Friday, April 30, 2010

SuperBiiz announces USB 3.0 Express drive

SAN JOSE, USA: SuperBiiz, a premier online distributer of computer peripherals and components, will begin offering SuperTalent’s USB 3.0 Express to customers.

The new USB 3.0 standard enables flash manufactures to create new high performance architectures that outperform even the fastest USB 2.0 devices. The USB 3.0 Express drive is one such solution. Available in 16 and 32GB capacities, the USB 3.0 Express Drive is fully backward compatible to the millions of USB 2.0 connectors worldwide and offers extreme performance in both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports.

When attached to a USB 3.0 port, the new Express drive reaches speeds of over 125MB/s, but when attached to a USB 2.0 port it performs faster than any other drive in its category; maxing out the bus with speeds up to 43MB/s. It’s “future proof.” Utilize the product as a USB 2.0 flash drive and take advantage of its best in class performance today; and as the USB 3.0 standard proliferates, the performance of your drive will increase to over 125MB/s.

SuperBiiz Director of Marketing, James Yu, said, “The SuperTalent USB 3.0 Express Drive is the answer for anyone looking for an affordable USB 3.0 drive and we are proud to announce that they are available at SuperBiiz first.”

iPad and imitators set to shake up electronics supply chain

EL SEGUNDO, USA: The User-Interface (UI)-focused design of Apple Inc.’s iPad will exert a major impact on the electronics supply chain and on how electronic products are designed, according to iSuppli Corp., as the success of the product and its imitators boosts the fortunes of component makers specifically focused on improving the interaction between humans and machines.

“Electronic products have always been designed the same way, with a motherboard-oriented approach starting with the circuits and semiconductors on a central Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and then wrapping UI-focused elements like the keyboard and display around it,” said Derek Lidow, president and chief executive officer at iSuppli.

“The iPad is not designed that way. It doesn’t have a traditional motherboard. Rather, it is designed with the UI as the starting point: Apple started by designing the screen, the touch pad and the battery, and lastly focused on the semiconductors and where to put them. This design is what gives the product a unique feel and functionality.”

Shipments of Apple’s iPad are set to rise to 20.1 million in 2012, up from 7.1 million in 2010. However, the influence of the iPad is expected to extend beyond Apple. Other companies offering products competitive to the iPad include Google Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft Corp.

“Anyone that wants to compete with Apple is going to have to consider the design of the iPad, as well as its huge implications on the electronics design and value chain,” Lidow added. “This unleashes an extremely interesting dynamic. The question of which companies in the supply chain will capture the profits from this UI-based approach will be of major importance in the coming years.”

Display and touch screen on center stage
Obvious beneficiaries of the UI-centric design philosophy are the suppliers of the display, touch screen assembly and related electronics. The display module in the iPad, supplied by LG Display, is the single most expensive component in the product.

The display employs advanced, wide-viewing-angle LCD technology. The actual technology reportedly is either In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology or Advanced-Fringe Field Switching (AFFS) technology. LG Display holds the patent for IPS, while Hydis Technology Co.—a subsidiary of Prime View International—holds the patent on the AFFS technology. Japan’s Epson is also providing panels, while Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is a potential future supplier.

The next most expensive component is the capacitive touch screen assembly. The supplier of the assembly is Wintek Corp. Other makers of such assemblies include Sintek Photronic Corp., TPK Solutions Inc., Touch International and Young Fast Optoelectronics Co. Ltd, but none of those companies currently supply to the iPad, iSuppli believes.

On the support electronics side are the touch screen microcontroller and multitouch controller Integrated Circuits (ICs) from Broadcom Corp. and the touch screen driver from Texas Instruments Inc. Other suppliers for touch screen controllers not specific to the iPad include Synaptics, Cypress Semiconductor Corp., and Atmel Corp.

Interestingly, the fact that three separate ICs are used to support the touch screen display indicates that the design is in its early stages, and suggests that future integration into a single device is possible and desirable.

Future versions of the iPad are likely to use a single-chip solution for supporting the touch screen functionality, creating opportunities for suppliers that can offer such products.

“The iPad brings a new competitive dynamic that focuses on which companies will supply and control the value of the UI—and which firms will become commoditized in the relentless push to drive down prices,” Lidow said.

“Display companies could shift their R&D priorities to develop touch and UI intelligence into their products, grabbing value from other UI components and protecting them from being commoditized. Intellectual-Property-savvy semiconductor suppliers could do the same. During the next five years this will become one of the most important battlegrounds in the electronics value chain.”

Battery charge
While the battery is not usually considered part of the UI, in the iPad it plays a critical role in supporting the user experience. With the iPad heavily focused on mobility, a long battery life is critical, as iPhone users know.

“The weakest link in the iPhone is the battery life,” said Andrew Rassweiler, director and principal analyst, teardown services manager, for iSuppli. “With the iPad, Apple has rethought design priorities to ensure long battery life and serviceability. The bulk of the iPad is designed to accommodate the battery pack, which was also designed to be easily removed and replaced, although not by consumers.”

The thickness of the iPad is largely determined by the size of the display module and battery packs combined, Rassweiler noted. The battery, priced at $23.75, represents more than 9 percent of the iPad’s total bill-of-materials cost. In the iPad torn down by iSuppli, the battery cells were supplied by Amperex Technology and the pack provided by Dynapack.

iSuppli expects other suppliers of tablet-type products to emulate the iPad’s battery-centric approach.

Processor concerns
In the UI-focused, content-consumption-oriented iPad, the microprocessor plays a lesser role than it does in conventional notebook PCs. However, the iPad’s design demands a highly integrated microprocessor that emphasizes lower power consumption and small space usage.

The microprocessor, combining an A4 processor core and a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), was designed by P.A. Semi—which was acquired by Apple in 2008—and carries an estimated cost of $19.50.

“The processor in the iPad is not a PC microprocessor,” Rassweiler noted. “This is, as we understand it, an ARM-core based processor that is different from—and not trying to compete with—for example, Intel’s Atom microprocessor. This is a totally different architecture that comes as more of an extension of the iPhone/iPod line, rather than as an extension of Apple’s computer line-up, which is entirely Intel-based at this point.”

While the A4 lacks a custom development tailor-designed by, and made only for, Apple, it provides a much smaller physical footprint than Atom architecture does.

Know-how in integrated silicon for mobile platforms is now in hot demand because of the iPad’s design and may be behind several developments in the news lately.

These developments include Google’s recent announcement of its acquisition of Agnilux, a start-up founded by P.A. Semi professionals who left when that fabless chip designer was acquired by Apple in 2008. Agnilux Intellectual Property (IP) could find its way into a pending Google tablet PC. Apple this week also reportedly purchased Intrinsity, a privately owned ARM chip design firm.

Some competitors of the iPad are likely to also adopt ARM-Core based designs, such as the TEGRA chip line by Nvidia, or the OMAP processors by TI.

Source: iSuppli, USA

Inventories of LCD-equipped products increase, spurring price reductions

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Inventories of most electronic products using large-sized Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) panels increased in March and April due to slower sales of some older models and the arrival of new products from television and notebook PC brands, spurring a price reduction, according to iSuppli Corp.

Global channel inventories of televisions rose to 4 weeks in March, up from 2.5 weeks in January. For notebook PCs, inventories increased to 4.8 weeks in March, up from 3.5 in January. Inventories of monitors increased to 4 weeks in March, up from 2.5 in January. Most of these inventories are increasing again in April.

The figure presents iSuppli’s estimate global channel inventory for large-sized LCD applications, which iSuppli defines as having a diagonal dimension of 10-inches or more.Source: iSuppli, USA.

“Even with the increase in inventories, stockpiles of LCD-TVs in the United States remain at normal to healthy levels suitable to support television makers’ efforts to clear out older models and to add new products to their product lines,” said Sweta Dash, senior director for LCDs at iSuppli.

“However, channel inventories for televisions in China now equate to more than two weeks, higher than the normal level. This is leading to some cuts in panel orders and is resulting in a softening of panel demand in April, especially from China.”

In the United States, television brands have been introducing new 3-D models. The price differential between equivalent-featured LED-backlit LCD-TVs and LED-backlit 3-D TVs has narrowed to as little as $300, spurring consumer demand. Brands will continue to introduce 3-D TVs globally through July.

Brands in the United States also continue to add new LED-backlit LCD-TVs. The number of LED-based LCD-TV models reached more than 140 in March, more than double the number of models in February.

While notebook PC shipments in the first quarter were down a few percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2009, shipments in the second quarter are expected to be flat due to the introduction of new models. Most brands are expecting a huge second half of the year given the continued economic recovery and the high adoption rate of Windows 7. Inventories of notebooks rose in the first quarter to meet this expected demand.

Monitor sales slowed in March following a strong start to the beginning of the first quarter, leading to an increase in channel inventories. The price increases witnessed during the first three months of the year for LCD panels are causing some concern among LCD monitor panel suppliers and OEMs.

Although panel suppliers are controlling LCD module inventory very closely, the slowdown of panel demand from China buyers raised the inventory level slightly. Panel suppliers are expected to quote flat to slight price reductions for April pricing as buyers have been unwilling to accept another price hike in the second half of March after already sustaining decreasing profits.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Godrej launches Eon LED TVs in Andhra Pradesh

HYDERABAD, INDIA: Always at the forefront of innovating high tech, yet relevant technology products for the discerning consumer, Godrej Appliances has now set its sights on changing the way Indians enjoy their television viewing experience with a difference. Culminating from months of advanced technology and consumer research, Godrej Appliances has launched its Godrej Eon LED TV with its 32-inch model (GL32T43KAB) in Hyderabad.

Whether its sports, science fiction blockbusters or even action packed Bollywood films, Godrej Eon LED TV will now enrich how you view TV at home. The Godrej Eon LED TV showcases a fantastic combination of ground breaking technology that brings alive images, like never before. The advanced backlight technology of these LED TVs enhances the movement of every pixel which in turn enhances picture quality with incredible depth and perfect clarity.

Equipped with advanced LED TV Engine, these LED TVs have a 10 bit HDP Processor that boosts the video quality with the advanced flesh tone and a multi-colour enhancement. Embedded with HDTV/ VGA Encoder, these LED TVs reproduce a perfect high bandwidth input signal - that brings images to life, making TV viewing a refreshingly different experience.

Apart from the LED TV, Godrej appliances also introduced the entire range of televisions including LCD TVs and CRT TVs. This entire range boasts of the latest technologies that give you a visual output that is par excellence.

AUO, TCL to establish JV for TFT-LCD module plant

HSINCHU, TAIWAN: AU Optronics Corp. held a meeting of the Board of Directors on April 29, 2010, at which the Board approved a resolution establishing a joint venture of TFT-LCD TV panel module production with TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings Ltd's subsidiary, TCL King Electrical Appliances (Hui Zhou) Co. Ltd ("TCL"), in Zhong Kai Hi-Tech Development Zone, Huizhou, Guangdong.

With the new business model of allying with its leading brand customer, AUO not only can ensure stable product shipments but also can provide TCL in-time and value-added services to seize the global business opportunities together.

The Board of Directors of AUO and that of TCL approved setting up the joint venture with a registered capital of no more than US$ 12 million. AUO and TCL will own 51 percent and 49 percent of the shareholding of the joint venture, respectively.

The joint venture will be named as "Huizhou Bri-King Optronics Co., Ltd" tentatively.

If the investment plan is approved by the relevant authority, it will complete AUO's presence of module plants in the China market. With services covering from eastern China, southern China, northern China to south-west China, AUO will be able to respond to customers' demands timely and strengthen its service quality.

AUO, Haier to establish JV for TFT-LCD module plant

HSINCHU, TAIWAN: AU Optronics Corp. held a meeting of the Board of Directors on April 29, 2010, at which the Board approved a proposition establishing a joint venture of TFT-LCD TV panel module production with Haier Group (Haier) in Haier Industrial Park, Qingdao, Shandong.

This is a demonstration for AUO to realize the practice of the new business model. Forming a strategic alliance with China's best value branded customer will bring a win-win result to both Haier and AUO.

The Board of Directors of AUO and that of Haier approved that the joint venture will be named "Qingdao Haier Optronics Co., Ltd" with a registered capital of $ 7 million. Haier and AUO will own 70 percent and 30 percent of the shareholding of the joint venture company, respectively.

If the investment plan is approved by the relevant authority, the joint venture is expected to form closer ties between AUO and the Chinese local brand maker, deepening AUO's presence in northern China, in addition to the Company's existing business presences in eastern China, southern China, and western China.

Shrink unveils NanoShrink advanced plastic material

CARLSBAD, USA: Shrink Nanotechnologies Inc. has launched its proprietary advanced shrinkable plastic material which is being branded under the name NanoShrink.

Shrink exclusively owns the licensing rights to numerous patent-pending technologies which are based on its proprietary manufacturing process which includes the integration of various critical features that function at the “nano” scale. These technologies and products will all be based, designed and deployed on NanoShrink material.

“NanoShrink has been designed with a flexible multi-format architecture for use in the biological, biomechanical and alterative energy generation (solar) industries – with the assistance of our award-winning scientific founder Dr. Michelle Khine,” said Mark L. Baum, CEO of Shrink Nanotechnologies Inc.

“Dr. Khine's inventions, which have garnered attention in both academia and industry, have resulted in a major breakthrough – the elimination of the need for clean rooms and other highly complex and expensive robotics or tools in order to design devices which function at the nano scale.

“Prior to the introduction of NanoShrink, the equipment used to create the tiniest of microfluidic chips, for example, which are also known as “labs on a chip” were extremely cost prohibitive. Production took days to complete and required a sterile environment. Our vision is for NanoShrink to help scientists and doctors to develop experiments and diagnostic tests to screen drugs in the drug discovery process and to assist in the identification of conditions like cancer and other infectious diseases.”

NanoShrink material uniformly compresses and naturally “shrinks” during heating, enabling complex structures to be designed at a macro-level, and then to be reduced with the same integrity and stability on a micro- or nano-scale. The adoption of NanoShrink and its related products and technologies may create a paradigm shift in the production of microfluidic, biological and diagnostic chips, likely leading to accelerated production times, improved quality and quantity of output, and reduced manufacturing costs for multiple industries.

Baum added: “We are now in the process of commercializing our numerous patent-pending NanoShrink-based product designs by establishing relationships with major industry players, leading academic researchers and global manufacturers in order to address each of our large and growing global markets.”

“We are particularly excited about the way in which we intend to market NanoShrink – which will be very similar to the way Apple marketed the iPhone. NanoShrink, like an iPhone, will act as an open source development platform for commercial entities and academic researchers around the world.

“We hope that NanoShrink users will develop biological tests, diagnostics applications and other products that flow fluid, electricity/photons or data using NanoShrink as a key constituent and development component. While Shrink will “seed” the NanoShrink community and market with the important applications Shrink has already identified, as additional applications are discovered by the community of NanoShrink developers, we believe the market for NanoShrink, in a multitude of formats and across a variety of industries, will grow steadily. Soon, we will begin to let the world know about some of the important applications we are set to commercialize using this amazing material.”

Thursday, April 29, 2010

DataWind intros revolutionary UbiSurfer netbook to Indian market

MUMBAI, INDIA: After its phenomenal success in the UK, DataWind Ltd, a leading provider of wireless web access products and services, has launched its ultra-portable netbook with free internet connectivity: the UbiSurfer for ‘Ubiquitous Surfing’.The UbiSurfer offers DataWind’s revolutionary free-usage model, which eliminates the complexity of getting online. With the UbiSurfer you pay for the device not the usage. For the average user, there are no monthly fees, airtime tariffs, contracts or recurring fees.

Making online access faster and simpler, the UbiSurfer allows connectivity at the touch of a button. The UbiSurfer comes bundled with 30 hours per month of free internet access for the first full year useable across India.

In comparison, at an average price of Rs. 500/month, comparative rates for internet access would cost Rs. 6,000 per year, which is delivered for free on the UbiSurfer. For heavy users, unlimited internet is available for only Rs. 99 per month and each subsequent year of usage is only Rs. 999.

This powerful and most affordable service is powered by Tata Teleservices’ CDMA network across India. The UbiSurfer with a year of free-mobile internet is priced at only Rs. 7,999.

Setting a new standard for anytime and anywhere internet access, the UbiSurfer is not only armed with WiFi and LAN connectivity, but also has an in-built cellular modem and an embedded SIM card that allows access to the internet anywhere a mobile phone signal is available all over India. Users are not limited to Wi-Fi hotspots and there is no need to buy a costly USB dongle to ensure connection, making internet access truly ubiquitous.

Suneet S. Tuli, President and CEO of Datawind, commented: “Our goal was to deliver the real web, fast, free, anytime and everywhere. The UbiSurfer is another step in the Company’s vision of taking the internet to the masses. This device is going to revolutionize the way we work, play, communicate and take advantage of the wireless web.”

In addition to being a superb mobile browsing solution, the UbiSurfer is also a practical computer that comes pre-loaded with the Microsoft Windows CE 6.0 operating system and Softmaker Office Suite. With Microsoft Windows CE, the new UbiSurfer boots-up in 10 seconds, and applications launch instantly, providing consumers an excellent system with the familiarity of a PC. Windows CE is a pre-emptive real-time operating system that delivers a compelling user experience.

With the SoftMaker Office Suite, the UbiSurfer offers the full feature set of a modern desktop-league office suite. SoftMaker Office lets customers open, edit, and save Microsoft Office 2003 Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files, directly and without conversion, retaining all the formatting, functions, and contents of the original Office files.

3D TV shipments to witness phenomenal growth estimated at 10 million units in 2011

TAIWAN: With its astounding visual effects, 3D technology has stirred up a new trend in the display market.WitsView, TFT-LCD industry research institute, indicated that consumers’ acceptance of this technology is evident from the impressive figures from 3D movie box office sales. 2010 is the beginning of a promising era for 3D TV; and in 2011, 3D TV shipments will likely witness phenomenal growth, estimated at 10 million units. Furthermore, 3D TV market penetration is estimated to be close to 10 percent in 2012, and 20 percent in 2015.

The range of 3D applications extends from the TVs, notebooks, cell phones, to digital frames and other such electronic display products. However, one of the factors that affect the penetration of 3D TV is that development of 3D hardware is far more advanced than that of 3D software.

Based on current market dynamics, WitsView estimated that 3D market demand will mainly be driven by the segments that require higher visual performance, namely gaming and digital cinema.

For in-home entertainment, due to the high price and limited content availability of 3D TV, it would take another two to three years before 3D TV becomes popular. In 3D imaging technology, the outstanding image performance of shutter glass is the most compatible with the requirements of 3D display in the high-end movie and gaming market, despite its higher costs compared to that of other 3D technologies. Therefore, WitsView projects that shutter glass technology will likely become a market mainstream.

To truly enjoy the 3D surround visual and sound effects at home, it may cost about NT$150,000 (~US$4650 at US$1:NT$32.26), estimated WitsView. This cost involves a set of Samsung’s 55-inch 3D LED TV, and other audio-visual equipment including a Blu-ray player, rechargeable 3D glasses, and a surround sound system.

In addition, lenticular technology allows viewer to experience 3D visual effects without the need to wear glasses; however, to achieve 2D/3D switchable, its cost is comparable to that of shutter glasses. WitsView noted that lenticular technology is more suitable for applications in small portable devices.

Fund for micro/nano technological inventions

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Promotion of research in nanotechnology and development of applications based on nanotechnology form important part of various programmes launched by the Government to promote this emerging technology in the country.

It forms an important component of the Mission on Nano Science and Technology (Nano Mission) launched by the Government in 2007 with an allocation of Rs. 1,000 crore for five years.

Under Nano Mission, development of thermo-regulated textiles, smart textiles with antibacterial, self-cleaning and flame retardant properties, new-generation auto filters based on nanofibres, nanofillers for tyre applications, water purifications systems, nanomaterial-based solar cells, etc. have been undertaken jointly by academic and research institutions and industry.

Under the Nano Mission, an Institute of Nano Science & Technology (INST) is also being established at Mohali (Punjab) at a total cost of Rs. 142.45 crore, which will focus on application in agri and bio nanotechnology. Other scientific agencies and institutions of the Government are also engaged in promoting nanotechnology development and inventions in their domain areas.

For example, advanced facilities for research and development activities in micro and nano-electronics have been set up. A nano-silver-based water purification system has already been transferred to the industry. A nano-silver-based gel for treatment of burns and wound infections is undergoing clinical trials.

Some nanocides, which can control wide spectrum of insects, have been developed and are at various levels of evaluation. A number of projects on nanoparticle-based drug delivery, diagnostic devices, tissue engineering, smart packaging materials, nanofillers for wood applications, etc. are currently under implementation.

This was stated by Prithviraj Chavan, the Minister of State (I/C) for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences in the Lok Sabha yesterday.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Technetix joins MoCA

SAN RAMON, USA: Technetix, a European broadband cable and telecommunications equipment supplier, has joined MoCA as an associate member.

Technetix has recently added MoCA-compliant solutions to its product portfolio. The company is prominent in the access network and 'final mile' equipment market in Europe, and is rapidly expanding its footprint worldwide.

"Joining MoCA enables us to provide our cable and telecoms customers in Europe and further afield with the full advantages of MoCA connectivity and powerful, in-home multimedia processing," said Technetix CEO Paul Broadhurst.

"Technetix is well known for delivering advanced broadband solutions to the European cable and telecoms market; its decision to join reinforces the view that there is a viable market for MoCA in Europe," said Charles Cerino, President of MoCA. "Technetix's membership solidifies MoCA as a truly global standard."

The Technetix liberti product family, which includes support for MoCA-based home entertainment networks, handles the delivery of high-speed broadband and interactive digital TV services around the home, making all forms of content available on any device, in any room.

Wi2Wi intros industrial-temperature WLAN-Bluetooth module

Embedded Systems Conference Silicon Valley 2010, SAN JOSE, USA: Wi2Wi Corp., a leader in wireless SiPs (System-in-a-Package), modules, and subsystem solutions for consumer and business embedded markets worldwide, with a focus on 802.11 (Wi-Fi), Bluetooth, and GPS introduces W2CBW009Di, a WiFi and Bluetooth module, the first of its industrial temperature product family, based on market proven Marvell 88W8688 WLAN chipset.

This module provides IEEE WiFi 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity, with a very small footprint, and over a wide range of industrial temperature, of -40C to +85C. Measuring only 16mm x 16mm x 2.1mm, the W2CBW009Di addresses the need for a cost-effective and high-performance WLAN-BT module in particular for major vertical markets worldwide.

This product is targeted for key market segments including industrial, defense, home infrastructure, medical, test equipment and consumer applications. W2CBW009Di significantly simplifies integration of WiFi and Bluetooth into the customers’ products for such applications. It minimizes the RF-know-how requirements, supports all main processors (including Intel, Marvell, TI, Freescale, RMI, Samsung), and comes with FCC certification.

“Our industrial-temperature product family addresses broad applications for the major vertical market segments,” Wi2Wi’s CEO Dr. Reza Ahy notes. “Our newly introduced W2CBW009Di is the first of these products, being released into mass-production, after successful & extensive evaluations by our demanding lead customers. Wi2Wi is uniquely positioned with a complete portfolio of industrial-temperature products including WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS.”

“Wi2Wi’s industrial temperature product portfolio is a great match for many of the vertical segments that Avnet Memec serves – such as industrial, medical, test equipment and the military. WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS are seeing increased adoption in these segments, providing the necessary communication functions in our customers’ applications, and Wi2Wi provide a very integrated, high performance and cost-effective solution,” said Phil Sansone, senior vice president, Avnet Memec.

Wi2Wi just completed another record performance quarter ending in March 2010, with a large number of design wins in the Americas, Asia, and EMEA markets.

PLX PCI Express switches, USB controllers fully represented on leading integrators lists

SUNNYVALE, USA: PLX Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:PLXT), a leading supplier of silicon and software interconnect solutions for the enterprise and consumer markets, announced that its entire PCI Express (PCIe) and Universal Serial Bus (USB) product families are now fully represented on integrators lists of the PCI Special Interest Group and USB Implementers Forum, respectively.

All 37 PLX ExpressLane switches (PCIe Gen 1 and Gen 2 devices ranging from five to 96 lanes and three to 24 ports) span the exclusive PCI-SIG Integrators List -- by far the most PCIe switches on the list from any vendor. Additionally, each of PLX’s high-performance USB 2.0 controllers has secured a place on the stringently maintained USB-IF Integrators List.

Products on these two highly respected lists have been thoroughly vetted by the special interest groups that oversee the standards. The PCI-SIG Integrators List includes all products that have successfully completed the rigorous testing procedures of the organization’s Compliance Workshop. The USB-IF Integrators List is a roster of USB products that have met the criteria established by the USB-IF Compliance Program.

All PLX products go through rigorous simulation, verification, pre-silicon emulation, post-silicon validation, system interoperability, and compliance testing. Interoperability plays a key role in the development and release of all PLX products.

All chips undergo a broad compatibility program that involves customer systems being coupled with detailed PLX methodology that includes chip detection, end-point connectivity, chip-to-chip, board-to-board and system-to-system evaluation. This process instills confidence in customers and supports faster time to market for their designs.

“To achieve having all PLX PCI Express switches and USB controllers on these integrators lists involved far more than our merely providing technical specifications on those products; it required successfully passing the vigorous compliance testing administered by the special interest groups themselves,” said David Raun, vice president of marketing and business development at PLX.

“This success helps assure designers and manufacturers worldwide that the devices they choose meet the high standards of both PLX and these important standards bodies.”

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

1394 Trade Association sees strong growth for 1394-equipped products

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: The 1394 Trade Association today predicted a strong year of expansion for FireWire across a wide range of markets in 2010, as the electronics industry returns to growth and designers adopt faster FireWire speeds.

The Trade Association foresees continued expansion into higher speed computing, storage and consumer electronics products, with steady growth of 1394-enabled products in the industrial cameras and instrumentation segments, where FireWire is established as the interface of choice. The 1394 standard also is becoming the preferred interface for automotive networking applications.

Leading suppliers of 1394 physical layer and link layer ICs are optimistic.

Texas Instruments (TI) issued the following statement about 1394 prospects:

“Texas Instruments continues to see strong demand for its 1394 products across multiple end equipments. The consumer video market continues to drive demand for content protection-enabled 1394a devices in the high-definition set-top box (STB) and digital TV segments, while the PC and external storage market continue the transition from 1394a to 1394b.

“With the release to market of low-cost equalizers that can drive 1394b signals up to 100 meters on CAT5, coaxial and plastic optical fiber (POF) cables, Texas Instruments also sees an increased interest in applications like surveillance, machine vision, industrial and medical.”

PLX Technology, Inc., a leader in 1394-based storage technology, concurred. “PLX continues to see strong demand for its 1394b line of storage controllers through 2010 and beyond, even with the rollout of the new USB SuperSpeed standard, because consumers demand peripherals that are supported freely in the current installed base,” said James Tout, Vice President of Storage Engineering, PLX Technology.

“The FireWire storage market continues to transition toward 1394b, a trend that began in 2008 due to the superior throughput compared to 1394a, the increased proliferation of 1394b ports and the widely improved OS support.”

LSI foresees continuing transition to 800 Megabit/Second FireWire
LSI Corp., another leading 1394 IC supplier, indicated the year looks strong.

"LSI expects the transition from 1394a to 1394b to continue in 2010,” said Kevin Cone, 1394 Product Line Manager, LSI. “With more than 14 million units of LSI 1394b installed in end user systems, there is a large installed base driving the market for external HDDs with 1394b. 1394b is well positioned to meet the needs of users for fast backup and external storage applications without impacting system performance."

“We believe that 1394 has a bright year ahead, as PC growth expands again, automotive applications emerge and storage products continue their advance to higher speeds and capacities,” said Max Bassler, 1394 Trade Association chairman.

“Already in 2010, computer technology leaders like Hewlett Packard, Dell and Acer have introduced an impressive set of new products with FireWire, and the trend continues. So do our efforts to make 1394 the interface of choice in the industrial camera, instrumentation, and automotive networking sectors. All are adopting and deploying 1394 now. We are committed to continued development of standards, programs, and policies that enable the maximum use of FireWire across these markets and industry sectors.”

By the end of this year, there will be more than 2 billion 1394 ports in use across the computer, consumer electronics, industrial, military and other markets.

Prelytis intros LiveDashBoard 4Team: an online BI solution for free!

PARIS, FRANCE: Prelytis, the new-generation Business Intelligence software vendor, announces the launch of its unique, collaborative, online dashboarding solution: LiveDashBoard 4Team, in the market. LiveDashBoard 4Team allows business users know everything happening in their business at all levels and in real time without any heavy technical and up-front investment constraints.

Prelytis CEO, Alexandre SCHNEIDER, says: “In an era of social networks and cloud computing, we are seeing the emergence of collective business intelligence. So we are proud to be launching this truly unique offer on the market, whose intent is to make possible collaborative, mobile dashboards, free of charge and with no limits to the number of users.”

Easy to use and handle, LiveDashBoard 4Team online solution can create interactive dashboards in record time which can instantly be deployed to an unlimited number of users. It allows to gather all information in one place and share consolidated or detailed dashboards, charts, tables and KPI reports. This helps the users in makaing informed decisions based on comparative analysis of key data available.

LiveDashBoard 4Team online solution also includes a feature for shared comments for each dashboard in a "micro-blog" format, similar to Twitter. LiveDashBoard 4Team online solution is indeed a user-friendly, collaborative business intelligence solution for efficient teamwork!

LiveDashBoard 4Team online solution has no local installation, no servers to configure and no scripts to create. Registration is just a matter of a few clicks on the website (www.livedashboard4team.com) and data uploads are performed directly via Excel files. On the other hand, LiveDashBoard 4Team, can also be acquired and installed 'on-site' by purchase of a license.

Users also have access to tutorials, including videos, to help them create their initial dashboards and indicators.Moreover, the users may also subscribe to a host of options like: training, technical support, data storing and protection, data capacity expansion, admin rights management for their datamarts, automated data uploads/downloads, etc.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Linde enables electronics customers to lower carbon footprint by 250,000 tons in 2010

MUNICH, GERMANY: Driving the industry to shift focus from Grid Parity to Green Parity and pushing for sustainable electronics manufacturing, Linde Gases, a division of The Linde Group, announced that it has enabled customers to reduce their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by a quarter of a million tons in 2010 by switching to on-site generated fluorine (F2) from nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). This is the same amount of CO2 produced by over 125,000 mid-size cars annually.

Prominent manufacturers of photovoltaics, semiconductor and TFT-LCD devices as well as research sectors are adopting Linde’s on-site fluorine generators as a more productive and energy-efficient alternative to the use of the greenhouse gas NF3 and other PFC (Per-Fluoro-Compound) gases for the cleaning of CVD (Chemical Vapour Deposition) chambers.

In 2009, Linde’s on-site fluorine was successfully tested on all the major thin-film PV OEM platforms, and Malibu and Masdar PV were among the first to announce adoption of on-site F2 as the cleaning gas of choice to manufacture large-scale PV modules – eliminating the use of NF3. Production systems for these two customers have been delivered and the elimination of NF3 from the process has begun.

“Fluorine offers the rare combination of sustainable solar module production and profitability by removing any risk of unabated emissions, reducing non-productive cleaning time and improving throughput,” says Ian Travis, Global Product Manager Fluorine for Linde Gases Division.

Interest in on-site fluorine is also growing across all sectors of the electronics industry. LG Display in Korea has benefitted from the obvious parallels between thin film solar and TFT-LCD display manufacturing, increasing the capacity of on-site fluorine generation by 20 percent in 2009 to match growth in demand for its LCD panels. To support Korea’s growth as the manufacturing hub for TFT-LCDs, Linde is making a significant investment in its F2 manufacturing infrastructure at its Inju plant.

Last year, Europe’s first on-site fluorine generators were installed at STMicroelectronics’ Crolles 300mm wafer fabrication plant in France as part of the company’s initiative to lower the environmental impact of producing semiconductors by eliminating high pressure cylinder deliveries.

A major Japanese semiconductor manufacturer has also recently chosen to replace their high-pressure cylinder supply of F2 with on-site generated F2 at their 300mm fab – reaping advantages of improved safety and lower costs. The on-site approach is also particularly suitable for locations where import and distribution networks for certain electronic materials are not as mature as in other regions. To overcome such challenges, the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences installed its first on-site F2 generator in 2009.

“Environmental concerns continue to dominate the global agenda, and the manufacturing ecosystem as a whole needs to start channelling its efforts towards reducing carbon emissions,” said Dean O’Connor, Head of Market Development & Technology at Linde Gases Division.

“Collaboration with industry leaders in photovoltaics, semiconductors, flat panel displays and academia is testament to Linde’s commitment to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.”

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Panasonic announces VIERA VT25 series of full HD 3D plasma TVs

SECAUCUS, USA: Panasonic, a worldwide leader in Full HD 3D technology, announced the nationwide retail availability dates for its critically-acclaimed VIERA VT25 Series of Full HD 3D Plasma TVs. The debut of the VT25 series will expand Panasonic's 3D offerings to four screens sizes with availability at a wide range of consumer electronics retailers.

The first VIERA VT25 models will be available in early May in 50-inch class (49.9 inches diagonal) and 54-inch class (54.1 inches diagonal) sizes with 58-inch class (58.0 inches diagonal) and 65-inch class (64.7 inches diagonal) sizes to follow in June.

In March 2010, Panasonic partnered with Best Buy to debut its first-ever Full HD 3D(1) home entertainment system featuring the VIERA TC-P50VT20 Full HD 3D Plasma (50-inch class screen size, 49.9 inches diagonal) exclusively at select Best Buy Magnolia Home Theater stores.

"The arrival of our VIERA VT25 Series truly defines the phenomenal capabilities of Panasonic's Full HD 3D technology to deliver a new level of home entertainment to consumers," said Henry Hauser, Vice President, Panasonic Display Group.

"With Panasonic Plasma's new short-stroke phosphor technology, Full HD 3D imagery is delivered in stunning realism and clarity to create a truly immersive viewing experience that will make the viewer feel that they have stepped in to the program they are watching."

Friday, April 23, 2010

NEC Display Solutions adopts Xilinx FPGAs for 3D-capable cinema projectors

TOKYO, JAPAN & SAN JOSE, USA: Xilinx Inc. announced that NEC Display Solutions, Ltd. has adopted the Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA family for three models of its DLP Cinema® Projectors.

DLP Cinema projectors comply with the U.S. Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) standard, including a host of security features, and can adapt to a wide range of input signals. The systems faithfully reproduce input sources, with both high-resolution and high-contrast requirements, incorporating Texas Instruments' high-resolution 2K (2,048 × 1,080 dot) DLP Cinema chips.

The Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA family reduces the design cost of peripheral devices by providing interfaces for all required standards (HD-SDI, 3G-SDI) plus SerDes (serializer-deserializer) in a single chip. Thus, the Virtex-5 FPGA helps reduce overall system costs while enabling advanced performance, including communication via a high-speed Ethernet interface.

NEC Display Solutions has commercialized three models in the DCP Cinema Projector, including: the NC3200S for screen sizes up to 32m in width, the NC2000C (20m) and NC1200C (12m), with capability for the recent fast-growing 3D content. The three models are capable of projecting all existing 3D video content. The company has started shipments in stages.

"NEC Display Solutions is active in the digital cinema business in Japan and overseas, with DLP Cinema Projectors as our core products," says Atsushi Kuroda, head of projector development at NEC Display Solutions.

"Sophisticated performance is required of projectors in this market segment, but since they are not mass-produced like consumer electronics products, we considered using FPGAs instead of ASICs right from the start, to achieve superior performance while keeping development costs down. A major factor that led us to select Xilinx FPGAs is that they offer a range of high-speed interfaces on a single chip, making superior performance possible at low cost."

"We are delighted to be able to contribute toward 3D technology in the movie business as a result of NEC Display Solutions selecting Virtex-5 for its DLP Cinema projectors," added Sam Rogan, president and representative director of Xilinx K.K.

"The Virtex-5 family has been highly rated in the industry, with sales exceeding $100 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2010—a record figure for an FPGA product.
Xilinx FPGAs offer a number of features that customers require on a single chip and a platform that integrates development environments, allowing customers to concentrate on differentiating their products."

NEC Display Solutions used Xilinx FPGAs from the prototype-making stage of the DLP Cinema® Projector, selecting the Virtex-5 LXT for volume production. The Virtex-5 LXT provides video interfaces with devices via four SDI I/O ports, gigabit Ethernet, and low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS); and high-speed interfaces compliant with several standards, including one for DDR2 memory.

It uses the Xilinx Reference Design for the video process. Technical support provided by sales agent Paltek has also been well received.

MXP4 closes $4 million investment to accelerate the MXP4 Everywhere strategy

PARIS, FRANCE: MXP4, the leading developer of interactive music solutions, announced a $4 million round of financing led by Orkos Capital and including previous investors Sofinnova Partners and Ventech.

The financing reflects the appeal of MXP4’s interactive music solutions to brands, advertisers, media portals, mobile applications, music distribution platforms and third-party music formats. The funds will be used to accelerate the rollout of the MXP4 Everywhere roadmap, which ensures the interactive music technology is readily available in third party services, apps and music formats.

In the past year, more than 100 major recording artists including David Guetta, Michael Jackson and Britney Spears and major brands including Air France Music and Coca Cola have used MXP4 powered Web and iPhone interactive music apps to drive engagement, viral distribution and purchases.

MXP4 data shows that fans use interactive music for an average of 9.1 minutes per track, drive 75 percent of traffic virally and click through to purchase as much as 3 percent of the time.

MXP4 is led by a team of music industry and digital media senior figures. MXP4 CEO Albin Serviant served as EVP & GM at Vivendi Mobile Entertainment and held senior positions at Musiwave (acquired by Microsoft), iBazar (acquired by eBay), Pepsi Co. and Sony. Board members include Gilles Babinet, who previously founded Musiwave (acquired by Microsoft) and now serves as chairman of the board, and JF Cecillon, formerly CEO of EMI Music International and currently Vice Chairman of Really Useful Group Holdings in London.

“By reinventing the way music is played with today and in the future, MXP4 is proving that interactive music is a real revenue opportunity for the music, media and marketing industries,” stated CEO Albin Serviant. “MXP4 brings to the music the experience the same benefits as 3D does for the movie industry.”

Gilles Babinet, Chairman of the board comments, “Interactive music will leverage the whole music experience to create more value for both the consumer and the music industry.”

Dominique Rencurel, Partner at Orkos Capital adds, "We strongly back up this ambitious project, lead by some of the most talented figures in the music and digital industry in the world capable of driving a paradigm shift in the music experience."

"Being alongside the company since its early days, we are happy to see MXP4 confirming its strong and unique position in the interactive music sector," comments Claire Houry, General Partner at Ventech.

Jean Claude Martinez, Venture Partner at Sofinnova Partners, concludes, "Fully behind MXP4 since the beginning, we have decided to confirm our commitment to MXP4, which demonstrates everyday a strong acknowledgement and buying of its innovative interactive music solutions."

MXP4’s solutions reinvent the single and album experiences by allowing fans to interact with songs and "play with" the music. With MXP4-powered music files, fans can make their own remixes of the songs, sing along to the tracks, strip down the song to listen to different instruments or listen to a brand new generation of digital Maxi Singles.

NComputing launches USB Virtual Desktop in India

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Global leaders in desktop virtualization, California-based NComputing has announced that it is planning to launch award winning world’s first USB – connected virtual desktop (model U170) in India.

This will be the hottest computing solution that will revolutionize the desktop virtualization market and is perfectly suited for small businesses, schools and home users.

The U170 builds on the incredible success of both the NComputing L-series and X-series by making it easier than ever to turn one PC into two or more. What’s unique about U170 is that it is amazingly simple to install and set up, has full USB support, and sparkles on high-resolution and stunning full-screen video.

The U170 is offered in a one-station kit and with plug-and-play simplicity for up to 10 users per PC With this high performance novel product, NComputing U 170 kit enables users to cut computing costs by sharing the untapped power of existing computers and efficiently harnessing the computing capacity by enabling multiple users to share a single computer. These costs savings appeal to large schools and businesses who need to do more with their IT budgets.

Manish Sharma, Vice-President, NComputing, APAC region said: "NComputing is going to revolutionize the desktop computing usage in India. India offers second highest potential market after US in the desktop virtualization domain. With the launch of U170, the plug-and-play computing solution will optimize and expand the performance of existing computers. Organizations, schools, colleges and institutions will benefit from the ability to increase their productivity whilst driving down costs."

The revolutionary USB virtual desktop is based on the simple fact that today's PCs are so powerful that the vast majority of people only use a small fraction of their PC processor's capacity. The U170 thin client taps this unused resource so that a computer can be simultaneously shared by many users.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

DisplayLink, Diamond create new twist on docking stations

PALO ALTO, USA: DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology has enabled Diamond Multimedia’s BVUMD3 USB HD Display Adapter Plus to provide plug-and-play capabilities for additional displays to laptop or desktop computers, while providing additional USB ports for peripheral connectivity and giving a new twist to the traditional universal docking station.

Using DisplayLink’s USB virtual graphics chip, the DL-165, Diamond’s BVUMD3 USB HD Display Adapter Plus packs a lot into a small 4.0 x 2.6 x .8 inch device. It supports DVI or VGA interfaces, offering high quality digital imaging up to 1600 x 1200 and 1920 x 1080 (wide) 32-bit True Color resolutions and allows users to mirror or extend the display in any direction.

The BVUMD3 can determine the type, resolutions and key features of any display, ensuring a fast and error free setup. Furthermore, it is fully integrated into the Windows operating system and is managed by the Windows Control Panel interface.

“DisplayLink’s DL-165 USB virtual graphics chip has enabled us to offer our customers a means to connect multiple monitors to a single device, along with many other multimedia capabilities,” says Louis Kokenis, the Product Engineering Manager for Diamond Multimedia. “The BVUMD3 also uses 80% less power than a discrete solution.”

In addition to the USB graphics adapter, the BVUMD3 provides three DisplayLink USB virtual graphics powered USB 2.0 high speed ports that can be used as a mini universal USB docking station for netbooks, notebooks and Macbook peripherals.

“Diamond’s USB HD Display Adapter Plus is another example of USB universal docking stations gaining momentum in the market and how they have unlimited potential to enhance the notebook/netbook computing experience,” says Dennis Crespo, Senior Vice president of Marketing and Business Development for DisplayLink.

“The USB HD Display Adapter Plus offers big productivity and organizational benefits in a small package.”

IPTV STB shipments to rise by nearly 50 percent in 2010

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Shipments of TV set-top Boxes (STBs) sold into the up-and-coming Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) segment are set to rise by nearly 50 percent in 2010, according to iSuppli Corp.

Global shipments of IPTV STBs, which allow the delivery of television services over a high-speed digital network, are projected to grow to 28.7 million units in 2010, up 48.2 percent from 19.4 million in 2009. Shipments will rise at a 25 percent CAGR from 2009 to 2014. While IPTV STBs accounted for only 14.7 percent of total set-top box unit shipments in 2009, that number is expected to rise to 19.3 percent in 2010 and to 29.1 percent in 2014.

In comparison, shipments of legacy STBs, consisting of cable, satellite and terrestrial boxes, are estimated to rise by only 6.7 percent in 2010, making IPTV the hottest segment of the market.

The figure presents iSuppli’s forecast of global IPTV STB shipments from 2007 to 2014.Source: iSuppli, USASource: iSuppli, USA

“In order to fulfill the promise of exciting interactive applications presented by the IPTV industry, further innovation is needed to differentiate IPTV services from those offered by the cable and satellite providers,” said Lee Ratliff, senior analyst for broadband digital home and IPTV at iSuppli. “This innovation will drive market growth in 2010 and beyond.”

The principal difference between legacy STBs and their IPTV counterparts lies in the way the boxes receive information. IP STBs receive video content over a broadband pipe via Internet Protocol data packets, while legacy boxes receive an RF-modulated signal.

Furthermore, IP boxes do not require a tuner and demodulator, which are requirements for legacy boxes.

With more than 60 vendors claiming to have an IPTV STB product, the market remains highly fragmented. However, just 15 vendors supplied 92 percent of the market in 2009. Motorola Inc. was No. 1 with 32 percent market share, followed by Cisco Systems Inc. with a 14 percent share.

Among companies supplying platform software for IPTV boxes, Microsoft Corp. held sway with its Mediaroom middleware, accounting for 25 percent of the market, which amounted to 4.8 million STBs in 2009. Microsoft had three times the share of its closest rival: French-based Thomson SA with its SmartVision software.

Next-generation media processors for IPTV STBs also will appear in 2010. Market newcomer Broadcom Corp. is expected to lay siege to incumbent leader Sigma Designs Inc. with its BCM7405 processor. The BCM7405 has been certified for Mediaroom deployments, ending the advantageous position of Sigma Designs as sole provider of Mediaroom-certified processors.

Nonetheless, Sigma Designs is expected to fire back, and its next-generation SMP8650 family of processors will benefit from the company’s position in many existing IP STB sockets.

Mirics launches GPU-accelerated broadcast TV solutions for desktop PCs

HONG KONG: Mirics announced the launch of its multi-standard broadcast TV solution connected to graphics add-in-card products.

Mirics’ Hong-Kong based partner, USmart has developed solutions using FlexiTV, the world’s first commercial software-based global TV receiver, enabling GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)-based integration into Inno3D-branded NVIDIA GeForce products from ASK Technology Group Ltd. The initial products being launched this quarter will target regions widely served by the DVB-T and ISDB-T digital TV standards.

“Integrating broadcast TV to Inno3D GPU products is a terrific addition that appeals to our customers,” said Matthew Ho, Engineering Director, ASK Technology. “Being first to bring this capability to market and taking advantage of the power of NVIDIA CUDA™ architecture to accelerate the Mirics solution made FlexiTV the perfect complement to our existing products.”

“Bringing FlexiTV to market in conjunction with graphics add-in cards is a natural fit,” said Jay Nunez, Vice President of WW Sales and Marketing, Mirics. “The flexibility of software-based TV and ability to leverage the processing power of the GPU make this a must-have upgrade for consumers seeking not only the best in graphics realism but also to access live digital broadcast TV on their desktop PC.”

This novel integration with GPU products is achieved through an innovative daughter-card that attaches to a graphics add-in card combined with software drivers that enable regional broadcast standards, allowing for a truly global solution as digital standards roll out worldwide.

USmart Electronic Products Ltd. is delivering the daughter-card solution designed for integration with leading GPU products. Ben Wong, CEO, USmart stated: “When we partnered with Mirics, we saw great opportunities for bringing broadcast TV to the PC. Launching this GPU-accelerated solution presents a terrific opportunity for consumers to not only add great graphics power to their systems, but get instant access to live TV in time for some of the great sporting events coming this summer.”

Leading PC companies lift RPX membership

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: RPX Corp. announced that Dell Inc. and Acer Inc. have joined the RPX Defensive Patent Aggregation, bringing membership to 39 companies since RPX introduced its service 18 months ago.

Combined with current members HP, Sony, Panasonic, and others, RPX members represent a strong base of membership from companies involved in the PC market in the US.

RPX created its Defensive Patent Aggregation service to reduce the cost and risk of patent assertion and litigation by non-practicing entities (NPEs).

NPEs, which acquire patents solely for the purpose of licensing and infringement litigation, as opposed to originating them through research and development, cost technology companies more than $3 billion during 2009.

RPX counters the NPE problem by acquiring patents and patent rights, and providing them as a defensive aggregation for its members, which pay annual fees ranging from $40,000 to $5.2 million depending on company size. Members automatically receive rights to RPX's entire portfolio. Annual fees are often less than the cost of even a single patent assertion defense.

There were 467 NPE cases filed in the US last year – nearly one out of every five patent infringement cases – representing a 30 percent increase from 2008. Average patent damages awards for computer manufacturers was $84.6 million in 2009, according to Lex Machina, which administers one of the largest legal-empirical databases in the United States.

“In less than two years, the RPX member network has become the largest and fastest growing platform for tackling the problem of patent risk,” said John Amster, RPX CEO. “Our continuing momentum increases the benefit to our members and furthers our ultimate objective of eliminating the need for patent litigation.”

Q1 tech survey of 586 reveals caution

SAN JOSE, USA: VentureOutsource.com released findings from 586 electronics supply chain decision makers on the current business environment; volumes and expectations, and pricing trends.

Roughly, 85 percent of respondents were either ‘key decision makers' and or they ‘participate’ in their company’s decision making process.

Many respondents indicated the worst of the recession is behind us but Venture Outsource cautions this does not mean the horizon ahead is calm.

The Q1 2010 survey revealed technology OEMs have the lowest Current Index (average respondent's scores for their current outlook regarding economic situation; employment, inventory levels, business volume, pricing) while electronics equipment manufacturers and distribution/logistics providers have the highest Current Index mean score of 5.9 on a scale of 1 to 10.

OEMs typically lag one or two quarters behind component suppliers in feeling the impact of demand improvements.

The survey’s Future Index allows industry to look over the horizon to help industry anticipate the future economic situation; employment, business volume, and profits.

“Our Future Index reveals a mean of 5.6 for this most recent survey, up from 5.1 from our August 2009 survey,” said Mark Zetter, president and founder of VentureOutsource.com. “Although this increase can be considered welcome news, it’s only slight and still represents a level of caution in decision makers’ attitudes.

The overall state of the supply chain is also measured with an Overall Index.

“Our Overall Index saw an increase mean score to 5.5 which is 13 percent greater than our last survey. Computing/PC and semiconductors were the only stand outs with mean scores of 4.8 and 6.1, respectively. The lower PC segment score may reflect the seasonal low following the surge in demand in the fall,” added Zetter.

The semiconductors sector recorded a higher score in the Overall Index believed to be due to both supply shortages in specific markets, such as analog components, and their place on the leading edge of the supply chain time horizon.

Proteus announces FDA clearance of wireless personal health monitor

REDWOOD CITY, USA: Proteus Biomedical Inc., a pioneer in intelligent medicine, has received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration to market its wireless personal health device, the Raisin Personal Monitor.

Proteus’ Raisin Personal Monitor is a miniaturized, wearable device for remote recording and analysis of heart rate, physical activity, body position and patient-logged events. This personalized physiologic information is then communicated via Bluetooth to any computerized device, such as a mobile phone for emerging mHealth applications. The monitor attaches to a patient’s skin with an adhesive layer and is worn like a Band-Aid.

This product is being further developed as part of Proteus’ integrated intelligent medicine system to link sensor-based formulations of pharmaceutical products to individualized physiologic response and outcomes-based treatment systems.

Proteus and its partners are currently developing these integrated product systems in cardiovascular disease, psychiatric disorders, organ transplantation and infectious disease.

As part of its efforts to develop, manufacture and commercialize intelligent medicine products, Proteus also announced today the completion of its Series E financing. $25 million was raised from existing investors including Medtronic, and new investors Novartis and ON Semiconductor.

“This product clearance represents the first component of our integrated approach to patient-centric, anywhere, anytime mobile health products,” said Andrew Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Proteus. “We believe these product systems can transform health care, and we are delighted that our strategic partners share our vision as investors in Proteus.”

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

MoCA adds mid-RF frequencies to MoCA 1.1 spec for DBS operators

SAN RAMON, USA: MoCA continues to demonstrate the flexibility of its technology with an extension to its MoCA 1.1 specification for satellite operators. MoCA operating frequencies now cover 500 to 1500 MHz, from the current 850 – 1500 MHz range.

DIRECTV will be the first to deploy the MoCA mid-RF frequencies as they bring multi-room DVR capabilities to their subscribers throughout the year.

MoCA, in these expanded frequencies, continues to provide MoCA 1.1 features such as net throughputs of 175 Mpbs, parameterized QoS (PQoS) and 16-node networks.

"As we mature as an organization, and at the request of the satellite operator community, we are expanding the frequency range of the MoCA specification for a significant market segment," said Charles Cerino, MoCA president. "This is another example of the flexibility of the technology and why we are the only home entertainment networking standard that works in all pay TV segments."

"The mid-RF MoCA technology meets DIRECTV's need for robust in-home signal distribution and can be supported in the same device as the high-RF MoCA with no additional cost," said Romulo Pontual, CTO for DIRECTV. "MoCA is at the foundation of DIRECTV's vision for enabling connectivity between DIRECTV servers and RVU thin clients implemented in consumer electronic devices such as TVs and media players."

Verizon has been successfully using the MoCA high-RF band for the last four years in its FiOS home network to provide, among other things, multi-room DVR services to its customers. Cox and Time Warner made announcements last year about their plans to use MoCA high-RF in their networks as well.

This version of MoCA 1.1 will feature additional MoCA channels from 500 MHz that enable simultaneous operation with DBS signals (L-band and FSK) on the same coaxial cable.

iSuppli issues fast facts on Seagate’s earnings

EL SEGUNDO, USA: To support media coverage of Seagate Technology LLC’s announcement of its fiscal third quarter results, iSuppli Corp. is issuing the following fast facts:

* Seagate in the fourth calendar quarter of 2009 maintained its ranking as the world’s largest manufacturer of Hard Disk Drives (HDD), fending off a strong challenge by perennially second-ranked Western Digital Corp.

* Shipping approximately 49.9 million HDD units in the fourth calendar quarter of 2009—up 8 percent from third-quarter levels of 46.3 million—Seagate controlled 31 percent of the market. Revenue rose 14 percent to $3.03 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $2.66 billion in the third, translating into a 34 percent share of market.

The table presents iSuppli’s fourth calendar quarter of 2009 HDD market share ranking.Source: iSuppli, USA

* “The tenacious hold at the top for Seagate surprised many observers who thought Western Digital would bypass its primary competitor in the fourth quarter of last year,” said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at iSuppli. “Despite shipping a record 49.5 million HDD units—a 12 percent expansion from the earlier quarter—Western Digital was unable to dislodge Seagate and had to settle once again for second place, finishing close behind with approximately 30 percent market share.”

* While Zhang has not completed her analysis of first-quarter results in the HDD industry, she believes that Seagate is likely to maintain its top ranking in the first calendar quarter of 2010, corresponding with the company’s third fiscal quarter.

* Given the seasonal nature of the market, overall HDD unit shipments in the first quarter of 2010 are expected to have decreased slightly compared to the fourth quarter of 2009. Global HDD unit shipments in the first quarter of 2010 amounted to 159.6 million units, down 3.1 percent from 164.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to iSuppli’s preliminary estimate.

* However, HDD unit shipments in the first quarter of 2010 are estimated to have risen dramatically compared to the dismal conditions during the same period in 2009. Shipments rose 43.6 percent from 111.1 million in the first quarter of 2009, according to iSuppli’s preliminary estimate. The attached figure presents iSuppli’s forecast of quarterly HDD unit shipments worldwide.

* For all of 2010, global HDD unit shipments are expected to rise to 674.6 million units up 22.8 percent from 549.5 million in 2009. This contrasts markedly with 2009, when shipments declined by 2 percent.Source: iSuppli, USA

Bluetooth core spec v4.0 ready to roll

KIRKLAND, USA: From its annual All Hands Meeting in Seattle, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) unveiled more information about its forthcoming Bluetooth Core Specification Version 4.0, with the hallmark feature of low energy technology.

Bluetooth v4.0, expected to be brought to market by the end of Q2, will feature a powerful low energy mode designed to enable expansion of the technology in m-health, sports and fitness, security and home entertainment scenarios where button-cell battery devices proliferate.

Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director of the Bluetooth SIG, said: “Bluetooth v4.0 throws open the doors to a host of new markets for Bluetooth manufacturers and products such as watches, remote controls, and a variety of medical and in-home sensors. Many of these products run on button-cell batteries that must last for years versus hours and will also benefit from the longer range enabled by this new version of the Bluetooth specification.”

Bluetooth v4.0 is like three specifications in one – Classic Bluetooth technology, Bluetooth low energy technology, and Bluetooth high speed technology – all which can be combined or used separately in different devices according to their functionality. For example, sensors like those in pedometers and glucose monitors will run only low energy technology, thus saving power, cost and space within the device.

Watches will take advantage of both low energy technology while collecting data from fitness sensors on the body as well as Classic Bluetooth technology when sending that information to a PC, or separately displaying caller ID information when wirelessly connected to a mobile phone. Mobile phones and PCs, which support the widest range of uses, will utilize the full package with Classic, low energy and high speed technology running side by side.

As with previous versions of the specification, the range of the Bluetooth v4.0 radio may be optimized according to application. The majority of Bluetooth devices on the market today include the basic 30 foot, or 10 meter, range of the Classic Bluetooth radio, but there is no limit imposed by the Specification. With Bluetooth v4.0, manufacturers may choose to optimize range to 200 feet and beyond, particularly for in-home sensor applications where longer range is a necessity.

Bluetooth v4.0 was recently named one of the “10 Mobile Technologies to Watch in 2010 and 2011” by Gartner, Inc. Technologies chosen for the list were selected on their potential to evolve and impact short-term mobile strategies and policies. Specifically, Bluetooth v4.0 is cited to have significant impact on the fitness, healthcare and environmental control industries.

Availability
The specification for Bluetooth v4.0 with the hallmark feature of low energy technology was first introduced in December 2009. Samples of sensors utilizing this specification are available from some silicon manufacturers today. Integration of Bluetooth low energy wireless technology within the Bluetooth specification will be completed before June 30, 2010.

Upon completion, mobile phone and PC manufacturers may enhance their Bluetooth product offerings with support for Bluetooth low energy wireless technology. End-user devices with Bluetooth v4.0 are expected to reach the market in late 2010 or early 2011.

Imagine Communications closes $10 million VC round

SAN DIEGO, USA: Imagine Communications, a leading innovator in advanced digital video solutions, announced the completion of a $10 million round of expansion financing, bringing total venture capital investment in Imagine Communications to more than $34 million.

All previous and existing investors participated, including Court Square Ventures, Columbia Capital and Carmel Ventures. The new financing will be used to expand support to the company’s leading MSO customers, while accelerating the commercial deployment of Imagine’s break-through solutions for MPEG-4 encoding and transcoding.

“Imagine’s vision for PersonalizedTV on every screen is now becoming a reality,” said Imagine’s President and CEO, Jamie Howard.

“This new capital enables us to accelerate the development and deployment of our real-time h.264 encoding, transcoding and streaming solutions to support the growing demand for Internet and mobile video content delivered in multiple formats, including 3D. The core innovations of ICE and ICE-Q are directly applicable to the TV Anywhere challenge and we look forward to leveraging our strong investor commitment and endorsement.”

“Imagine is uniquely well positioned for the upcoming explosive growth in digital video processing,” said Phil Herget of Columbia Capital. “Imagine’s core technology and innovation engine has yet again proven an ability to surge ahead and create a demonstrable gap in competitive performance. We’re excited about Imagine and its prospects for continued growth in these new and global markets.”

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

HDMI Licensing announces webinar series on HDMI 1.4

SUNNYVALE, USA: HDMI Licensing, LLC, the agent responsible for licensing the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) Specification, has announced a series of technology seminars to introduce adopters and developers to the latest product and business opportunities related to the HDMI Specification Version 1.4a.

Beginning in April, HDMI Licensing will present one-day technology seminars at different locations throughout Asia and North America, following the format of the highly successful HDMI Developers Conference. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and interact with the HDMI experts, explore the latest capabilities of the specification, and learn about the resources available for producing and promoting HDMI products.

Charlene Wan, director of marketing and operations at HDMI Licensing, said, “We are always exploring new ways to have more in-depth communication with the HDMI community and the technology seminars offer an ideal platform for adopters and developers to engage face to face with our HDMI experts and the seminar sponsors.”

Enabling energy efficient TVs remains top priority for LCD TV Association members

BEAVERTON, USA: On the eve of Earth Day 2010, member companies of the LCD TV Association—a global, not-for-profit, marketing trade association formed to help the entire LCD TV supply chain, retail channel and consumers—today re-enforced their ongoing pledge to usher in an era of greener TVs.

“With power consumption by electronic devices becoming increasingly important throughout the world, it’s critical that all companies in the TV supply chain work toward greener processes and products,” noted David Barnes, Chief Research Officer of the LCD TV Association.

The LCD TV Association’s GreenTV logo program was launched in 2008 in an effort to help focus LCD TV manufacturers and brands on reducing the power consumption of LCD TVs and lessening the overall environmental impact or "footprint" of LCD TV components, products and logistics. In addition, the GreenTV logo raises consumer awareness of this important issue. Products in the current program reduce energy consumption by as much as 60 percent.

Corning
Corning's award-winning EAGLE XG glass substrates are the industry's first to contain no added heavy metals or halides-allowing increased opportunities for LCD technology to be green before, during and after use. Between their introduction in 2006 and today, EAGLE XG glass substrates have prevented the use of nearly 14,000 tons of heavy metals. That amount of hazardous material would fill 2,192 dump trucks, or a train consisting of 139 hopper cars.

DisplaySearch
DisplaySearch forecasts that Green FPD penetration will exceed 50 percent in 2011 and completely penetrate the market by 2014. “In order to continue profitable growth in an environment of continuous cost pressure and more stringent environmental controls, TFT LCD makers must simultaneously drive down manufacturing costs and reduce power consumption,” noted Paul Semenza, Senior Vice President of DisplaySearch.

“The technologies that directly address these issues include those that aim to improve the historically low optical transmission of TFT LCDs, as well as the efficiency of backlighting. Manufacturers that can bring such improvements into mass production will have a competitive advantage.”

mSilica’s
mSilica has dedicated itself toward developing ICs that improve energy efficiency and user experience in LCD-TV backlighting. mSilica’s wide dimming options provide unparalleled contrast ratio and has earned design wins at household names in the world of consumer electronics.

A proprietary efficiency optimizer carefully and adaptively meters and reduces power dissipation. This technique was perfected and proven three years before energy efficiency standards for large LCD-TV panels were introduced in California. With mSilica’s ICs, an average of 10 percent power can be saved per TV. If all 150M TVs are shipped with mSilica technology, a whopping 1,875MW of instantaneous power could be saved.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt Germany
Merck, the world´s leading manufacturer of high-tech display materials, in particular for LCD TVs, remains strongly committed to sustainability and product stewardship. The company only uses safe and legally compliant (i.e. no acutely toxic or mutagenic) substances manufactured by highly efficient and environment-friendly processes.

Together with its customers Merck KGaA is strongly involved in the development of new LCD technologies such as PSVA (Polymer Stabilized Vertical Alignment), which features a significantly enhanced panel transmission—enabling significantly lower backlight and consequently TV set power consumption for more eco-efficient hence ‘greener’ LCDs.

NOVA Chemicals
NOVA Chemicals’ ARCEL resin is a high performance foam packaging solution designed to ensure that products withstand the rigors of shipping, while creating cube utilization and material source reduction efficiencies that reduce environmental impact throughout the supply chain. This leads to a positive customer brand experience at a lower total cost.

Supertex Inc.
Supertex Inc. is a leading developer of energy efficient high voltage LED drivers not only for backlighting LCD TVs, but also for many other solid-state lighting applications.

By incorporating solid-state components instead of cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL), OEMs manufacturing LCD TVs can reduce typical energy consumption by around 50 percent. Supertex LED drivers also prolong LED lifetimes through effective power delivery, thereby extending solid-state product life and reducing electronic waste.

Supertex remains committed to delivering energy efficient driving solutions for the solid-state lighting industry as a whole, with specific focus on the LCD TV market sector.

TAOS Inc.
TAOS Inc., the market leader and pioneer of digital ambient light sensors (ALS), is providing key "green" technology to the HDTV industry that is directly benefiting consumers who purchase flat panel HDTVs and other consumer electronics.

Ambient light sensors automatically adjust the display brightness based on ambient light conditions that result in power consumption being reduced by as much as 30 percent, thereby conserving energy while simultaneously providing an enhanced picture quality. By adopting TAOS "Green" technology, manufactures are able to produce increasingly more energy-efficient, "Energy-Star"-compliant products.

Westinghouse Digital
2010 Westinghouse LED LCD HDTVs are Energy Star 5.0 compliant meeting the standard’s requirements two years early. The new 26” LED edge backlit TV uses less power than a 45 watt light bulb while the 32” uses 10 percent less energy than a 60 watt bulb. The 42” LED uses 20 percent less energy than a 100-watt bulb.

All Westinghouse LED/LCD HDTVs are mercury-free, feature recycled/recyclable cartons, use eco friendly soy based ink for carton and manual printing and are RoHS compliant. The new ultra-slim designs with a maximum thickness of 1.5 inches allow 20-25 percent reduced transportation carbon footprint compared to 2009 models.

VIZIO
The current version 3.0 ENERGY STAR TV product specifications require that all qualified televisions address both active and standby power (when your TV is on and off). Eco VIZIO HDTVs exceed the current minimum standards by at least 15%. Furthermore, all VIZIO TruLED products are mercury free, as the display’s LED backlight is environmentally-friendly and mercury-free. Lastly, VIZIO is proud to participate and abide by state and federal requirements relating to appropriate disposal of e-waste.

Monday, April 19, 2010

NDS, BlackArrow to develop joint solutions for advanced TV advertising

LONDON, UK: NDS, the leading provider of technology solutions for digital pay-TV, and BlackArrow, a leading provider of advanced advertising solutions for New Television platforms, have announced a strategic business and technology alliance.

Together, the companies will offer an integrated suite of end-to-end advanced TV advertising solutions and system integration services for the advancement of next-generation TV advertising.

The alliance will see the integration of the two companies’ technology and further development of new solutions for global markets, focusing on sophisticated advertising capabilities such as on-demand ad insertion, interactive advertising and addressable advertising on linear television - with future plans to enable multiplatform campaigns across multiple devices, optimising on NDS’ cross platform experience.

In a related announcement, BlackArrow announced that NDS has taken the lead in the latest round of funding for the company – a strategic investment that will see NDS gain a seat on the BlackArrow board of directors.

The existing suite of advanced advertising technologies from NDS, NDS Dynamic™, enables TV operators to manage, deliver and execute advanced advertising applications to improve their existing advertising sales and develop new advertising revenue streams; all reinforced by accurate viewing analysis for programmers, addressability and interactive advertising. The NDS Dynamic suite has three solutions, audience measurement, addressable advertising and interactive advertising.

BlackArrow enables advanced advertising monetisation for New TV. The BlackArrow Advanced Advertising System is comprised of the BlackArrow Sales Suite, which allows television ad-sales organizations to define, manage and fulfil multiplatform, multioperator advertising campaigns, and the BlackArrow Decision Suite, which offers powerful ad decision logic and system interoperability for content distributors to deploy dynamic ad insertion rapidly in on-demand environments.

The combined expertise of both companies will provide a framework for operators and programmers to generate additional revenues from next-generation advertising on advanced platforms, such as on-demand television, enabling programmers and content owners to sell and manage advertising inventory; platform operators to leverage existing network and set-top box infrastructures to deploy standards-based dynamic advertising solutions; and advertisers to better understand the reach of their message with proven audience measurement technology.

“As pay-TV companies invest in DVR and VOD deployments and these gain penetration, they will be able to offer new and more effective targetable and accountable advertising. These services will be added to the core subscription revenues and can become another important revenue stream,” said Dr. Abe Peled, Chairman and CEO, NDS. “Our investment in, and alliance with, BlackArrow further reinforces our commitment and belief in the growing power of advertising to expand our customers’ business.”

“The ability to effectively monetise New TV programming represents a major driver of top-line revenue growth opportunities for content distributors and programmers,” said Dean Denhart, CEO, BlackArrow. “Our partnership with NDS leverages both companies’ domain and technology expertise to create solutions and services that can rapidly enable the global marketplace to share in these new revenue streams."

Densitron licenses Immersion’s Haptics technology

CORONA & SAN JOSE, USA: Densitron Corp. Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of information display systems, and Immersion Corp., the leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, announced that Densitron has licensed Immersion’s TouchSense technology for integration into touchscreen solutions for medical products, scientific instruments and industrial controls.

Densitron operates in 35 countries and is publicly traded on AIM, the London Stock Exchange’s international market for growing companies.

Densitron’s initial product offering, 85-0189-000 DensiTouch™ reference design, is for their 5.7-inch Versapanel™ projected capacitive touchscreen. Available immediately, the system incorporates Immersion’s TouchSense 2000 software and effect library, schematics and application programming interface, as well as recommendations for motor, amplifier, sealing and mechanical integration. Densitron plans to build on their product offering with a 7-inch touchscreen solution in the near term.

“As touchscreens become more pervasive, we’re seeing adoption of our TouchSense haptics technology across an increasing range of markets,” said Craig Vachon, senior vice president and general manager of Immersion’s Touch line of business. "Densitron is a leader and this is further validation of the importance of feedback in providing the best touch-based experiences. We’re pleased to partner with them to offer the power of haptics to their customers.”

Densitron’s projected capacitive touchscreen solution, Versapanel, includes both a full, dynamic active display area as well as dedicated space for customizable, fixed button graphics. Integration of Immersion’s haptics technology will offer the feel of traditional mechanical buttons resulting in a solution that provides OEMs design flexibility and greater panel control durability while offering a more satisfying user experience.

"Immersion’s haptics technology is an excellent complement to our touchpanels,” said Greg Hayes, general manager, Densitron. “By leveraging touch feedback, we’re able to provide manufacturers and designers with cost effective solutions that will differentiate their products and are intuitive to use.”

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Smart Guard Systems launches India operations to design and manufacture IP surveillance products

AHMEDABAD, INDIA: In a historic new beginning, India’s first IP surveillance company Smart Guard Systems today launched its operations. Smart Guard Systems launched cutting edge “Designed in and for India” IP surveillance products, a first for the Indian market.

The company will roll out a complete range of advanced intelligent surveillance products in India. Smart Guard Systems is setting up India’s first facility in Ahmedabad to manufacture IP cameras, digital video recorders (DVRs) and encoders. Smart Guard Systems has been set up as a 100 percent subsidiary of eInfochips, India’s leading technology design services company.

In contrast to the earlier generation of CCTV based passive surveillance systems that merely record the video, IP (Internet Protocol) based Surveillance systems provide anytime anywhere monitoring including from Handheld devices. Coupled with intelligent video solutions these offer automatic alerts and enable real time responses. These systems also provide superior image quality, flexibility and are easy to expand with growing requirements.

Smart Guard System announced the launch of “Smart Surveillance Solution”, an innovative plug-n-play IP surveillance product developed especially for the Indian Home market. World’s first H.264 - HD/Megapixel IP cameras with embedded video analytics targeted at institutional customers was also launched.

Global surveillance market estimated at $7 billion is shifting from the earlier generation analog passive video to intelligent video based IP surveillance. IP Surveillance market currently estimated at $1.5 billion and growing at CAGR of 40 percent is forecast to overtake the analog surveillance market by 2012.

Pratul Shroff, CEO eInfochips and chairman of the Board of Smart Guard Systems, says: “Smart Guard Systems is a pioneering endeavour. Due to the current security environment, economic development, rapid urbanisation and changing lifestyles, security and surveillance market in India is witnessing robust growth.

“As in the telecom and many other sectors, we expect India to leapfrog in adopting surveillance technology. By 2013, the IP surveillance is expected to overtake analog systems in India. Smart Guard will drive the transformation of Indian surveillance market with a clear focus on harnessing cutting edge technologies to deliver innovative products and solutions to its customers.”

Gurudas Parwani, CEO, Smart Guard Systems, says: “The Indian surveillance market is nascent and estimated at about Rs 800 crores. The IP surveillance market is currently at 10 percent of the total market but growing at a CAGR of 50 percent. It is estimated to reach over Rs 400 crore in the next five years. We have a strong R&D focus, in-house expertise, partnership with global technology leaders and deep appreciation of India’s surveillance and security scenario. We expect a year on year growth of 50 percent and are aiming at a 10-15 percent market share in the initial years.”

Launch of smart surveillance solution
Smart Surveillance Solutions is an affordable and compact product for the Indian households.

“With anytime anywhere viewing from distant locations, the Smart Surveillance Solution makes it simple for all of us to care for our families and assets. NRI sons and daughters can keep in view their aging parents or their unattended houses or working parents keep track of children as they come back from schools,” says Gurudas Parwani.

“Smart Surveillance Solution” is a unique combination of IP Cube (cube shaped miniature cameras) Camera and Smart Micro NVR (Network Video Recorder). Developed by Smart Guard Systems ‘Smart Micro NVR’ is a portable, lightweight and convenient product that does away with the restrictive features of the bulky, power consuming personal computers/servers and embedded NVR’s needed for recording the video streams from the IP cameras.

“Smart Surveillance Solution” won the award for best innovation by Gujarat Electronics and Software Industries Association (GESIA) on its annual awards — GESIA AWARDS 2010 — at a ceremony in Ahmedabad recently.

Smart Guard targets home users with “Smart Surveillance Solutions” and will retail it through electronic retail chains.

Intros world’s first H.264 - HD/megapixel IP cameras with embedded video analytics
Smart Guard Systems also launched world’s first H.264 - HD/Megapixel IP cameras with embedded video analytics. H.264 is the latest video compression technology that requires less bandwidth, while delivering better quality when transmitting video over networks.

This is targeted primarily for surveillance and monitoring needs of city surveillance, railways, airports, banks, retail shops, departmental stores, logistic warehouses, and schools.

Next generation surveillance products
Smart Guard Systems has developed a comprehensive portfolio of products including IP Cameras, Encoders, Network Video Recording solutions and Video Management Software. Smart Guard Systems has complete range of IP cameras - VGA to Megapixel and HD cameras; Cube cameras, Box, Dome; and Speed Dome type cameras and Recording solutions including NVR, NAS based solutions and Smart Micro NVR.

Smart Guard Systems will retail its products through Distributor, IT channel partners and security system integrators across India. In the current year it plans a footprint of 75 cities across India with 200 channel partners.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Microsoft, Sony move to challenge Nintendo for casual gamers

EL SEGUNDO, USA: New gaming products from Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. are poised to challenge Nintendo Company Ltd. in the world of console gaming, according to iSuppli Corp.

Although the best-selling Wii allowed Nintendo to attain a 43 percent market share in game console unit shipments during 2009, Sony and Microsoft hope to provide fierce competition later this year, said Pamela Tufegdzic, analyst for consumer electronics at iSuppli.

“Sony’s Move motion-sensing controller, as well as Microsoft’s Project Natal, will breathe new life into the console market,” Tufegdzic remarked. “Both companies hope to broaden the gaming audience by targeting the larger casual market—which will give Sony and Microsoft a stake in the ground toward this highly-sought-after area.”

The two companies plan to release their new motion game play around the holiday season of 2010 with solutions that are compatible with their current-generation gaming consoles, she said.

Growth expected to be slight in 2010 and 2011
Because the motion technologies will work with the current generations of Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’ s Xbox 360, users do not need to buy new consoles to take advantage of these features. As a result, iSuppli expects the overall console market in 2010 to experience only slight growth in unit shipments, with a 2.2 percent increase. Overall shipments will rise by only 4.4 percent in 2011, Tufegdzic noted.

However, the long-term impact of Move and Project Natal on the game console market will elongate the lifespan of current-generation consoles while giving gamers something more to chew on as they wait for the next-generation models to hit the market, expected sometime in the late 2011 to 2012 timeframe, said Tufegdzic.

“Move” for me
With the Sony PlayStation Move, users’ actions are picked up in multiple dimensions rather than just detected from left-to-right motions. In addition, Sony has added a glowing sphere to the Move controller that pinpoints the user’s exact location in the room, and is used in conjunction with the PlayStation Eye camera. The video capture then tracks video game movements, putting the user directly in the game with added voice activation—something the Wii does not do.

“Project” particulars
Microsoft says Project Natal likely will consist of a 9-inch-wide horizontal bar, comprising an infrared projector combined with a monochrome CMOS sensor, allowing the sensor to see in 3-D under any ambient light conditions.

The motion-sensing controller will be able to adjust to the environment around the player so that the game play isn’t compromised. Microsoft also says the software technology allows for advanced gesture recognition, facial recognition and voice recognition.

At the 2009 E3 gaming conference, Microsoft demonstrated how Project Natal uses skeletal mapping technology to enable 48 skeletal points on a human body at a frame rate of 30Hz.

Savi and ODIN to deliver industry's most comprehensive RFID software platform

ORLANDO, USA: Savi and ODIN, two of the world's leading providers of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) solutions, are partnering to offer the industry's first and most comprehensive software platform leveraging both passive and active RFID technologies.

The fully integrated solution will broaden and enrich customers' ability to track and manage in real-time their items, supply chain assets and transport conveyances such as containers and vehicles. The announcement was made at the opening of the annual RFID Journal Live! conference.

The companies have joined forces to develop the latest generation of RFID software that will exploit the full range of RFID and related Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) technologies.

The solution is architected to benefit customers in the Aerospace and Defense, Government, Manufacturing, Healthcare and IT Services industries. Drawing on the deep experience of Lockheed Martin's [LMT] Savi in active, battery-powered RFID and ODIN's expertise in passive RFID, the solution will enhance supply chain performance, efficiency and security within the four walls of facilities as well as throughout extended supply chains. The two companies have a combined global experience on every continent encompassing more than 500 successful RFID projects.

"With ODIN's depth of experience with passive RFID and Savi's two decades of experience with active RFID, together we can bring the best of both worlds to improve the visibility of all kinds of supply chain assets and to enhance asset management performance," said David Stephens, CEO of Savi Technology. "This is a giant step toward realizing the vision that most every object can be tracked wirelessly in the near future."

"With Savi and ODIN seamlessly integrating our respective solutions, we can bring a single off-the-shelf solution with near perfect accuracy," said Patrick J. Sweeney II, founder of ODIN.

Both Stephens and Sweeney emphasized that many of their existing clients in Aerospace, Defense and Healthcare have asked for a unified active-passive RFID software platform for multiple uses, ranging from tool tracking to work-in-process.

The Savi-ODIN offering will combine Savi's active RFID SmartChain software suite and ODIN's EasyEdge for passive RFID devices to automate the collection of passive and active RFID data onto a single platform.

Unlike other componentized solutions requiring complex hardware and software integration, the SmartChain suite will be available with seamless modules that significantly reduce the time, effort and costs of implementing and utilizing software powered with real-time RFID information.

Further, SmartChain will be able to better track and manage IT assets and medical supplies, as well as help improve the performance of complex pick-and-pack and kitting functions. At the same time, SmartChain will function as a system of record that provides status alerts and detailed reports on passive RFID-tagged items such as laptops, medical equipment and kits consisting of manufactured parts.

Automating the management of these assets with the Savi-ODIN module will help reduce asset shrinkage, as well as costs associated with manual tracking of assets.