accessible hands-on computing experience.

The DuoSense multi-touch solution provides a new approach to computing enabling a more creative and fun experience that supports today’s busy digital lifestyle.

Toshiba'’s Satellite U505 further validates the market trend towards touch screen computing, bringing the first consumer multi-touch enabled notebook to the marketplace. Built with N-trig’s DuoSense digitizer, the Toshiba Satellite U505 boasts a 13.3” screen and runs on Windows 7.

“Toshiba'’s clear vision for the consumer, combined with our strong multi-touch solution, significantly changes the way that consumers of all ages can now interact with their notebooks,” said Amichai Ben-David, CEO of N-trig.

“With our DuoSense solution, users now have a new range of options to interact directly with their computers, enabling them to play instruments and games, to schedule their daily calendar, or even finger-paint directly on the screen. We believe that this type of interaction will become the standard for all computers.”

YouTube video demonstrates different types of multi-touch software applications
The video demonstrates how N-trig DuoSense multi-touch solution is creating new standards and supports new applications designed to improve the human interface and give people a more user friendly experience:

* Manipulate photos or drag and drop new clip art;
* Finger-paint right on the screen;
* Play games or complete research for homework, study or work assignments; or
* Compose or play music.

Digital TVs vie to bring Internet connectivity to living room

SCOTTSDALE, USA: With digital televisions (DTVs) supplanting analog models in much of the world, manufacturers are adding new features such as Internet connectivity and wireless HD capability to broaden their appeal, reports In-Stat.

“DTVs are competing with computers to be the entertainment hub of the home,” says Brian O’Rourke, In-Stat analyst. “Sets with Internet connectivity are already commercially available in the US, Europe, and Japan. Models from Hitachi, LG Electronics, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony can connect directly to the Internet without a home computer.”

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

* Thirty-six (36) percent of digital sets sold in 2013 will be network-enabled.
* DTV revenue in Asia-Pacific will see a 6.3 percent CAGR from 2008 to 2013, the fastest growth among the major regions, except for Rest-of-World.
* DTVs are now the only TVs available in most of North America, Western Europe, and Japan.
* Silicon TV tuners capable of demodulating both analog and digital TV signals in a single chipset are beginning to replace Can TV tuners in high-end models.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Corning’s Taichung LCD glass production disrupted

CORNING, USA: Corning Inc. announced that its LCD glass manufacturing facility in Taichung, Taiwan, experienced a power disruption over the weekend that affected some of its glass-making operations.

The company said that although it will be several days before the full extent is known, the disruption is expected to have a material impact on glass volume in the fourth quarter.

“The majority of our Taichung glass production continues to operate normally,” James B. Flaws, vice chairman and chief financial officer, said. “However the power disruption caused the shutdown of several of our glass melting tanks. We are in the process of determining how much glass melting capacity was affected, the time to repair the tanks, and the impact on our glass volume available for customers.”

Corning said its preliminary assessment of the impact is that fourth-quarter glass volume now could be flat to down slightly sequentially. Without the power disruption, the company said it believes quarterly glass volume would have increased by as much as 5%.

Flaws said, “We are doing everything possible to accelerate repairs and leverage our worldwide supply chain to secure additional glass supply.”

Corning will provide more detail on the impact of the Taichung power disruption to glass production when it releases third-quarter financial results on Monday, October 26.

Faster-than-expected market growth heats up investment in portable medical electronics field

BEIJING, CHINA: CCID Consulting, China’s leading research, consulting and IT outsourcing service provider, and the first Chinese consulting firm listed in Hong Kong, released its article on China’s portable medical electronics field.

In the blink of the eye, the year 2009 is about to enter its fourth quarter. As consumer electronics, computer and other traditional IT products are making the final dash to come out of the heavy market blow struck by the 2008 economic crisis, medical electronics, especially portable medical electronics continues to make big strides forward based on its good growth in 2008.

Based on the performance of the medical electronics market in 2009H1, CCID Consulting predicts that China’s portable medical electronics market will grow over 30 percent in 2009 -- better than the early forecast of a 28.7 percent growth rate.

Fig. 1 Size of and Forecast for China’s Portable Medical Electronics Market, 2006-2011Source: CCID Consulting, September 2009

Compared with other electronic products, portable medical electronic products have a rather special demand. With social and economic development, people are more aware of their health. Their health demands and ability to pay for healthcare products and services are also rising. The economic situation can hardly affect people’s demand for medical services. This has led to a steady expansion of the market of portable medical electronic products, especially home-use portable medical electronic products.

As the government becomes the dominant purchaser of hospital-use portable medical electronic products, the market has also seen new breakthroughs in its growth, thanks to the continuous efforts to step up livelihood and social security system building in China. All those factors allowed China’s portable medical electronics market to achieve fast growth in 2008 despite the economic crisis.

Portable medical electronics market grows faster than expected, and rural market has become a hotspot
In 2009, the government has introduced a series of incentive measures, and market demand is further released. All these have promoted further prosperity of the portable medical electronics market. In early April 2009, the government released its new healthcare reform plan. According to the plan, the central treasury will allocate 850 billion Yuan of new funds into the healthcare field in the next three years.

In addition, the new healthcare reform policy has stressed the need to speed up the implementation of rural healthcare service system building and development plans, to actively push forward rural healthcare infrastructure and capacity building, and to greatly improve rural healthcare conditions and quality as well as community healthcare, service-based, new urban healthcare service systems.

To match this, the central government will support the construction of some 2,000 county hospitals, 5,000 clinical centers and 2,400 community healthcare service centers. Driven by the above policies, China’s portable medical electronics market achieved fast growth in 2009H1. Meanwhile, some new market characteristics also emerged.

Under the guiding principle of strengthening basic medical system building in rural regions, the demand for medical electronic equipment there is urgent, and the market there is huge. This made rural regions one of the most active segments in China’s portable medical electronics field in 2009H1.

All local governments made large-scale procurement of portable medical electronic products which can both meet the basic diagnostic needs and are relatively cheap. These especially included multi-parameter monitors, portable B ultrasonic and ECGs.

The hospital-use portable medical electronics product market grew fast. Driven by this, the domestic demand for portable medical electronics expanded rapidly. In 2009H1, the domestic demand grew notably faster than exports. This forms a stark contrast to the fact that over 80 percent of China’s portable medical electronic products were supplied for exports in the past.

In addition, what is worth noting is that government procurement is very sensitive to product price. In this round of market growth, domestic medical electronics vendors with notable advantages in terms of product price/performance ratio will get more market share and further establish their market position.

On the whole, China’s portable medical electronics market has been in a period of fast growth in the past few years. However, compared with Europe and the United States, portable medical electronics has a low penetration rate in Tier-2 and -3 cities and rural regions in China. This also shows that the portable medical electronics market in China is still in a starting stage.

With the full release of the potential demand in rural regions, China’s portable electronics market will remain at a high growth level, with very bright prospects. In addition to growing market demand, continuous innovations in portable medical electronics product technologies will greatly promote the development of the market in China. These innovations include the gradual maturing of portable full-body color ultrasonic technology and the integration and increase of monitoring parameters into multi-parameter monitors.

Market growth speeds up industry development, and heats up investment in the portable medical electronics field
Corresponding to the good growth momentum of China’s portable medical electronics market, China’s portable medical electronics industry has also rapidly expanded in size in recent years, thanks to the continuously accelerating increase of market demand, the appeal of high product profits and clearer industry development policies.

In 2008, production value in the industry topped 80 billion Yuan, up 24 percent year-on-year. The number of portable medical electronics manufacturers is also on continuous expansion. In 2009H1, many portable medical electronics enterprises started a new round of production capacity expansion and new product line R&D in an attempt to further meet the growing and changing product demand.

Meanwhile, after withstanding the test of the financial crisis and witnessing good growth momentum in the market and industry, the portable medical electronics field has also seen a warm-up of capital activities. With the opening of the Growth Enterprise Market in 2009H1, a large number of portable medical electronics enterprises spearheaded by Shenzhen Biocare and Edan Instruments have started to explore the road toward listing.

Traditional IT enterprises such as IBM, ZTE and Huawei have also begun to enter the medical electronic equipment field by making active inputs into relevant software and hardware R&D and forging wide cooperation with medical electronics enterprises.

Haier, a leading home appliance maker in China, recently made a high-profile announcement that it may enter the medical electronics field. Good market and industry growth is now attracting capital flow into the field. Active capital operations may in turn further promote the growth of China’s portable medical electronics market and industry.

Note: Classification of Portable Medical Electronic ProductsSource: CCID Consulting

Flextronics to build Wuzhong, facility to support manufacturing and R&D capabilities for computing products

SINGAPORE: In a signing ceremony held recently with Suzhou Wuzhong Economic Development Zone and Jiangsu Wuzhong Export Processing Zone, Flextronics announced that it will expand its presence in China through the development of a new facility in Wuzhong.

The new facility will support the growing demand for computing products in China and will include a design center and extended manufacturing capabilities in the Wuzhong Export Processing Zone (WEPZ). The design center will be completed by the end of 2009 and the manufacturing facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

In addition to the present manufacturing facility in Wujiang, Suzhou, Flextronics currently also has computing design centers in Shanghai and Wujiang (Suzhou). Wuzhong will be positioned as the company's main development center in China for computing products.

"The signing ceremony is an important event that allows Flextronics and Wuzhong government officials the opportunity to share the vision of this design center and discuss its significance in supporting China's market growth for notebooks and desktop products," said Sean Burke, president, Flextronics Computing.

"We are pleased to announce this expansion and believe that Wuzhong is an excellent location based on its world-class infrastructure, supply chain ecosystem and close proximity to Suzhou's Higher Education Center, which has a reputation for excellent education programs and highly-skilled talent."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

End-user electronics industry in early stages of recovery

STAMFORD, USA: The recovery is under way for the electronic equipment industry; however, much uncertainty continues to rest on the macroeconomic recovery and the effectiveness of government stimulus packages, especially when that stimulus runs out, according to Gartner Inc.

As a result, Gartner does not expect a sustainable recovery pattern until 2010, and associated semiconductor sales are not expected to regain 2007 peak levels until 2012.

“Almost all sectors of the electronic equipment market have now hit bottom and await signs of ‘first growth’ in comparison with the same quarter last year,” said Klaus Rinnen, managing vice president at Gartner’s semiconductor manufacturing group. “The first signs of growth will be led by seasonal buying patterns in the PC market during the third quarter of 2009, although other major sectors will not begin to show first growth, year-on-year, until 2010.”

“Electronics vendors and their suppliers must give careful attention to the expected recovery pattern of each sector, and a separate response must be planned for each,” said Jim Tully, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “In particular, new product introductions should be synchronized with the expected sequence of the recovery.”

Gartner has recently revisited its expectations for recovery in the electronic equipment industry, providing details by sector:

PCs
Gartner has found that there is little change in the PC sector recovery. Having bottomed in the first quarter of 2009, a sustainable recovery is pegged for the third quarter of 2010. The outlook for a PC recovery is influenced by depressed enterprise demand and the fact that IT spending is not expected to return until 2010.

In contrast, home PC demand has held up better than expected, reflecting the way that consumers now value and use PCs, even in difficult times. The overall PC forecast has been revised up, especially for the United States and China, in light of this continued strength of the home PC market and the improving outlook for the global economy.

Mobile phones
Originally anticipated to reach bottom in the third quarter of 2009, mobile phone production reached its low point in the first quarter of 2009. This market is now predicted to be the first sector to show sustainable recovery, starting in the first quarter of 2010.

Improving fundamentals in the mobile phone market was a key driver in the upward revision, and Gartner now expects mobile phone unit production to decline only 8 percent in 2009 which is 4 percentage points less than the May 2009 forecast. The rebound has largely come from the demand for basic phones targeted at emerging markets, particularly China, and for smartphones, which continue to perform well as competition increases and prices come down.

Wired communications
The wired communications market outlook has benefited from China’s infrastructure spending and an earlier than expected onset of recovery in the developed nations, causing Gartner to move forward the timing of the bottom and first growth by two quarters.

However, growth will be relatively weak until 2011, meaning that the period between first-growth and sustainable growth markers could be better described as a period of stability rather than a rapid return to historical growth levels.

Consumer electronics
Despite reasonable growth in LCD TVs and Blu-ray DVD players in 2009, many other categories have shown either flat sales with little or no growth, or declining revenue and unit shipments between the first and the third quarters. The consumer electronics market appears to be in a state of "limbo" and Gartner has pushed out first growth indicators to the second quarter of 2010.

From the second quarter of 2010 onward, Gartner predicts greater stability but anticipates few signs of a return to prerecession growth rates occurring until the first quarter of 2011.

Automotive Electronics
The auto industry is still performing in line with Gartner’s expectations since the beginning of the year. Gartner predicts that semiconductor vendors will likely see improved demand for semiconductors from Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, which will be reacting to increasing demand and new car purchase orders early in the first quarter of 2010. However, more evidence of recovery in the economy in general is needed before any strong growth trends can emerge for the automotive sector.

“Although the first signs of recovery are starting to appear for the electronics industry, the damage from the current industry recession will be felt for a long time,” said Mr. Rinnen. “This is seen in our current five-year semiconductor revenue forecast, which does not show recovery to 2007 levels until 2012. Vendors must prepare for significant changes in consumer buying behavior, technology demand patterns and a changed supplier landscape.”

Samsung develops world's first single chip for North American mobile digital TV standard

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd has successfully developed the world’'s first single chip compatible with the newly approved North American mobile digital TV broadcasting standard.

Samsung’'s latest chip innovation combines the radio frequency (RF) and digital chip components into one single 65 nanometer (nm)-scale chip. Compared to traditional multiple-chip sets, the single chip provides makers of various mobile devices including mobile phones, car-mounted televisions and portable media players an optimal solution that is more compact, uses less power, and is more affordable.

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has been working towards standardizing mobile digital TV broadcasting utilizing the existing digital TV broadcasting spectrum and facilities since May 2007. After a membership vote that concluded yesterday, ATSC Mobile DTV was officially adopted as an ATSC standard.

“Prior to Samsung’s technical demonstration at the 2006 NAB Show, industry experts believed that the compatibility of mobile TV broadcasting technology with the existing ATSC broadcasting system was not possible. In early 2005, Samsung Electronics decided to apply significant resources to ATSC standardization,” said Byung Duck Cho, executive vice president of the Digital Media and Communications R&D Center of Samsung Electronics.

“Samsung succeeded in ATSC Mobile DTV standardization through its dedication and support in cooperation with the ATSC, broadcasters, and other electronics manufacturers. Through this collaborative accomplishment, Samsung Electronics aims to advance its leadership in the North American mobile market with mobile TV.”

Over 70 broadcast stations have announced their support of this initiative and have agreed to broadcast on a trial basis across North America by the end of 2009. The goal is to prepare for formal broadcasting tests to North American consumers beginning in early 2010.

ATSC Mobile DTV makes live mobile broadcast TV possible by installing minimal additional equipment at existing TV transmitters while utilizing the same frequencies as current terrestrial digital TV broadcasting. ATSC Mobile DTV does not influence current DTV receivers even when operating in the same channels making it in-band compatible.

It is widely considered as the best solution for mobile broadcast digital television in North America. Through mobile broadcasting, consumers will be able to access free content such as local news, emergency alerts, weather reports and entertainment as well as premium paid services.

LG Electronics salutes ATSC adoption of mobile digital TV standard

WASHINGTON, USA: LG Electronics highlighted the flexibility and power of digital television (DTV) during an "on the go" demonstration of ATSC Mobile DTV. The new standard, just adopted Thursday night by the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), is already on the air -- showing how TV stations will entice viewers with new options for over-the-air broadcasting to mobile and handheld receivers.

Co-developer of the technology at the heart of the ATSC Mobile DTV standard, LG Electronics applauded the rapid adoption of the flexible new standard, which promises to expand the reach of digital television to a new generation of viewers. To support the commercial launch of ATSC Mobile DTV receivers, mass production of the LG2160A semiconductor chip that will be used by LG and other manufacturers is underway.

Commemorating the new ATSC Mobile DTV standard here today, prototype LG products, including mobile handsets and a personal DTV equipped with reception capability for mobile DTV broadcasts, were taken on a drive throughout the city streets and highways of the nation's capital, showcasing the robust reception characteristics of the new technology.

Mobile prototypes utilized today included both GSM and CDMA handset models as well as a combination personal digital TV receiver and portable DVD player planned for introduction in 2010 that utilizes the new ATSC Mobile DTV chip from LG. The company is also working with automotive electronics and computer makers to incorporate mobile DTV capability into their products.

Seven Washington-area broadcasters are now transmitting Mobile DTV signals, which are sent in the same spectrum used to transmit crystal-clear high-definition and other digital TV programming.

The ATSC Mobile DTV standard allows broadcasters to use a portion of the existing 19.3 Megabit-per-second DTV channel capacity to transmit data with extremely robust characteristics suitable for mobile, pedestrian and handheld applications. The mobile DTV signal is compatible with 8-VSB DTV, which was also developed by LG's U.S. research and development lab, Zenith.

Featuring an automatic power saving mode to maximize battery life for DTV viewing "on the go," the new LG reception chip provides mobile/handheld demodulating and equalization functions, and outputs IP packet streams to enable audio/video decoding in the receivers compatible with the new ATSC Mobile DTV standard.

ATSC adopts mobile digital TV standard

WASHINGTON, USA: The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) is pleased to announce the approval of A/153 ATSC Mobile DTV Standard. The ballot, tallied at midnight Oct. 15, was approved with overwhelming support by the full ATSC membership.

The ATSC Mobile DTV Standard defines the technical specifications necessary for broadcasters to provide new services to mobile and handheld devices using their digital television (DTV) transmissions.

The new services for mobile and handheld devices are carried along with current DTV services without any adverse impact on legacy receiving equipment.

ATSC Mobile DTV was developed to support a variety of services including free (advertiser-supported) television and interactive services delivered in real-time, subscription-based TV, and file-based content download for playback at a later time. The standard can also be used for transmission of new data broadcasting services.

"Development and adoption of the ATSC Mobile DTV Standard is a major milestone in the ongoing evolution of digital television," said ATSC President Mark Richer. "We have been fortunate to have strong and active industry support, including thousands of person-hours of technical volunteers, for this work which enabled us to develop the standard in an efficient manner."

The ATSC Mobile DTV Standard will enable broadcasters to provide new compelling services to consumers utilizing a wide array of wireless receiving devices including mobile phones, small handheld DTVs, laptop computers and in-vehicle entertainment systems.

Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, said, “As a founding ATSC member, CEA congratulates ATSC on achieving this new standard, which will help chipmakers and equipment manufacturers proceed with product development and deployment.

With the successful digital television transition now behind us, the ATSC Mobile DTV standard gives broadcasters an opportunity to provide consumers with the next generation of compelling over-the-air content."

"This milestone ushers in the new era of digital television broadcasting, giving local TV stations and networks new opportunities to reach viewers on the go," said Paul Karpowicz, NAB Television Board Chairman and President of Meredith Broadcast Group.

"This will introduce the power of local broadcasting to a new generation of viewers and provide all-important emergency alert, local news and other programming to consumers across the nation."

ATSC Chairman Glenn Reitmeier added: "On behalf of the ATSC Board of Directors, I would like to congratulate all of the ATSC member companies that contributed to this major achievement. The ATSC Mobile DTV standard is flexible and robust, enabling a range of services business models that create new opportunities for broadcasters, device makers and consumers.

"It is particularly noteworthy that ATSC Mobile utilizes Internet Protocol (IP), which will enable broadcast services to be easily integrated with wireless broadband consumer devices and applications, further reinforcing the significant role of terrestrial television broadcasting in the media landscape for decades to come."

ATSC Mobile DTV is built around a highly robust transmission system based on Vestigial Side Band (VSB) modulation, with enhanced error correction and other techniques to improve robustness and reduce power consumption in portable receivers, coupled with a flexible and extensible Internet Protocol (IP) based transport system, efficient MPEG AVC (ISO/IEC 14496-10 or ITU H.264) video, and HE AAC v2 audio (ISO/IEC 14496-3) coding.

ATSC Mobile DTV services are carried in existing digital broadcast channels along with current DTV services without any adverse impact on legacy receiving equipment.

In addition to live television, the new ATSC Mobile DTV standard provides a flexible application framework to enable new receiver capabilities. Receivers that make use of an optional Internet connection will enable new interactive television services, ranging from audience measurement and simple viewer voting to the integration of Internet-based applications and transactions with television content.

Formal development of the ATSC Mobile DTV system began in May 2007 with the issuance of a request for Proposals (RFP). The new standard document will be available online on the ATSC Standards page.

Friday, October 16, 2009

MindTree intros Bluetooth health device solution on Android platform

BANGALORE, KARNATAKA: MindTree Ltd today announced the launch of its Bluetooth health device solution on the Android platform.

The solution, which was successfully demonstrated on the Google G1 Android Phone at the Continua Health Alliance Fall Summit held in Boston from October 5-9, 2009, is designed to provide seamless interoperability among personal healthcare devices, thereby empowering individuals to connect with their healthcare administrators real-time.

The Continua device solution consists of MindTree’s qualified Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR stack including eL2CAP, Multi-Channel Adaptation Protocol (MCAP) and Health Device Profile (HDP), integrated with IEEE – 11073 layers ported onto the Android platform on a Google G1 developer phone.

In the demonstration, the health device solution on Google G1 Android Phone interoperated with a Continua-Certified pulse oximeter from Nonin Medical. The oxygen saturation levels and heart beat readings gathered by the pulse oximeter are transferred wirelessly over Bluetooth to the G1 mobile phone which then displays these readings. The readings can be stored for future reference or as a further application can be uploaded onto the Internet to an Electronic Health Record (EHR).

Today’s demographic trends indicate busy lifestyles that leave little time or motivation for fitness and weight management; a rise in chronic diseases; an aging population that requires escalating levels of supervision and medical intervention.

These, combined with the rising cost of healthcare, necessitate the need for a system where in people are seamlessly connected to their healthcare providers. This also brings about the need for improved interoperability among health devices.
MindTree’s solution on the Android platform not only enables connectivity but also demonstrates the interoperability between such devices.

“Continua Health Alliance is encouraged by the launch of MindTree’s implementation of the Continua Version One Bluetooth device interface,” said Continua Health Alliance President and Chairman of the board of directors, Rick Cnossen. “The MindTree technology will foster and accelerate the development of Continua standards-based mobile solutions available to consumers.”

“MindTree’s new solution, successfully demonstrated at a premier event such as the Continua Health Alliance Summit, further strengthens our leadership position in the Bluetooth technology space,” said MindTree President and CEO – R&D Services, Vinod Deshmukh.

“As Bluetooth continues to penetrate into newer markets such as healthcare, we will have newer requirements to address. We are conscious of this changing trend, and will continue to proactively invest in building the next generation of Bluetooth-based solutions that will effectively address the market requirements of tomorrow.”

MindTree’s Bluetooth stack and profiles are qualified for 2.1+EDR and have been proven in multiple products for interoperability and robustness by world-leading companies like NEC Corporation, GN Netcom and Logitech. The products include headsets, handsets and automotive infotainment platforms.

MindTree was also the first independent stack provider to qualify the Bluetooth health device profile. MindTree’s Bluetooth stack is written in ANSI C with well designed abstraction layer which enables easy portability across various platforms.

Worldwide PC shipments returned to growth in Q3-09: Gartner

STAMFORD, USA: The PC industry performed better than expected as worldwide PC shipments totaled 80.9 million units in the third quarter of 2009, a 0.5 percent increase from the third quarter of 2008, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. Gartner had expected PC shipments to decline 5.6 percent in the quarter.

“These are good results especially given that PC shipments for the third quarter of 2009 are being compared to a very strong third quarter from 2008,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “Sequentially, third quarter shipments grew 18 percent, which is higher than the historical seasonal growth from the second to third quarter.”

“The consumer market continued to lead unit shipment growth, driven by low priced mobile PCs,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “Ongoing price declines continue to be a major issue in the PC industry. PC vendor performance cannot be determined solely by unit market share gains alone as related revenues and margin performance are key to surviving in very competitive market.”

Hewlett-Packard continued to lead the worldwide PC market as its shipment growth exceeded the worldwide average (see Table 1). HP did well in Asia/Pacific, particularly in China. In the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, HP’s shipments declined, but it was less of a drop compared to the EMEA average.

Table 1Source: Gartner

Gartner analysts said the launch of Microsoft’s latest operating system (OS), Windows 7, should have a minimal impact on PC unit growth. But inventory adjustments around the launch could artificially affect shipment volumes during the third and fourth quarters of 2009.

“Recent OS releases have not been a growth driver in the PC market, however the timing of Windows 7’s is favorable for the industry due to expected economic improvements and an overdue hardware replacement cycle,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “We anticipate renewed interest in hardware upgrades from consumers and small business during the holiday season as a result Windows 7’s release. In the corporate market, Windows 7 adoption is not expected to ramp up until late 2010."

Regional breakout
After three consecutive quarters of year-on-year shipment declines, PC shipments in the US totaled 17.8 million units in the third quarter of 2009, a 3.9 percent increase from the third quarter of last year (see Table 2).

“The consumer mobile PC market drove US shipment growth in the third quarter of 2009, fueled by back to school sales,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “However, the results came with a revenue loss because of very steep declines in average selling prices (ASPs). Consumers were comfortable buying PCs, but they were relentlessly looking for bargains. Our preliminary research shows consumer mobile PC ASPs declined more than 20 percent compared to a year ago.”

Dell maintained its No. 1 position in PC shipments in the US, however its shipments declined 8.9 percent in the quarter. Gartner analysts said this could be attributed to Dell emphasizing profit protection rather than market share expansion.

Table 2Source: Gartner

The EMEA PC market had a double-digit decline for the third quarter of 2009. PC shipments in EMEA totaled 26 million units, a 10.1 percent decrease from the same period in 2008.

Central Eastern Europe was the weakest area, followed by Western Europe and then Middle East and Africa. The professional market continued to be weak in both the desk-based and mobile PC segments. The mobile consumer market kept the Western Europe market buoyed and again mini-notebook share increased as most of the vendors drove higher volumes.

PC shipments in Asia/Pacific registered 25.2 million units in the third quarter of 2009, a 16.1 percent increase from the third quarter of 2008. This strong rebound was primarily attributed to the surge in PC shipments in China and emerging markets in South East Asia that registered strong double-digit growth rates. The PC market in China is estimated to have grown 28.5 percent in the third quarter of 2009.

In Latin America, PC shipments totaled 6.9 million units in the third quarter of 2009, a decline of 3.9 percent, from the same period last year. This is the last quarter of expected contraction. Fourth quarter unit shipments this year are expected to grow at 29.6 percent.

Much of this has to do with the fact that PC shipments in the fourth quarter last year were so low. However, the generally improving economic scenario in Latin America and the likely strong fourth quarter holiday sales season should also drive growth.

PC shipments in Japan totaled 3.2 million units in the third quarter of 2009, a 15.1 percent decline. Both the professional and consumer markets were weak. The consumer market declined 13.8 percent in the quarter, after nine consecutive quarters of year-on-year growth.

PC shipments rise 2.3 percent as HP recaptures lead in US and Acer moves ahead of Dell worldwide

FRAMINGHAM, USA: Global PC shipments rose 2.3 percent year on year in the third quarter of 2009 (3Q09). The increase is an important continuation of recovery from year-on-year declines of 6.8 percent in the first quarter and 2.4 percent in the second quarter of this year.

Seeing market growth ahead of the launch of Microsoft’s Windows 7 bodes very well for the fourth quarter and next year. All regions except Japan either met or surpassed expectations. Portable PCs continue to account for the majority of volume and growth, with Mini Notebooks are still making a substantial contribution.

“Despite the ongoing mix of gloom and caution on the economic front, the PC market continues to rebound quickly,” said Loren Loverde, program director for IDC’s Tracker Program. ”The competitive landscape, the transition to portables, new and low-power designs, growth in retail and consumer segments, and the impact of falling prices are all reflected in the gains by HP and Acer, as well as overall market growth.”

“The continued strength of both the US and worldwide PC business in the face of difficult economic environments underscores the value that both consumer and corporate buyers place on PCs,” according to Bob O’Donnell, vice president, Clients and Displays at IDC. “With the forthcoming launch of Windows 7 and expected commercial refresh beginning in 2010, the prospects for future PC market growth are very solid.”

Regional outlook
United States: The US PC market grew by 2.5 percent compared to the third quarter of 2008. Strong Portables sales were part of a back-to-school season that saw consumers continue to gravitate toward lower-cost Portables. Vendors with a solid retail presence were the main beneficiaries as HP regained the top spot in the US.

Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA): Despite a year-over-year decline, the EMEA PC market reported sequential improvement as expected, driven by sustained consumer demand in Western Europe. Mini Notebooks continued to be pushed by both telcos and retailers and attracted more consumers while aggressive pricing also helped stimulate mainstream notebook purchases.

Japan: The region is still feeling the pinch of tight business spending which has not been mitigated by Consumer purchases. The market saw a double-digit decline year over year and, contrary to past seasonal patterns, negative sequential quarterly growth. Although Portables performed slightly better than forecast, Desktop shipments declined further than expected, leading most vendors to see declining year-over-year growth.

Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ): Both Desktop and Portable PC markets saw shipments expand nicely in APeJ during the third quarter. China and Taiwan in particular were ahead of forecasts as public sector projects were deployed more quickly than expected. Most other countries came in close to or just slightly ahead of projections.

Vendor highlights
HP: HP leveraged its advantage in Retail to benefit from the strong school season and grow 9.3 percent from last year. Growth was also aided by expansion of telco bundle offerings. The vendor performed above market in most regions but was especially strong in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan.

Dell: Although it experienced a worldwide decline year over year, Dell saw solid growth in emerging markets, especially in APeJ, and a second consecutive quarter of growth brings encouraging signs that its retail development continues to pay off.

Acer: Consumer demand for low-cost systems in the back-to-school season meant Acer’s Mini Notebooks were embraced by consumers. The vendor outperformed the market in virtually all regions.

Lenovo: Lenovo capitalized on resurgent demand in APeJ, benefiting from government stimulus programs and successfully growing both its Commercial and Consumer shipments. The vendor also improved in other regions, with resulting market share gains worldwide. The company saw strong gains in Japan and EMEA while a slight decline was reported in the US.

Toshiba: Toshiba performed above market in all regions except EMEA. It has continued to see solid results in the US and Latin America, while seeing a sizable sequential jump in APeJ.Source: IDC

Table Notes:
1. Some IDC estimates prior to financial earnings reports.
2. Shipments include shipments to distribution channels or end users.
3. PCs include Desktop and Portable PCs (including Mini Notebooks)
4. PCs do not include x86 Servers or handhelds. Data for all vendors are reported for calendar periods.
5. IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker gathers PC market data in more than 80 countries by vendor, form factor, brand, processor brand and speed, sales channel and user segment. The research includes historical and forecast trend analysis as well as price band and installed base data.