Saturday, February 27, 2010

Global LCD TV shipments reached 146 million units in 2009, faster growth than 2008

AUSTIN, USA: At the end of 2008, the outlook for 2009 TV sales worldwide was radically scaled back after the global economy suffered a massive setback. The expected downturn in consumer demand seemed likely to make 2009 a bleak year for TV shipments. However, shipments far exceeded initial expectations as consumers snapped up discounted products.

According to the DisplaySearch Quarterly Advanced Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report, global TV shipments grew 2 percent overall to 211 million units, and flat panel TV technologies like LCD enjoyed better growth in 2009 on a unit basis than during 2008, rising 37 percent vs. 34 percent, respectively.

The final quarter of 2009 showed even stronger year-over-year (Y/Y) unit shipment growth, rising 17 percent Y/Y overall with LCD TVs climbing 50 percent Y/Y, the strongest growth in LCD TV units since Q4’07, although Q4’08 was very weak.

Strong flat panel TV shipment growth in emerging markets like China (more than 100 percent Y/Y) led the flat panel share of total annual TV shipments to pass 75 percent for the first time, with more than 90 percent of all TV revenues.

One of the key drivers of growth was the acceleration of average selling price erosion driven by cost reductions at the component level, but also by decreasing margins at the brand and retail level.

Coupled with greater consumer price sensitivity that resulted in much slower average screen size growth, the global volume-weighted ASP declined more than 8 percent worldwide and fell as much as 24 percent Y/Y for LCD TVs, the largest decline since DisplaySearch began tracking the TV marketplace.

“The better-than-expected 2009 results clearly demonstrate that consumers still have a strong desire to purchase flat panel TVs, but at the same time are willing to shift their buying behavior to match their budget in a recession-plagued year,” noted Paul Gagnon, Director of North America TV Market Research for DisplaySearch.

“We saw a lot more compromise on size and features in 2009, with a greater number of consumers perhaps opting to upgrade smaller secondary sets and postpone getting a larger living room set than we would have seen in a normal economy.”

For LCD TVs, this means that growth in sub-40” sets outpaced growth of big screens in mature developed markets like North America during 2009, despite the introduction of advanced new TV technologies to larger screen sizes, like LED-backlit LCD TVs and internet connected sets.

Table 1: Q4‘09 Worldwide TV Shipments by Technology (000s)Source: DisplaySearch Quarterly Advanced Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report

LED backlights account for 4 percent of LCD TV units shipped in Q4’09, but more than 11 percent of revenues
DisplaySearch is now tracking LCD TV shipments by backlight type, including a breakout of edge-lit and full-array types by screen size, resolution and frame rate.

LED backlights are not new in LCD TVs, but they have become significantly more affordable and offer many valuable attributes like lower power consumption, thinner and lighter cabinet designs, and better picture quality.

However, the premiums for LED-backlit LCD TVs had been prohibitively high until 2009, and are expected to narrow much further in 2010 with explosive growth expected. LED-backlit LCD TVs only accounted for 4 percent of global units in Q4’09, but they had a 11 percent share of 40” and larger, and a 24 percent share of shipments of 50” and larger. As the screen size (and price) climb, the LED premium is more acceptable.

Samsung leads global brands with record share in Q4’09
Samsung achieved their highest revenue share ever, reaching a record 23.6 percent of global TV revenues in Q4’09 (Table 2).

This high revenue share is the result of being the global leader in units as well as having a strong mix of larger screen sizes as well as leading positions in advanced technologies like LED backlit and high frame rate LCD TVs, all of which support higher average prices. Samsung has been #1 in both TV units and revenues worldwide every quarter for more than three years now, achieving a 22.6 percent share of 2009 full year TV revenues.

LGE was the #2 brand worldwide in TV shipment revenues and demonstrated the strongest annual growth among the top five brands, an indicator of the aggressive market share growth campaign the brand undertook in 2009. The result is that LGE improved its total 2009 TV revenue share by a full 2 percentage points to 13.2 percent, a larger increase than any other brand in 2009. LGE’s Q4’09 revenue share rose slightly, to 13 percent.

Sony was #3 in global TV revenues during Q4’09 at 11.5%, up sharply from 9.9 percent in Q4’09, as sales for Sony surged during the holidays, typically a strong quarter for the company. Sony had the largest Q/Q shipment growth among the top five in Q4’09. However, Sony’s full year 2009 total TV revenue share was down almost 2 percentage points from 2008, to 11.5 percent, and is at the lowest level since 2005 when it last led the overall TV market. Much of Sony’s share loss went to the two surging Korean brands that aggressively targeted growth in 2009.

Table 2: Q4‘09 Worldwide TV Brand Rankings by Revenue ShareSource: DisplaySearch Quarterly Advanced Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report.

New graphene 'nanomesh' could change the future of electronics

USA: Graphene, a one-atom-thick layer of a carbon lattice with a honeycomb structure, has great potential for use in radios, computers, phones and other electronic devices. But applications have been stymied because the semi-metallic graphene, which has a zero band gap, does not function effectively as a semiconductor to amplify or switch electronic signals.

While cutting graphene sheets into nanoscale ribbons can open up a larger band gap and improve function, 'nanoribbon' devices often have limited driving currents, and practical devices would require the production of dense arrays of ordered nanoribbons — a process that so far has not been achieved or clearly conceptualized.

But Yu Huang, a professor of materials science and engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, and her research team, in collaboration with UCLA chemistry professor Xiangfeng Duan, may have found a new solution to the challenges of graphene.

In research to be published in the March issue of Nature Nanotechnology (currently available online), Huang's team reveals the creation of a new graphene nanostructure called graphene nanomesh, or GNM. The new structure is able to open up a band gap in a large sheet of graphene to create a highly uniform, continuous semiconducting thin film that may be processed using standard planar semiconductor processing methods.

"The nanomeshes are prepared by punching a high-density array of nanoscale holes into a single or a few layers of graphene using a self-assembled block copolymer thin film as the mask template," said Huang.

The nanomesh can have variable periodicities, defined as the distance between the centers of two neighboring nanoholes. Neck widths, the shortest distance between the edges of two neighboring holes, can be as low as 5 nanometers.

This ability to control nanomesh periodicity and neck width is very important for controlling electronic properties because charge transport properties are highly dependent on the width and the number of critical current pathways.

Using such nanomesh as the semiconducting channel, Huang and her team have demonstrated room-temperature transistors that can support currents nearly 100 times greater than individual graphene nanoribbon devices, but with a comparable on-off ratio. The on-off ratio is the ratio between the currents when a device is switched on or switched off. This usually reveals how effectively a transistor can be switched off and on.

The researchers have also shown that the on-off ratio can be tuned by varying the neck width.

"GNMs can address many of the critical challenges facing graphene, as well as bypass the most challenging assembly problems," Huang said. "In conjunction with recent advances in the growth of graphene over a large-area substrate, this concept has the potential to enable a uniform, continuous semiconducting nanomesh thin film that can be used to fabricate integrated devices and circuits with desired device size and driving current.

"The concept of the GNM therefore points to a clear pathway towards practical application of graphene as a semiconductor material for future electronics. The unique structural and electronic characteristics of the GNMs may also open up exciting opportunities in highly sensitive biosensors and a new generation of spintronics, from magnetic sensing to storage," she said.

The study was funded in part by Huang’s UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science Fellowship.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Samsung to unveil broadband HDTVs with embedded Skype capability

LUXEMBOURG: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd and Skype announced that the new Samsung LED 7000 and 8000 series models of 2010 high-definition televisions will feature embedded Skype™ software* allowing Skype users to make video and voice calls through the TVs.

Samsung, the global market leader in televisions, will begin shipping TVs with Skype software in the Korean market today, and worldwide in the first half of 2010.

“Our consumers want their televisions to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for entertainment and communication delivered with the highest quality,” said Kevin Kyungshik Lee, Vice President of Visual Display at Samsung Electronics. “Including Skype on our TVs meets that expectation perfectly. We’re thrilled that Samsung’s consumers can now use our TVs to experience the rich video and voice communication that hundreds of millions of Skype users worldwide enjoy.”

The debut of Samsung'’s Skype-enabled televisions reinforces Skype’s commitment to making its video and voice calling capabilities available on a full range of Internet-connected devices, including TVs. Televisions with built-in Skype software were first introduced at the International Consumer Electronics Show in January 2010.

The Samsung LED 7000 and 8000 series televisions include Samsung’s free Internet@TV service, which allows access to select online content. Consumers who connect the TVs to the Internet can easily attach a FREETALK TV Camera for Samsung provided by In Store Solutions (ISS), making it possible to place and receive voice calls and High Quality Video calls. Voice calls will use Skype’s SILK audio codec, which enables super-wideband audio quality.

Using the TVs’ remote controls, consumers can create free Skype accounts, log into their existing accounts and navigate via a simple Skype interface accessible on the televisions’ screens. Skype video calls will be free, as will voice calls between Skype users. Using Skype to call traditional landline and mobile phones will cost just pennies per minute.

“Increasingly Skype users want to communicate away from their computers, particularly when it comes to video calling,” said Jonathan Christensen, General Manager of Platform at Skype. “Thanks to Samsung, Skype is helping even more friends and families benefit from the meaningful connections that Skype's video and voice calling provides."

Automotive Bluetooth strategy key to infotainment success

BOSTON, USA:Strategy Analytics forecasts global automotive Bluetooth to grow from 7.6 million units in 2008 to 54.7 million units in 2016, representing a CAGR of 28 percent over the forecast period.

The Strategy Analytics Automotive Mulltimedia and Communications Service (AMCS) report, “Automotive Bluetooth: Profile Strategy Key to Infotainment Success,“ Strategy Analytics: Automotive Bluetooth Strategy Key to Infotainment Success,” details market developments, Bluetooth connectivity and Bluetooth profile adoption in the automotive market.

Critical elements for automotive infotainment planning include:
* Selecting the most appropriate Bluetooth profiles;
* Timing the introduction of Bluetooth profiles; and
* Designing solutions that are capable of Bluetooth profile upgrades.

“Bluetooth is not just for handsfree calling,” remarked Mark Fitzgerald, Senior Analyst in the Strategy Analytics Global Automotive Practice. “It is essential for in-vehicle infotainment systems to incorporate appropriate Bluetooth solutions in order to leverage the features and applications of these devices as consumers use more sophisticated portable devices, such as smartphones that integrate audio and video media, text messaging, internet browsing and location-based technologies."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Invensys releases DYNSIM medium fidelity simulation

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Invensys Operations Management, a global provider of technology systems, software solutions and consulting services to the process and manufacturing industries, announced the availability of its SimSci-Esscor medium-fidelity simulation solution, DYNSIM Checkout.

Available as part of the new DYNSIM 4.5 software release, the solution provides the industry a new way to quickly identify, validate and resolve control and safety application design errors throughout the project life cycle, while addressing plant operator process-familiarization needs and clearing obstacles like late-arriving design information.

Medium-fidelity simulation provides a library of unit-operation models (valves, pumps, conveyers, reactors) similar to high-fidelity models, but requires far fewer engineering hours and less specialized expertise to configure and tune.

The models can be auto-generated using industry-leading plant life cycle management software that features intelligent piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&ID), thus dramatically shortening the time it takes to construct the model. The SimSci-Esscor medium-fidelity simulation solution also requires significantly less design data to complete the model, with P&ID and process flow diagrams being the key required information.

By providing this simulation facility the early stages of the project, potential control and safety application design errors, omissions and changes can be captured before construction, resulting in higher quality for the automation system, as well as significantly reduced client risk at the plant startup and commissioning phases.

Medium-fidelity models, while less complicated than high-fidelity, are also suitable for operator familiarization training, allowing operators to learn procedures “live” on the new control platform and to attain a level of knowledge that was previously impossible at such an early stage in the project. These models can be efficiently rebuilt many times throughout the life of the project and can therefore remain current with the latest control and safety designs.

“Low-fidelity tieback simulation is a common tool for control checkout, but it is not very realistic, and only basic verification of control system functionality can be performed,” said Gregory McKim, principal consulting engineer for simulation, Invensys Operations Management.

“On the other hand, high-fidelity operator training simulators are extremely full-featured and highly realistic, but their cost and schedule demands may preclude use for control system validation and checkout. Our SimSci-Esscor medium-fidelity solution bridges the gap between these two extremes: It delivers enough detail to validate the control system design; it is useful as an operator familiarization tool; it is moderately priced; it can be built within the time to support constrained project schedules; and it serves most process and manufacturing industries.”

More than a quarter of US TVs purchased in January linked to Internet

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Illustrating consumers’ rising interest in viewing Web-based video content on their televisions, more than one quarter of all TVs purchased by American consumers in January were linked to the Internet, according to a survey conducted by iSuppli Corp.’s US TV Consumer Preference Analysis service.

Among US consumers that purchased new televisions in January, 27.5 percent indicated their sets were connected to the Internet, either though the internal capabilities of their TVs, or via external devices, such as digital video boxes or game consoles. This is up from 24.3 percent in December, 2009.

“From video-sharing sites like YouTube, to online services like Hulu, consumers increasingly are turning to the Internet for video entertainment,” said Tina Tseng, analyst, television systems, for iSuppli.

“And, these consumers want to view Internet content on their primary displays in their homes—their televisions—rather than being relegated the small screens of their desktop and notebook PCs. With the increasing pervasiveness of large-sized, flat-panel digital televisions, and the rising availability of Internet-Enabled TVs (IETVs), more consumers are linking their sets to the Web.”

IETVs represent both the leading and fastest-growing approach to accessing the Internet on televisions.

iSuppli’s survey revealed that 41.9 percent of Internet-connected televisions in the United States in January were IETVs. The next most popular means of connection, at 20.3 percent, was through video game consoles. This was followed by Blu-ray players at 13.2 percent, and digital video boxes and other means of connection—such as PCs—which were tied at 12.3 percent each.

IETVs’ share of Internet-connected television in January rose by 14.2 percentage points from 27.7 percent in December.

iSuppli defines an IETV as a set that has the capability to connect to the Internet either with a wired link or wirelessly, and provides sufficient system resources to support thin-client applications such as Yahoo Connected TV widgets or the Adobe Flash Platform for the Digital Home.

“IETVs provide easy, integrated Internet access, attracting the interest of consumers,” Tseng said. “Because of this, all the major brands now are offering more flat-panel sets with Internet connectivity, including Samsung, Sony, LG Electronics, Vizio, Sharp and Panasonic. IETVs now are available at lower price tags and in a greater variety of screen sizes than ever before, from 24 to 65 inches.”

iSuppli forecasts worldwide sales of IETVs will rise to 87.6 million units by 2013, up from 14.7 million in 2009. An estimated 60 percent of total North American flat panel TVs shipped in 2013 are expected to be IETVs.

Source: iSuppli, USA

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vizio takes lead in US LCD-TV market in 2009; Samsung holds flat-panel top spot

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Vizio Inc. became the leading LCD-TV brand in the United States in 2009, while Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. took the top spot in overall flat-panel television market for the year, according to iSuppli Corp.

US-based Vizio’s LCD-TV shipments nearly doubled in 2009, rising to 5.9 million units, up 92.1 percent from 3.1 million in 2008. This vastly exceeded the 29 percent growth of the overall US LCD-TV market for the year and represented the strongest growth among the Top-6 brands. Company market share rose to 18.7 percent for the year, up from 12.6 percent in 2008.

This gave US-based Vizio the No.-1 rank in 2009, up from third place in 2008.
“Vizio continues to benefit from its strong brand recognition among US consumers,” said Riddhi Patel, director, television systems and retail services for iSuppli.

“The company already has established itself as the price leader in LCD-TVs. The company played to this strength in 2009 by offering attractive promotions to consumers. Furthermore, Vizio moved to make its LCD-TV products more competitive with premium brands, adding higher-end features such as LED backlights and Internet connectivity.”

Vizio led the US LCD-TV market during every quarter of 2009, except for the third, when Samsung took the top spot due to the popularity of its LED-backlit sets.

Samsung tops in flat panel TV
Looking at the overall US flat-panel television market, consisting of both LCD-TVs and plasma sets, South Korea’s Samsung retained leadership in 2009.

Samsung’s US flat-panel television shipments rose to 6.6 million units in 2009, up 22.6 percent from 5.4 million units in 2008. The company ended 2009 with a market share of 18.4 percent, virtually unchanged from 18.5 percent in 2008.

“Samsung maintained its overall leadership in the U.S. flat panel television market due to the continued success of the LED-backlit LCD TVs and its strong price competitiveness in both value and premium TV segments,” Patel said.

Toshiba and Sony star in 2009
The second strongest performance among the Top-6 LCD-TV brands in the United States in 2009 was posted by Japan’s Toshiba Corp., which achieved a stunning 81.7 percent increase in unit shipments for the year. The company ended 2009 with a 7.6 percent share of unit shipments, up from 4.2 percent in 2008, giving it a fourth-place ranking for the year.

“Toshiba’s rise was due to its increased shipments of LCD TVs at aggressive price points, which are much closer to the value brands,” Patel said.

Sony Corp. of Japan was the best performer in the U.S. LCD TV market in the fourth quarter, with its share rising to 13.2 percent, up from 7.7 percent in the third quarter.

“Sony’s strong fourth-quarter performance mainly was driven by its aggressive pricing and promotions for the Christmas season,” Patel said. “Consumers were attracted by Sony’s bundled deals combining LCD TVs with PlayStation 3 video game consoles and Blu-ray players.”

Sony ranked third in the US LCD-TV market both in the fourth quarter and for the entire year of 2009.

Source: iSuppli, USA

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Seagate ships industry’s first 2TB 6Gb/s SAS enterprise drive

SCOTTS VALLEY, USA: Seagate is now shipping its 3.5-inch Constellation ES drive, the industry’s first 2TB enterprise-class drives featuring 6Gb SAS, to customers worldwide.

Designed specifically for multi-drive nearline storage environments, the Constellation ES drive has been qualified by leading enterprise OEMs and system builders who demand storage solutions of the highest capacities with increased power efficiency, enterprise-class reliability, and data security that their customers demand.

The Constellation ES drive leverages Seagate’s 30 years of leadership in meeting large enterprise customer needs in product development, qualification, and support.

The fourth-generation, 3.5-inch Seagate Constellation ES drive family for 7200-RPM enterprise environments enables cost-effective, highly efficient storage with capacities of 500GB, 1TB and 2TB. Supporting up to 76TB per square foot, it offers best-in-class reliability, leading 6Gb/s SAS or SATA 3Gb/s performance, PowerChoice optimized power and cooling technology, and a government-grade security option – all backed by Seagate.

“Nearline is the fastest growing segment in enterprise storage and Seagate is committed to meeting the market demands of its OEM and system integrator partners in this space,” said Carla Kennedy, vice president, Seagate Enterprise Product Line Management.

“Seagate’s leadership in technology development, volume manufacturing and supply chain execution has resulted in an exemplary next-generation nearline solution. The Constellation ES drive tackles the concerns of shrinking IT budgets, floor space constraints and energy consumption, efficiently and cost-effectively.”

Monday, February 22, 2010

General Imaging unveils extensive new line-up of 2010 GE digital cameras

ANAHEIM, USA: General Imaging (GIC), the exclusive licensee of GE digital cameras, announced the complete 2010 line-up of cameras offering innovation in features and design, and an optimum balance between technology, style and functionality.

From everyday photographers to picture-taking-fanatics and even the style conscious shutterbug, General Imaging offers an array of cameras for every need at an exceptional value.

"We have done extensive research into what consumers want and need from their digital cameras, and simplicity is key in helping them take great pictures," said Paul Meyhoefer, General Imaging's vice president of Marketing and Product Planning. "Our 2010 family of GE branded digital cameras is feature-packed, yet easy-to-use, offering consumers more value at a remarkable price."

THE 2010 GE digital camera line-up includes:
* Create by Jason Wu
* GE Active Series - G5WP
* GE Power Pro Series - X5
* GE Power Series - E1486TW and E1480W
* GE Smart Series - J1455
* GE Smart Series C1033 and C1233
* GE Smart Series - A1255 and A1455

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Large-sized LCD panel prices continue rising in February

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Television and PC makers are building inventories of large-sized LCD panels in the first quarter, driving up prices and limiting the market’s normal first-quarter revenue dip, according to iSuppli Corp.

Global revenue from shipments of large-sized LCD panels is set to decline to $17.3 billion in the first quarter of 2010, down only 5.1 percent from $18.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009.

In contrast, revenue declined by 14.9 percent sequentially in the first quarter of 2009 and by 9.1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2008.

The market in the first quarter posted impressive growth compared to the same period in 2009. Revenue rose by 66 percent from $10.4 billion in the first quarter of 2009.
The attached figure presents iSuppli’s quarterly estimate and forecast of global large-sized LCD panel market revenue in 2009 and 2010. iSuppli defines large-sized LCD panels as those having a diagonal dimension of 10 inches or more.

“The first quarter is typically a slow season for the global large-sized LCD market following the annual peak in shipments during fourth-quarter holiday season,” said Sweta Dash, senior director, LCD research at iSuppli.

“However, in the first quarter of 2010, television and computer brands—along with system integrators—have been replenishing large-sized LCD panel stockpiles that had been depleted during the peak holiday selling season. The inventory-building effort is expected to cause pricing to rise during every month of the first quarter of 2010. This will keep market revenue in the first quarter of 2010 from declining as much as in previous years.”

Average panel pricing in February will rise by $2 to $3 for monitors, by $1 to $2 for notebooks and by $2 to $3 for televisions. If February pricing follows iSuppli’s forecasts, this will represent the second month in a row that all major applications for large-sized LCDs have seen an increase in panel pricing.

In January, overall LCD panel pricing increased by 2 percent, also due to inventory replenishment and tight panel supply. Television panel pricing rose by 0.3 percent for the month.

TV panel softness ahead?
In the second quarter, iSuppli expects television panel pricing to remain flat or to show some softness.

“On the demand side, pricing softness will be the result of slowing sales as North American brands finish their new-model launch preparations and China’s Labor Day holiday season ends,” Dash said. “On the supply side, LG Display’s 7.5-generation panel fab and Samsung LCD’s 7.1-generation facility will be fully depreciated by the second quarter. This will allow both companies to reduce cost and improve profitability more than other suppliers.”

At the same time, limited capacity increases for television panels in the second half of 2010 will help stabilize panel pricing and prevent further declines.
In the near term, television panel pricing is expected also to bear the fruits of the February price increases because of the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday and fear of lower panel production levels.

However, demand for television panels remains healthy from the Chinese and US markets. With shipments expected to grow in the double digits in March, panel prices will rise slightly again for the month.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Printed Electronics Summit shifts industry focus toward making money today

SAN JOSE, USA: With the printed electronics industry poised to explode into the mainstream market, representatives from Europe, Asia and America have already started registering for the Printed Electronics summit, taking place May 10-11 in San José.

It's no wonder, looking at the speaker line-up, which reads like a who's who of the printed electronics industry, or the cutting edge agenda, which will transform prototype products into mass-market solutions which will drive profits, not in ten years, but in one.

With key speakers demonstrating how to capitalize on current capabilities, lessons from end-users on what they want to be able to do in today's products, and companies demonstrating their integration of printed electronics into existing components, the message is clear.

The Printed Electronics Summit will help developers make money, today.

In a recent interview with Dr Kate Stone, CEO of Novalia and speaker at the Printed Electronics Summit, this was made abundantly clear: "The main challenges facing this industry are based around a joined up supply chain and use of creativity. There are so many products that could be launched today, however the focus is usually on pushing technology forward rather than being creative with what we have. The challenge is to communicate to industry just what can already be done."

With the printed electronics industry in a "chicken and egg" situation, with a mass market product needed to secure significant funding to progress, and that funding needed to reach the mass market, innovative approaches to today's problems are needed. The Printed Electronics Summit will provide delegates with case studies, definitive, current advice and forward thinking solutions to help developers ramp up their processes and commercialize the impressive capabilities that printed electronics has today.

Andreas Meyer, Director of Technical Product Development at Ravensburger, and speaker at the Printed Electronics Summit is already on board. "Ravensburger has already started with the integration of electronic and electronic devices into board games, with success. One aim for us is to strengthen the main categories with additional electronic and technical opportunities, to enhance the fun and the challenge while playing as well as being updated with the convenience of playing games over all."

One innovative company who have realized the caliber and potential of this show are recently confirmed event sponsors Fujifilm Dimatix. Dimatix is driving a revolution in production technology to support a new generation of products for printing, industrial product decoration and materials deposition.

With this partnership, along with the highest level of speakers and delegates, the Printed Electronics Summit is not to be missed! With leading developers, manufacturers and end-users discussing the latest developments and profit making product strategies, delegates are sure to come away with the latest, most useful printed electronics knowledge.

LCD update: Merger mania buzzes the market

USA: According to Converge Market Insights, Hon Hai's (Foxconn) upward integration strategy to acquire CMO has moved along since the merger between CMO and Innolux was announced in November. To have the merger make sense, the new company, Chimei Innolux Corp. (CIC), is planning to take several cost-cutting measures on its future LCD production.

One strategy to drive the costs down is to modify the mechanical design so that future products will be strategically configured to work with Foxconn's display applications across the line. This potentially will make CIC's future products less comparable with the mainstream offerings from other panel makers.

Meanwhile, the new design will likely allow CIC to enter a niche market with improved profit margin. This also means that the open market will start seeing less liquidity on the CIC panels as a major portion of the new company's production output is allocated to its mother company, Foxconn.

In other areas of the market, the shortages on polarizer, driver IC and mother glass continue to hinder LCD productions globally. Many production plants throughout Asia are suffering from lowered capacities in February because of the weeklong Chinese New Year holiday. The shortage on desktop panels worsened because most panel makers underestimated the strength of the economic rebound.

Stronger-than-expected demands from corporate clientele, in combination with those from various industries, have exceeded the overall production capacities allocated to desktop LCD by approximately 30 percent in the first quarter. In response, factory pricing rose again in February by 4-6 percent (or around $4-$5) for mainstream sizes. Factory lead time stays at four to six weeks with deliveries often getting pushed back.

Television panel pricing stabilized this month with the only exception being 32", which goes up another $5, with an eight-week lead time quoted by the factories. The Chinese market remains an important consideration for panel makers when strategizing future pricing. The sales numbers during the Chinese New Year are expected to be relatively strong but not too strong. Many customers are taking a wait-and-see approach. This results in high inventory levels in the distribution channel despite the material shortage. It seems that TV panel pricing could be due for correction as we move into the second quarter.

Notebook panel pricing is again up by $3-$5, particularly for sizes between 14" and 17.3", with 17.1" and 17.3" being the most allocated. The 10.1" panels are also showing signs of shortage as manufacturers allocate some of the capacities to 15.6" and 17.3", where demand is among the highest.

Production planning for notebook panels seems in line with actual demand. Panels featuring CCFL backlight are still among the most sought in the market, especially the 15.4" with matte polarizer. Of the most allocated, LG-Philips LP171WP4 and AUO B173RW series are two of the models in high demand in today's market.

The industrial panel market fluctuates little due to diverse usages and applications. Converge sees demand persist for STN models such as Sharp 6.4" and 8.4".

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Device makers, operators and media companies position to shape home entertainment future

SCOTTSDALE, USA: Three sectors of the digital entertainment ecosystem—device manufacturers and retailers, content producers and service providers—have much different visions of the home entertainment future, reports In-Stat (http://www.in-stat.com). Each industry sector will continue to try to mold the future to its advantage.

“In the TV and video ecosystem, operators and media companies want to avoid what happened in digital music, where Apple dominates the digital music ecosystem,” says Keith Nissen, In-Stat analyst.

“As Web-to-TV initiatives accelerate, pay TV operators' ‘TV Everywhere’ concepts must deliver more than just TV content on a PC screen. It must deliver a complimentary web-based video experience to any screen. Meanwhile, media companies must balance existing distribution channels with new ‘over-the-top’ opportunities.”

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
* Exclusive live sports and TV events are a key competitive advantage for Pay TV operators.
* Device manufacturers and retailers have bet heavily on the adoption of Blu-ray technology, which has been slow to take hold.
* High value content will migrate to premium channels, benefiting Pay TV subscription revenue.
* Video content on the Internet, or Over-the-Top Video (OTT) video services, will be a net positive for content producers that correctly navigate the rapidly changing distribution channels and business models.
* The value of the home digital entertainment market in the US will total $233 billion by 2013.

Digital Signage Expo answers industry call for independent association

LAS VEGAS, USA: Digital Signage Expo, the only International Conference Summit & Trade Show exclusively dedicated to digital signage, interactive technologies and out-of-home media networks, announced that it is willing to step up and provide the initial funding to launch a truly independent Digital Signage Trade Association this year.

The new trade association, The Digital Signage Federation, will be a truly independent 501c non-profit association with legal and professional by-laws and an elected Board of Directors who represent a cross-section of the industry and are therefore motivated to act in the industry’s best interest.

Along with other member benefits still being finalized, the new Digital Signage Federation will provide a year-round education program for members and a full program of member services, featuring a vertical industry outreach program to bring the digital signage industry’s message to thousands of end-users in 2011. Professional association management will support the new Federation and funds will be provided to make projects immediately actionable.

To allow the industry to take control of its future through a truly independent Industry voice, DSE has agreed to step in and foot the bill without reimbursement, to create a member-owned forum in which true industry leadership can come to the fore.

Angelo Varrone, CEO of Exponation, LLC, which produces Digital Signage Expo said: “We have worked hard to represent this industry in a way that helps elevate our collective brand image to existing and prospective customers. And when the time came as different needs arose, we did our best to demonstrate leadership for our common good. We believe the industry has earned the right to an independent industry association in order to safeguard continued growth in a direction that accurately reflects the industry’s voice. We are committed to support the industry that supports us.”

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

NAB show boosts 'Green' efforts for 2010

2010 NAB Show, WASHINGTON, USA: NAB Show organizers will implement an array of enhanced eco-friendly strategies this year aimed at minimizing the environmental impact of the world's largest electronic media show. The coordinated effort will encompass all areas of the NAB Show, and organizers are encouraging exhibitors and attendees to participate as well.

Headlining the initiative is the launch of a 'green' newsroom, which will give exhibitors the ability to reach journalists worldwide. Exhibiting companies will be able to post news releases and product information in their online NAB Show listing through a new exhibitor portal for free, reducing the costs and use of hardcopy media kits.

The replacement of direct mail with the use of electronic communication such as virtual brochures and the use of social networking sites will also help contribute to the NAB Show's green initiatives, organizers announced. Post-consumer recycled materials will be used for conference bags and any necessary direct mail marketing supplies.

The NAB Show will also partner with Carbonfund.org to provide a solution to attendees, exhibitors, and speakers eager to offset the carbon emissions associated with attending a conference and exhibition. To learn more about the NAB Show's carbon footprint and offset your participation in the event, please visit Carbonfund.org's unique NAB Show page.

NAB is also encouraging radio and television broadcasters to join the green effort by downloading the guidebook Going Green: A Broadcasters' Guide to Acting Locally, which contains a variety of simple suggestions, public service announcement scripts and on-air initiatives broadcasters can use to promote an eco-friendly environment.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Qualcomm and Audi to make connected car a reality in 2010

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Qualcomm Inc. and AUDI AG announced that Audi’s Mobile Media Interface (MMI) Plus in-car navigation system, featuring integrated UMTS connectivity from Qualcomm, will be available on select Audi A8 vehicles this year.

The solution brings 3G high-speed data connectivity to the automobile and enables previously unseen navigation capabilities. The MMI’s embedded 3G connectivity also allows the car to perform as a mobile “hot spot”, allowing passengers to connect their Wi-Fi devices to the Internet from the vehicle.

Demonstrated in an Audi A5 Cabriolet, the connected MMI Plus system and several other connected car technologies will be displayed at the GSMA booth in the EMBEDDED MOBILE ZONE, 7EMZ, APP PLANET in HALL 7 at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.

“Audi strives to deliver a cutting-edge automotive experience, and increasingly that has meant not only the best-in-class automotive technology, but also complementary capabilities that bring greater value to our customers,” said Peter Kohlschmidt, director of development in Wireless, Acoustic and Connectivity for Audi. “We are pleased to be working with Qualcomm, the world’s largest provider of wireless chipset solutions, to bring a new type of connected experience to Audi A8 models this year.”

“We are pleased to be working with Audi, a globally recognized leader in luxury automobiles, to show consumers just how compelling the mixture of navigation and 3G connectivity technologies can be,” said Luis Pineda, senior vice president of product management and marketing at Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. “By integrating Qualcomm UMTS modem technology with their MMI Plus navigation system, Audi will give its customers a navigation experience unlike any other, backed by real-time data and imagery.”

The newest generations of Audi A8 vehicles with the MMI Plus navigation system will have high-speed data connectivity and simultaneous voice and data connections enabled by Qualcomm’s technology. Audi has made the most of this connectivity by integrating Google Earth to provide high-resolution, 3D satellite and aerial imagery to the navigation system.

When these images are combined with a detailed street atlas and other online or offline content in real-time, the MMI Plus navigation system can provide route planning, points-of-interest and real-time traffic updates on a single, seamlessly integrated platform.

HCL Infosystems launches first 'Made in India' PVC free notebook

NEW DELHI, INDIA: HCL Infosystems Ltd, India’s premier hardware, services and ICT system Integration company unveiled India’s first PVC free HCL ME Series 40 Notebook.

The eco-friendly ME notebook has been designed and manufactured with materials completely free of harmful chemicals like Polyvinyl Chloride(PVC), a hazardous toxin, absence of which makes recycling of electronic products safer & environment friendly. Elimination of PVC would bring down exposure of poisonous chemicals reducing risks to health and environment.

George Paul, Executive Vice President, HCL Infosystems Ltd said: “With decades of pioneering technology innovations, HCL ME Series 40 is just another step towards a green revolution in the IT hardware industry. We at HCL Infosystems have always been an environmentally responsible corporate and one of the few companies world over, with an official commitment to sustainability in our vision and mission statement.”

The new notebook is based on the Intel Core 2 Duo processor and apart from being ecofriendly is also loaded with host of innovative features such as:

* SPLIT ME where one can share their data without worrying about the size of the file.
* LOCK ME that prevents data theft from the system. This feature ensures that the data cannot be copied on to external storage devices, USB memory sticks, CD optical disk drives, hard disk drive without getting authorization from the user.
* Secure ME is an effective tool which can be used to lock any application installed on the PC e.g. Internet Browser, Adobe, Power point etc.
* Encrypt ME allows the user to encrypt their data and avoids unauthorized access of the data providing assurance against data theft.

The HCL ME 40 notebook is available for Rs. 41,500, plus applicable taxes.

MSI further extends retail reach in India

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Micro Star International (MSI) announced today that they will further enhance their retail reach to make their range of consumer notebooks easily available to a wider customer base. In a customer-friendly move, the Company has tied up with popular large format retail chains including Croma, Reliance Digital and Big Bazaar across several cities.

Under the retail push, the notebooks will be displayed at dedicated MSI-branded counters in the LFR stores. Moreover customers will be able to browse and access detailed product literature, while trained personnel will on hand to explain product features and help customers derive an “MSI experience” before making their purchase decision.

Tony Yang, MD of MSI India, said: “The LFR stores will bring new availability for MSI’s industry-leading notebooks to a wider consumer base. They will help buyers make more informed decisions by acquainting them with the capabilities and unique features of the different models.”

MSI initiated its LFR program on a pilot basis with 30 Croma stores across major metros, last month. This arrangement is now expanding to more than 43 stores across 10 cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Cochin, Ahmadabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Rajkot. MSI will be retailing the stylish and award winning X-Slim series of notebooks as well as their Classic series through the Croma outlets.

Further, MSI has already begun rollout of similar retail programme through Reliance and Big Bazaar stores. MSI notebooks are available at more than 20 reliance stores across ten cities, and another 21 Big Bazaar outlets in Delhi, NCR and Mumbai. The ultra-light U-series netbooks are placed in the Reliance Digital and Big Bazaar outlets.

Johnny Lin, National Product, Sales and Marketing Manager for MSI India informed that similar tie-ups with other retail chains were on the anvil. “The tie-up with these large retailers will strengthen MSI presence in India. The brand aims at leveraging an environment where the customers can have a first hand experience of MSI latest technology before buying it. Similar kind of tie-ups will be rolled out with more outlets within the next six months,” said Lin.

The MSI retail outlet programme is driven by increasing consumer demand and is part of Company’s commitment to the Indian market. Some months ago, MSI had established its first branded retail access point for its entire range of laptops, in Delhi’s IT trade hub – Nehru Place market in collaboration with its channel partner Sun Computers. That arrangement is also being expanded with coming up of another branded retail point in partnership with Technology Next.

The MSI retail outlet programme through LFR chains and co-branded individual stores will expand the number customer access points in India from 90 today to about 300 by the end of 2010.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Global PND shipments to stagnate at 48 million by 2015

LONDON, UK: Growth in PND shipments will continue to slow, stagnating at 48 million by 2015. The Asia-Pacific market will experience the strongest growth with more than 10 million shipments in 2015.

“PND shipments continue to suffer from competing navigation form factors,” says ABI Research practice director Dominique Bonte. “While the free navigation solutions from both Nokia and Google firmly establish handset-based turn-by-turn navigation as a standard feature, in-dash navigation is also becoming affordable for a larger portion of car buyers. While this leaves portable navigation positioned between a free commodity on handsets and an affordable optimized experience integrated in cars, PNDs will continue to be successful in two segments.”

Highly specified, state of the art, connected PNDs with large screens will remain attractive for high frequency, demanding navigation users because they outperform both the inherently compromised navigation experience on phones and the better integrated but quickly outdated in-dash systems, due to long automotive design cycles and a lack of upgradeability. This high end PND segment will remain dominated by Garmin and TomTom.

At the other extreme of the market, low end PNDs will attract non tech savvy users and/or higher age segments due to their superior out of the box experience and ultra low price points. In this segment there will still be an opportunity for other vendors to compete with TomTom and Garmin.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

IEEE announces Global Standards at IEEE seminar

PISCATAWAY, USA: IEEE, the world's leading professional association for the advancement of technology, will be hosting a Global Standards at IEEE seminar in Bangalore, India, on 9 March 2010 at the Royal Palace Ballroom, Leela Palace Hotel.

As part of its program to reach out to global technologists, the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) is offering this seminar as part of a full outreach program in India. Bringing together leaders from industry, the seminar will focus on global standards development at the IEEE and collaborative efforts among organizations and industry.

It will cover an overview of the IEEE standards development process, including discussion of the IEEE-SA Corporate Program and the IEEE standards intellectual property rights policy. Global Standards at IEEE will feature several IEEE standards and their respective applications in industry.

Case study presentations will cover: Deploying software product and process standards, IEEE debug standards, progress of IEEE P1901™ Draft Standard for Broadband over Power Line Networks: Medium Access Control and Physical Layer Specifications, Smart Grid, IEEE 802.20™ mobile broadband wireless access systems supporting vehicular mobility, IEEE Design Automation standards and their impact on industry, IEEE 802.16™ for the mobile internet and IEEE 802.Qbf and traffic engineering and infrastructure.

The initial list of seminar participants includes:
* Dennis B. Brophy, Director, Strategic Business Development, Mentor Graphic; IEEE-SA Corporate Advisory Chair.
* Jim Hughes, Senior Standards Strategist, Microsoft Corporation; IEEE-SA Corporate Advisory Group member.
* Phil Wennblom, Director of International Standards, Regulations and Technology Programs, Intel Corporation; IEEE-SA Corporate Advisory Group member.
* Dr. Mark Epstein, Senior Vice President, Development, QUALCOMM Incorporated; IEEE-SA Corporate Advisory Group member.
* Kesav V. Nori, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, IIIT Hyderabad.
* Rob Oshana, Director of Global Software R&D, Freescale Semiconductor; IEEE-SA Corporate Advisory Group member.
* Purva Rajkotia, Director for Global Standards and Regulations, Intellon Corp.
* Dr. Jashavant Patel, Vice President and Head, Global R&D Centre, Crompton Greaves Ltd
* Dr. Radhakrishna Canchi, Director, Kyocera Telecommunications Research Center (KTRC), Kyocera Wireless Corp.
* Karen Bartleson, Senior Director, Community Marketing, Synopsys; IEEE-SA Corporate Advisory Group member
* Jose Puthenkulam, Director of WiMAX Standards, Mobile Wireless Group, Intel; Vice-Chair, IEEE 802.16
* Dr. Abhay Karandikar, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

Large-area TFT LCD shipments grew 20 percent Y/Y in 2009

AUSTIN, USA: Global large-area TFT LCD panel shipments reached a record high of 527 million units in 2009, with strong growth in TV, mini-note and public display applications, indicating recovery from the economic crisis in late 2008, according to the DisplaySearch Quarterly Large-Area TFT LCD Shipment Report. Q4’09 was the strongest quarter, with 154 million units shipped, up 1 percent from Q3’09.

Monitors are a relatively mature market for large-area TFT LCD, with only 2 percent Y/Y growth from 2008, and the same level as 2007. However, notebook PC and mini-note panels reached 175 million units for a healthy 25 percent Y/Y growth (Table 1). TV panels are the brightest spot, with 45 percent Y/Y growth to 163 million units. In addition, public display panel shipments grew substantially, by 93 percent Y/Y, from 0.9 million units to 1.1 million.

Table 1: Large Area TFT LCD Panel Shipments (Millions)Source: DisplaySearch Quarterly Large-Area TFT LCD Shipment Report

“In the middle of 2009, DisplaySearch indicated that 2009 panel shipments would exceed 520 million units, based on the aggressive business plans of panel makers, and these results justify our forecast,” noted David Hsieh, Vice President of DisplaySearch and the research leader for large-area panels.

“Q4’09 was a very strong quarter, especially for LCD TV, which passed 50 million units for the first time. This is a result of strong panel demand from China, as well as economic recovery in North America and Europe. Panel makers are increasing their utilization to boost shipments.” Hsieh continued, “However, due to seasonality, shorter working days, and a labor shortage in China, we expect that panel shipments will decline by 4 percent Q/Q in Q1’10, although panel makers are targeting more than 50 million LCD TV panels.”

LG Display led 2009 shipments with a 24.9 percent share, but Samsung followed closely with 24.5 percent. AUO’s share was 17 percent and CMO’s was 14.2 percent (Table 2). However, Samsung remains the leader in both area and revenues. Korean makers significantly increased their area share, from 46.2 percent in 2008 to 52.8 percent in 2009.

Table 2: 2009 Large-Area TFT LCD Panel Unit Shipment RankingSource: DisplaySearch Quarterly Large-Area TFT LCD Shipment Report

Ford opens door for contract manufacturing in automotive

EL SEGUNDO, USA: “Today we’re thinking and behaving like a consumer-electronics company,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford Motor Co. group vice president of global product development, in January, as he introduced the company’s second-generation
SYNC system, known as the MyFord platform.

Indeed, Ford is taking a consumer-electronics-oriented approach with MyFord, not only in the connectivity solution’s features but also in the company’s use of a Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider to make the system.

By employing an EMS contract manufacturer, rather than a traditional automotive supplier, Ford is behaving like most modern consumer electronics firms, which predominately outsource the production and design of their products to contract manufacturers.

With Ford increasingly seen as a trendsetter in the vehicle Infotainment industry, the move could open up the automotive market to EMS providers and Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs)—and threaten the position of established automotive electronics suppliers.

“In a break from tradition, Ford with its MyFord system has chosen to partner with Flextronics, a Singapore-based EMS provider that is not part of the established Tier-1 automotive supplier base,” said Richard Robinson, principal analyst for automotive infotainment at iSuppli.

“By doing this, Ford’s infotainment team has taken a page from top-tier consumer electronics OEMs, developing a product that leverages a reference platform from a contract manufacturer, rather than making the system from scratch. The EMS reference design approach has been used for years in the manufacturing of consumer devices, including cell phones and Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs), so why not in automotive infotainment?”

Contract manufacturers in 2009 accounted for only 5.5 percent of the global automotive electronics business. This indicates there is plenty of opportunity for EMS providers like Flextronics in this area.

“The biggest question now facing the Tier-1 automotive electronics supplier base is: what happens next?” Robinson said. “If Ford establishes a trend of using the EMS/reference design approach to automotive electronics, it’s likely to spur in a drastic reshaping of the market and result in an uncertain future for many established Tier-1 suppliers.”

Is there a Ford in your future?
iSuppli’s discussions with key members of Ford’s product development team revealed that future-proofing was a primary driver behind the choice of architecture for the MyFord platform. With the launch of the second-generation platform, Ford is focusing on the feature upgrade capability of its hardware to keep up with the changing
connectivity trends and new consumer electronic product launches that have plagued previous infotainment system designers.

The MyFord interface makes use of steering wheel switches and voice input to control external devices employing established Bluetooth and USB protocols, rather than trying to emulate the features and functions of the external device on the vehicle’s system.

SD card navigation
Other critical changes in the architecture from the Ford team include an option for consumers to use onboard navigation. However the only additional hardware required for this navigation ‘app’ is a Secure Digital (SD) memory card that contains 3-D map-data, graphics and voice data from TeleNav.

This movement away from dedicated hardware to a navigation app will be of great concern to the traditional Tier-1 automotive supplier base, but perhaps the most critical issue facing the current supply chain is how to service the needs of these new apps.

Source: iSuppli, USA

Friday, February 12, 2010

Foxconn and UMC join Samsung as investors in LensVector

MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: LensVector Inc., a leader in solid-state optical components for camera phones, laptops and other consumer electronics, announced that UMC and Foxconn Technology Group have joined Samsung as investors in the company’s $30 million Series C financing round.

Other investors joining the Series C round include TransLink Capital and Harbor Pacific. The proceeds will be used to expand LensVector operations and bring the total financial backing of the company to more than $50 million.

“These investments are strong industry endorsements from the top players in mobile consumer electronics, and we are poised to make significant contributions to the industry with our breakthrough optical technology,” said LensVector CEO Derek Proudian.

LensVector has developed breakthrough optical technology that can shape, steer and focus light without mechanical movement. Sampling today with key customers, LensVector technology replaces the complex, bulky and often fragile mechanical autofocus mechanisms currently found in camera phones with a simple and easy-to-integrate solid-state component.

“LensVector’s unique technology makes advanced camera features, previously only available in point and shoot digital still cameras or high-end handsets, practical for every camera phone,” said Brian Kang, managing director of Samsung Ventures America. “LensVector autofocus has the potential to greatly expand the market, with increased revenue opportunities for service providers and an improved picture-taking experience for consumers all over the world. The technology is also perfect for video.”

“Foxconn is both the leading provider of camera module solutions and mobile phone contract manufacturing services in the world, and LensVector’s technology has great promise to help Foxconn deliver superior products to our customers,” said Foxconn. “LensVector allows autofocus to be deployed in phones that historically have been unable to support this feature because mechanical solutions were either too large or too expensive to be deployed.”

Mid-range iPad to generate maximum profits for Apple

EL SEGUNDO, USA: The mid-range, 3G-wireless version of Apple Inc.’s upcoming iPad is expected to carry a combined Bill of Materials (BOM) and manufacturing cost of $287.15, making it the most profitable member of the iPad product line on a percentage basis, according to a virtual teardown generated in part by leveraging iSuppli Corp.’s Mobile Handset Cost Model tool.

The mid-priced version of the iPad equipped with 32Gbytes of NAND flash memory and 3G wireless capability will contain $275.95 worth of components and other materials, iSuppli estimates. This version of the device will cost $11.20 to manufacture.

The table presents the results of iSuppli’s cost estimate for all six versions of the iPad. Please note these cost estimates account only for hardware and manufacturing costs and do not include other expenses such as software, royalties and licensing fees.Source: iSuppli, Feb. 2010, USA

“At a BOM and manufacturing cost of $287.15, and a retail price of $729, the 32Gbyte/3G version is expected to generate the highest profit of any member of the iPad line on a percentage basis,” said Dr. Jagdish Rebello, senior director and principal analyst for iSuppli. “The 32Gbyte versions of the iPad cost only $29.50 more to produce than the 16Gbyte versions, but their retail pricing is $100 higher. This shows that Apple believes the highest-volume opportunity for the iPad resides in the mid range of the product line.”

The 32Gbytes of NAND flash in the mid-range iPad costs an estimated $59, compared to $29.50 for the 16Gbtyes in the low-end version, accounting for the cost differential.

Touch and feel
At a combined cost of $80 for all models, the iPad’s display and touch-screen interface represents the most expensive segment of the system, accounting for 29 percent of the BOM of the mid-range 3G model, according to Vinita Jakhanwal, principal analyst for iSuppli.

The display employs In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology which supports a wider viewing angle and better picture quality in terms of presentation of color than conventional LCDs. While the iPad’s display probably is sourced from three suppliers, LG Display and Innolux are the two most likely suppliers of the iPad’s IPS LCD, Jakhanwal said.

The touch-screen controller chip likely is supplied by Texas Instruments Inc., iSuppli believes.

Precious memory
The NAND flash memory is expected to be the second most expensive item in the iPad’s BOM, regardless of the model. In the mid-range 3G model, the 32Gbytes of NAND accounts for 21.4 percent of the total BOM.

Based on previous iSuppli teardowns of Apple iPhone and iPod products, likely suppliers for the NAND flash are Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Toshiba Corp.

PA inside
The applications processor and DRAM are expected to carry a combined cost of $28.90, representing 10.5 percent of the mid-range 3G model’s total BOM, making them the third most expensive line item in the mid-range iPad.

The A4 processor in the iPad is expected to carry a $17 cost. iSuppli believes the processor integrates an ARM RISC architecture microprocessor and a graphics processing unit. The part likely was designed by low-power processor specialist PA Semi, a fabless semiconductor company Apple acquired in 2008. However, the device most likely will be manufactured by Samsung.

For memory support for the A4, the iPad is expected to include 512Mbytes of DRAM, costing $11.90. Apple in the past has sourced DRAM from a wide variety of suppliers in its other products, and is likely to do so with the iPad. However, iSuppli believes that Hynix Semiconductor Inc. is one of the DRAM suppliers for the iPad.

Wireless expense
For the 3G-enabled versions of the iPad, the cost of the wireless subsystem—comprising the baseband IC, the radio frequency components, the power amplifier and other parts—is estimated at $24.50, equal to 8.5 percent of the BOM of the mid-range version.

iSuppli believes the wireless chipset in the iPad likely is supplied by Infineon, the same as the iPhone 3G S.

Supply side
Other notable components in the iPad include:

* The user interface components—including an accelerometer, compass, audio codec and other components—are estimated at $10.20.
* The wireless LAN, Bluetooth and FM functionality is likely supported by a Broadcom Corp. device also seen in the iPod Touch and the Google Nexus One. This Broadcom device probably is integrated into a module supplied by Murata, but there remains a possibility that Texas Instruments could supply this chip. iSuppli estimates the cost of this device at $8.05.
* In line with previous Apple products, the GPS chip in the iPad probably is supplied by Infineon. iSuppli estimates the cost of the chip at $2.60.

Source: iSuppli, Feb. 2010, USA

Seagate ships Savvio 10K.4 hard drive

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Seagate announced worldwide shipments of its Savvio 10K.4 hard disk drive (HDD), the world’s highest-capacity and most reliable 2.5-inch enterprise-class drive.

Built for the demands of enterprise servers and to enable new levels of data density in external storage arrays, Savvio 10K.4 doubles the capacity of its nearest competitor to 600GB. It is also the first HDD to achieve an unprecedented 2 million hours Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) reliability rating.

As the industry’s only fourth generation, field-proven, 2.5-inch HDD designed for the enterprise, Savvio 10K.4 also features Protection Information for enhanced protection of data-in-flight, a self-encrypting drive (SED) option for the ultimate protection of sensitive data-at-rest and PowerChoice, which allows the Savvio 10K.4 hard drive to deliver improved power savings during idle.

“Our customers face challenging storage needs requiring the most efficient use of space and power while maintaining the highest performance possible,” said Howard Shoobe, senior manager, Dell Storage Product Management. “The new 2.5-inch 10K-rpm 600GB capacity point allows a doubling of capacity within the same rack space of current 3.5-inch 15K 600GB drives while increasing overall system-level performance and decreasing power usage.”

The combined features of Savvio 10K.4 deliver greater overall value and can reduce the total cost of ownership to IT organizations and administrators eager to optimize their data center’s power and performance efficiency. Leveraging the enterprise 2.5-inch small form factor as its platform, Savvio 10K.4 serves as a powerful storage building block when compared to 3.5-inch based systems.

“A transition to 2.5-inch enterprise-class HDDs by server and storage system OEMs is building momentum,” said John Rydning, IDC’s research director for hard disk drives. “There continues to be nearly insatiable demand for digital content accessed via numerous applications and devices, content that is increasingly delivered from storage systems equipped with high capacity enterprise-class HDDs such as Seagate’s Savvio 10K.4.”

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Global telco TV service revenue to total nearly $17 billion in 2010

SINGAPORE: “Despite the economic downturn, telco TV market growth was strong in 2009. As a result, service revenue for the global telco TV market increased to nearly $12 billion in 2009 and will increase to nearly $17 billion by the end of 2010,” says Serene Fong, industry analyst at ABI Research.

Western Europe generates the largest share of global revenue, which will continue to grow from $6.8 billion in 2009 to $18.4 billion in 2014, a 22 percent CAGR.

Telco TV service revenue in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to reach $8 billion by the end of 2014, representing a 45.5% CAGR from 2009 to 2014. The increase in service revenue is due to growth in both the number of subscribers and the ARPU.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Japan, South Korea and India saw significant increases in telco TV ARPU and service revenue and we forecast that the Japanese telco TV market will approach $3 billion service revenue by the end of 2014.

“Both satellite and cable TV service revenues are found to be growing slowly due to the more restrained growth in the number of subscribers,” comments research associate Khin Sandi Lynn. “Telco TV service revenue will grow rapidly due to customers’ increased adoption of triple play services.”

France Telecom, Iliad, AT&T and Verizon are leaders in telco TV markets. Verizon added 191,000 telco TV subscribers in 3Q 2009 alone, reaching 2.7 million viewers. Telco TV operators are trying to improve subscription growth by introducing new product features.

For example, Korea Telecom, SK Broadband and LG Dacom are planning to add new channels to their telco TV services. Improved service quality would help to maintain the existing service price for telco TV subscriptions that would in turn help to increase ARPU and service revenue.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bluestreak, SafeNet ally for secure premium movie solution on Android devices

Mobile World Congress 2010, MONTREAL, CANADA & BALTIMORE, USA: Bluestreak Technology Inc., a leader in open Flash platforms for wireless and wired devices, and SafeNet Inc., a leader in information security, have announced a partnership to deliver an integrated solution, for secure distribution of premium content, including music and video content over 3G and wireless networks.

These new protected content delivery solutions combine the graphically rich, interactive video experiences that are synonymous with Bluestreak Technology with the increased content protection that SafeNet’s DRM Fusion Client provides.

With the explosion of downloads of digital content on 3G and wireless networks, Android is quickly becoming the platform of choice for open source mobile applications. Users are looking for complete interoperability and functionality in smart phones and Android has become the technology of choice for mobile applications. Android is fully adaptable to changing standards ad requirements since it can incorporate new cutting edge technologies as they emerge.

“Delivering the best user experience while protecting our customers’ intellectual property and premium content is of paramount importance to us,” said Dominique Jodoin, Bluestreak Technology CEO and President. “With this partnership, we can guarantee the security of content delivery to all of our customers as well as a smooth usable user interface for end users. Our continued commitment to rendering visually compelling applications that delight users while protecting our customers is the reason why our mobile TV solutions are enjoyed by millions of wireless subscribers today.”

“SafeNet’s partnership with Bluestreak Technology further extends our DRM leadership in mobile technology—this combined solution has already been field-tested and will be delivered to a major operator,” said Dr. Simon Blake-Wilson, managing director, Embedded Security Solutions, SafeNet.

“By uniting our complete DRM solution with Bluestreak Technology’s award-winning mobile TV applications, we not only protect their customers’ premium content, but we also enable new and secured ways of bringing entertainment to mobile users hence opening new avenues of delivering premium content to the mass market.”

The secure premium movie solution supports multiple DRM technologies for protection of premium content including full-track music and video content over broadband, mobile, and online networks. This joint solution is available today and runs on a wide variety of devices including Android-enabled phones, next generation tablets, and consumer electronic devices.

Fraunhofer MPEG audio codecs and mobile surround sound available for Android

DENVER, USA: Fraunhofer IIS, a reliable supplier of ready-to-run-software with more than 20 years of experience in the development and implementation of MPEG audio codecs, will introduce a broad range of MPEG audio codecs, such as MPEG-4 HE-AAC v2 and MPEG Surround, suitable for Android-based mobile phones at the 2010 Mobile World Congress (Barcelona, February, 15-18). These state-of-the-art MPEG audio technologies round out an innovative software portfolio from Fraunhofer IIS.

In line with its continuing focus on new audio technologies, Fraunhofer is now able to offer a comprehensive range of codecs for the Android operating system, including the MPEG-4 HE-AAC v2 standard, the codec of choice for any mobile multimedia application including digital television and radio broadcasting as well as Internet radio streaming over 3G or WiFi connections.

Fraunhofer IIS will also launch MPEG Surround, the new ISO standard codec that brings multi-channel audio to mobile devices and the living room. Operating on top of existing audio codecs such as HE-AAC, it enables content providers targeting mobile devices to deliver highest surround audio quality at stereo bit-rates to handsets equipped with conventional headphones.

Music and video streaming as well as Mobile-TV services can be enhanced with a true surround sound experience without an increase in audio bitrate. At the same time, legacy devices play the streams in excellent stereo quality.

Fraunhofer’s MPEG audio software portfolio for Android is complemented by additional innovative offerings, including MPEG AAC-LC, HD-AAC and AAC-ELD codecs. All software libraries are specifically optimized for low resource consumption on Android-based devices.

Fraunhofer IIS is involved in all MPEG audio standardization activities and offers quick access to product-ready implementations on embedded processors. Implementations are available for all popular platforms, including ARM, MIPS, Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, Freescale, PowerPC, Starcore and other processors.

CSR connectivity platform powers latest Sharp handset

CAMBRIDGE, UK: CSR announced that its CSR9000 connectivity platform, with integrated Synergy software, provides Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and FM connectivity to the latest handset from Sharp. Synergy, CSR's unique Connectivity Centre software, is a key part of the platform, delivering industry-leading wireless performance.

CSR9000, CSR's leading multi-function connectivity platform, reduces the amount of development time customers require by including a wide range of wireless technologies such as Bluetooth v2.1+ EDR, Wi-Fi as well as FM receive and transmit for streaming music through a radio.

CSR's Synergy software ties all of these technologies together by taking an overall systems approach to connectivity, making integration easier and reducing time-to-market. Synergy is the world's first host connectivity software to work in this way.

"By using CSR9000 and the Synergy platform we were able to ensure that each of the wireless technologies in our handset work together flawlessly, providing a smooth and intuitive end-user experience," said Koji Yamashita, Vice President and Division General Manager, Communication System Group, Sharp. "This variety of wireless functions handily sits in one of the industry's smallest silicon packages, allowing us to keep the size of the phone down."

"The CSR9000 connectivity platform enables manufacturers to let their latest products stand out from the crowd, by offering the full range of wireless technologies that users expect, alongside the smooth integration and coexistence delivered by CSR's Synergy software," said Matthew Phillips, Senior Vice President of CSR's Handset Business Unit. "Being able to source a complete connectivity centre from just one vendor has saved Sharp development time and cost without compromising on performance."

Providing unprecedented levels of integration, CSR9000 enables the smallest connectivity modules with sizes less than 60mm2, whereas traditional modules are typically over 100mm2.

CSR will be showcasing its market-leading audio, connectivity and location platforms, including the ones found in Sharp's latest handset, on stand E51, in Hall 1 at Mobile World Congress from 15-18 February 2010.

End of walled garden led by pay-TV operators

AUSTIN, USA: IMS Research'’s report: Market Opportunities for Internet Video to the TV reveals demand for connected CE devices are being driven by increased bandwidth, the evolution of content delivery methods and the convergence of media industries. These market drivers are resulting in new delivery methods, new content and evident changes in consumer behavior.

Adoption of over-the-top (OTT) content will become an extension of subscription packages, but OTT on the TV will not become a ubiquitous solution until at least 2015, as it is still emerging in most countries. IMS Research Analyst Rebecca Kurlak says: “Many companies are making the OTT connection. Accedo Broadband is an example of a vendor that offers interactive and long tail VOD content for both IPTV services and connected TVs. BT, PCCW, CHT, and OTE are all examples of tier one telcos that are casting a wider and deeper net.”

Should pay-TV operators be concerned?
“Not necessarily,” Kurlak concludes. “Pay-TV operators garnered 57 percent of global TV households at the end of 2009. They are changing their strategies to stay abreast of changing viewing habits. We have already seen numerous operators who are future-proofing their set-top boxes (STBs) with internet connectivity to enable future streaming services.”

The IMS Research study IPTV: A Global Market Analysis reveals that nearly 13 percent of global IP set-top box (STB) shipments in 2008 were operator-deployed hybrid boxes with the ability to receive content via IP or digital terrestrial broadcasts. Of these 1.6 million hybrid STBs deployed, 87 percent were shipped to Western European TV households.

Kurlak continues: “Not only will hybrid STBs experience a surge from operators, but in the retail market as well. IP Vision and Fetch TV are just two examples of operator-free TV service business models available to Western Europe households.” The boxes supply la carte VOD offerings, DVR functionality and digital multichannel TV capabilities in tandem with free-to-air (FTA) DTT channels.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

LASELEC demos expertise in UV laser wire marking technology

TOULOUSE, FRANCE: LASELEC, a French specialist in cable-marking eqipment has successfully established itself in the world of new technologies.

LASELEC is currently the only company on the market to offer two comprehensive and upgradeable ranges of UV laser wire-marking machines that meet the requirements of the aerospace, rail, rally and formula 1 racing car industries.

LASELEC has also developed special-purpose equipment for the cable and wire industry, including the company’s latest machine - MT 200 inspection station.

The highly compact MT 200 marks cable samples using a UV laser, as well as generating an analysis report. The machine is very simple to use and enables users to check the markability of the cable and carry out periodic controls during production. The machine is low-maintenance with a low operating cost. Its innovative technology reinforces its reliability, perfectly complementing the company's ULYS MODENA or MRO 200 series of wire markers.

Suitable for high to very-high production volumes, ULYS MODENA comes in a range of four models. The most powerful is the ULYS 990 Modena, which offers a level of productivity that is otherwise unequalled to date, thanks to its two lasers. For smaller production runs, LASELEC has designed the MRO 200 machines which offer a compact design, excellent ergonomics, at very competitive price.

Direct marking with a UV laser, which has replaced heat-shrink sleeve application, offers the undeniable advantage of reducing the weight of the cabling. In turn, this reduction results in reduced weight for the appliances that are equipped with the cables. The elimination of sleeves and labels has led to production of satellites as well as competition and rally vehicles that are much lighter. Rising energy costs have also made this factor extremely important, both for manufacturers and users.

Alongside its marking machines, LASELEC has also developed ranges of special-purpose equipment. For example, its COMET system checks the contrast of markings on cables and wires, while the MRO CUT offers the cable industry a comprehensive and automated solution for cutting cables and wires to a specified length.

In addition to equipment for cable makers, LASELEC’s ULYS LINE range includes machines specially adapted to specific sectors, including the rail, off-shore, maritime and space industries. The range is also suitable for cables designed for industrial vehicles and top-of-the-range automobiles, as well as competition and rally vehicles, which have their own specific requirements.

LASELEC’s machines offer excellent value for money and also guarantee permanent and safe marking that is certified by all aircraft manufacturers and many Formula One and rally-car manufacturers – industrial sectors that are extremely demanding in terms of safety and quality. Moreover, LASELEC endeavours to offer machines tailored to all requirements: from reworking to job lots, batches, and standardised or very-high production runs.

LASELEC, which is certified ISO 9001 Version 2008, focuses on quality, which is guaranteed thanks to its total control of the design, production and maintenance of its machines.

Bluetooth SIG launches 'One to Watch'

KIRKLAND, USA: The Bluetooth Special Interest Group Inc. (SIG) has launched a new program aimed at shining a light on innovative Bluetooth technology implementations.

As part of the Bluetooth SIG 'One to Watch' program, companies chosen will be highlighted on Bluetooth.com and via the Bluetooth SIG’s marketing vehicles globally. The first One to Watch is 3M – chosen for its innovative Littmann 3200 stethoscope with a built-in Bluetooth radio for wireless transmission to a PC.

“Innovation in Bluetooth technology development runs across all sectors and markets,” said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “Yet, most of the time the products we hear about are those in the mainstream consumer electronics markets – headsets, mobile phones, cars. The One to Watch program is an outlet for some of the lesser known, but just as innovative and useful applications of the technology, to gain attention.”

The Bluetooth SIG One to Watch companies are chosen from products qualified by all levels of membership, including Adopter, of the Bluetooth SIG. These solutions have been selected because of their unique value, market possibility and implementation of Bluetooth technology.

Introducing the first ‘One to Watch’
The 3M Littmann 3200 stethoscope takes the device, invented in 1816 by French physician Rene Theophile Hyacinthe Laennec, to a whole new level. In its 200+ year history, not much changed from the inventor’s original vision.

With the 3M Littmann 3200, physicians can enhance their patient assessments by easily recording and storing heart, lung and other body sounds. These recorded sounds can be sent wirelessly to a PC using Bluetooth technology and then amplified; enabling physicians to more easily detect physical conditions such as heart murmurs. These sound files can also be attached to medical records or shared online for review by colleagues — enhancing physicians’ ability to diagnose and treat patients.

Future versions of the device are anticipated to interact with mobile phones, an expansion that would bring this technology to consumers and provide opportunities for improved home health care.

Added Foley, “Doctor Laennec would be impressed with the enhancements 3M, with Bluetooth technology, has made to this standard healthcare device.”

Monday, February 8, 2010

LCD monthly desktop monitor production rate highest since mid-2008

AUSTIN, USA: January LCD monitor production for top PC and monitor brands — about 85 percent of the market — was 12.5 million, the highest level in more than a year, as noted in the newly announced DisplaySearch Monthly Desktop Monitor Brand and OEM Production Report.

Additionally, near-term production build-plans show that March could be the highest monthly production of LCD monitors on record, reaching over 12.9 million.

“In today’s volatile PC market, OEM and brand production totals are a leading indicators as to what the market may see in the near term, including pricing and supplies,” notes Chris Connery, Vice President of Personal Computer Displays at DisplaySearch.

Fig. 1: Top 12 Monitor Brand Production (Jan 2009-Jan 2010) and Production Plans (Mar-Apr 2010)Source: DisplaySearch Monthly Desktop Monitor Brand and OEM Production Report.

While monthly production rates like these have not been seen since April 2008, prior to the global financial crisis, it is too early to attribute the higher production levels to an increase in end-market demand. “Just because you build it, does not mean that they will come,” notes Connery. “Many other factors need to be considered alongside of actual production to get a true sense of the market.”

These other factors include:
* Continued strong demand for 19-24” LCD TV panels, which affect the supply of similarly-sized PC displays and can cause pricing for these panels to rise amid shortages.
* The threat of increased panel pricing has historically caused monitor companies to pull-in or double-book orders to receive allocation prior to price hikes. Such a pull-in of production without increased end-market demand can set the stage for high inventories.
* In China, which has become one of the largest consuming regions for monitors, end-market demand for LCD monitors is not very strong in Q1’10, but production requests from the major players in the China market are still strong, with many looking to stock up for the Chinese New Year.
* The growing dominance of notebook PCs, which outpaced desktop PC shipments for the first time in 2009, calls into question where the increased demand for external, larger-size displays is coming from. Surveys show that consumers (those driving the PC trends towards mobile computing) are far less likely to use a monitor with their notebook than a professional user in a work environment.

The use of LCD technology in desktop monitor displays and in all-in-one desktop PCs means this is still one of the top markets for large-area LCDs. Historically the supply chain for these products could be managed on a quarterly basis.

However, the fast-paced nature of the market and its inter-dependence on other markets such as notebook PCs and TVs, which compete for the same panel production, now requires that brands and their OEM production partners track production on a monthly basis. Otherwise, they are caught short on supply or end up spending too much on panels in a supply-constrained situation.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Connected TV users demand improved web interface and control devices

BOSTON, USA: Early adopters of advanced connected TV services value the ability to personalize and share their content, but want better control devices and superior user experience, according to research just released by the Strategy Analytics Digital Home Observatory.

Connected consumers also prefer multi-function, integrated devices, as well as wireless capability across control and streaming functions.

“Advanced media consumers are already setting the agenda for future designs around the connected TV experience,” says Christopher Dodge, Analyst with the Digital Home Observatory. “Content owners, vendors and developers will succeed in this emerging market by addressing the need for improved content discovery and advanced control devices.”

Hathway Cable & Datacom IPO opens on February 9

MUMBAI, INDIA: Cable television and broadband services provider Hathway Cable & Datacom Ltd is entering the capital markets with an initial public offering (IPO) of 27,750,000 Equity Shares of Rs. 10 each for cash at a price to be decided through a 100% book-building process.

The Bid/ Issue opens on February 9, 2010, and is scheduled to close on February 11, 2010. The Price Band has been fixed between Rs. 240 and Rs. 265 per Equity Share.

The Issue has been assigned the ‘IPO Grade 3/5’ by the SEBI-registered CRISIL Ltd, indicating ' average fundamentals’.

The IPO comprises a fresh issue of up to 20,000,000 equity shares and an offer for sale of 7,210,000 Equity Shares by Monet Ltd and 540,000 Equity Shares by MSPI Mauritius (I) Ltd. The Issue would constitute 19.43 percent of the fully diluted post-issue paid-up capital of the Company.

At least 60 percent of the Issue will be allocated on a proportionate basis to Qualified Institutional Buyers, out of which 5 percent shall be available for allocation on a proportionate basis to Mutual Funds only. Further, not less than 10 percent of the Issue will be available for allocation on a proportionate basis to Non-Institutional Bidders and not less than 30 percent of the Issue will be available for allocation on a proportionate basis to Retail Individual Bidders, subject to valid bids being received at or above the Issue Price. Bids can be made for a minimum of 25 equity shares and in multiples of 25 equity shares thereafter.

The Joint Global Co-ordinators and Book Running Lead Managers are Morgan Stanley India Co. Pvt Ltd and UBS Securities India Pvt Ltd and the Book Running Lead Manager is Kotak Mahindra Capital Co. Ltd.

The Equity Shares offered through the Red Herring Prospectus of the Company are proposed to be listed on the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange Ltd (BSE).

Friday, February 5, 2010

Kingston launches ultra-secure USB Flash drive

MUMBAI, INDIA: Kingston Digital Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Co. Inc., has released the DataTraveler 5000 USB Flash drive.

The DataTraveler 5000 is FIPS 140-2 Level 2 certified with Level 3 pending, and features 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption. It uses XTS cipher mode and also uses elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) algorithms to meet Suite B standards approved by the U.S. government.

"The DataTraveler 5000 delivers unsurpassed levels of security and encryption to government and enterprise customers," said Nathan Su, Flash Memory Sales Director, APAC Region, Kingston. "This portable data solution represents state-of-the-art data protection while providing end users with the simplicity of plug and play."

The DataTraveler 5000 utilizes patented Secured by SPYRUS technology which supports hardware-based 256-bit AES-XTS and Suite B cryptography, including ECC. Suite B algorithms were specifically selected and approved by the U.S. government and the Department of Defense for use in multinational data sharing environments including both classified and unclassified applications.

XTS-AES mode is a cipher mode for encryption that is much stronger than CBC, ECB and other modes. SPYRUS, Inc., is the leader in the development of advanced hardware-based encryption, authentication and digital content security products.

FIPS 140-2 certification requires a validation process that meets federal requirements set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This is critical because many governmental agencies in the United States mandate that sensitive "data at rest" (i.e., all information not in the network) must be encrypted with the FIPS 140-2 standard.

Level 2 means the DataTraveler 5000 has a tamper-evident construction which acts to notify any users if their drive has been tampered with. It also has a power-on self test that verifies the encryption mechanism is running properly each time the drive is plugged into a USB port. The drive is expected to receive a FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certificate soon.

The DataTraveler 5000 is available in 2-, 4-, 8- and 16GB capacities. It will also be available with an onboard Malware scanning application via Kingston's extensive customization program.

Ultra-HD video and 3D video on the horizon

SCOTTSDALE, USA: As High-Definition (HD) video has hit its stride worldwide, the TV and film industry are looking ahead to the next new thing. 3D TV and Ultra-HD (UHD) are on the horizon, according to In-Stat.

3D video is already out of the gate, with growing proliferation of 3D films in theaters. Pay TV operators are in the early stages of deploying 3D TV capability. Early 3D TVs and 3D Blu-ray players will ship in 2010. In-Stat projects worldwide 3D TV shipments will reach 41 million in 2014. 3D Blu-ray player shipments will track closely with 3D TVs.

UHD will take considerably longer to roll out, but has started to garner interest and discussion among long-term planners in the TV, film and technology industries. In-Stat believes the first UHD broadcasts will start around 2017.

UHD TVs will reach about 5 percent household penetration in some regional markets in the early 2020s. Technology companies and equipment manufacturers will need to have solutions available ahead of time to support the long term opportunity.

Apac region to show 12pc annual growth in STB shipments through 2014

SCOTTSDALE, USA: Set-top boxes are set to reach Asian consumers at an ever-increasing rate, according to new STB market data published by ABI Research. Overall STB shipments in the region, including those for cable, DBS, IPTV, and DTT television services, will approach 111 million in 2014, the culmination of a CAGR in excess of 12percent over the 2009-2014 period.

“As in so many other things, China is the powerhouse that is driving STB shipment and revenue numbers in the Asia-Pacific region,” says industry analyst Michael Inouye. “Within China, one of the main sources of STB segment growth is its target of completing the transition to digital cable and terrestrial TV in 2015. While expectations remained mixed about the feasibility of that aim, China appears to be focused on 2015 as an achievable target. That translates to a lot of cable boxes.”

While much of the Chinese market demand will be met by domestic vendors, some foreign companies want part of the action. Late last year, for example, Cisco acquired the cable STB unit of Chinese vendor DVN.

In addition the satellite market in India continues to show strong growth potential and while HD services launched in 2009, HD is expected to spread at a relatively slower pace. In contrast, while most STBs have similarly been basic boxes in China, support for HD terrestrial broadcasts was higher than expected suggesting a potentially significant shift to HD boxes in the future for DTT and potentially other platforms as well.

HDMI Licensing makes 3D portion of HDMI v1.4 available for public download

SUNNYVALE, USA: HDMI Licensing LLC, the agent responsible for licensing the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) specification, announced, on behalf of the HDMI Founders, that it has made the 3D portion of the HDMI Specification Version 1.4 available for public download on the HDMI Web site at http://www.hdmi.org.

The purpose of this document is to provide public access to the 3D portion of version 1.4 of the HDMI Specification for those companies and organizations that require access to this portion of the Specification but have not executed an HDMI Adopter Agreement.

The document available for download is extracted from version 1.4 of the HDMI Specification. The HDMI Consortium intends to release a 1.4a version of the HDMI Specification shortly which will include updates to the 3D portion of the Specification. As soon as the 1.4a version of the Specification is published to Adopters, an update to the 3D portion of the document, available for public download, will also be published.

”The HDMI Consortium recognizes the importance of standardized 3D formats for movies, gaming and broadcast content and the need for non-adopter companies and organizations to have access to that portion of the HDMI Specification,” said Steve Venuti, president of HDMI Licensing, LLC. “As the mainstream adoption of 3D is gaining momentum and content providers define and expand their 3D roadmaps, HDMI is ready to support this major market development.”