Monday, May 31, 2010

VIZIO accelerates performance products and technologies in Q1 2010

IRVINE, USA: VIZIO, America's LCD HDTV company, recently announced that many of its newest high performance products and technologies found greater success in Q1 2010, reflected in significant average selling price improvements.

Notable among these are the growth in LED and large screen (50"+) HDTVs that resulted in an average selling price (ASP) that grew 27 percent for the quarter. VIZIO, which sold 1.066 million LCD HDTVs in the US for the quarter, attributes much of its success to a 225 percent increase YoY in 50"+ size HDTVs, full HD 1080p sales that represented over half of all TV sales, and a fast refresh rate 120+Hz SPS XVT Series that saw a 250 percent increase over Q4 2009.

"Coming off a spectacular 2009, we see continued improvement and acceleration in our premium TV products. Americans continue to have a strong appetite for high performance TV products and are looking more and more to VIZIO for these latest technologies," stated Laynie Newsome, VIZIO Co-Founder and Chief Sales Officer.

"We continue to remain focused on exceeding our customers' expectations with exciting and innovative new products like VIZIO Internet Apps, Connected Blu-ray DVD Players, AV optimized wireless Internet routers and other Internet apps enabled entertainment systems. We are expanding our high definition home theater sound collection, while launching 3D enabled LCD HDTVs, High Definition Personal Home Theater headphones, and razor thin LED LCD portable HDTVs."

"An increasing portion of televisions sold in the United States in 2010 are higher end models with larger screen sizes and new features like LED backlighting and 120Hz and 240Hz refresh rates," said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst, television systems, for the market research firm, iSuppli Corp., El Segundo, Calif. "Companies that can manage to stay on top of these trends will lead the market this year."

According to Quixel Research, VIZIO's strength in the quarter was driven in part by two of the top three best selling TVs in the U.S. - the VO320E (32") and VA26L (26"), but also had the #1 Best Selling LED LCD model – the VM230 as well.

"VIZIO's showing this quarter was very strong with Best Selling models at 32", and 26" - covering the key sellers," stated Tamaryn Pratt, Quixel Research. "They did this at the same time while having a strong showing in value ranking among LED models with the #1 Best Selling LED TV in the US."

DisplaySearch recently released its North America shipment results showing VIZIO's continuing growth in large size (40"+) HDTVs and advanced technologies spurred in part by the success of the 55" and 47" TruLED Internet App HDTVs introduced this fall.

VIZIO gains in these larger sizes and premium products garnered the brand an accelerated 27 percent increase in average selling price of $588 for Q1 2010 over Q4 2009's $463 – this in a quarter that had the industry finding only a 6 percent ASP increase according to DisplaySearch.

"VIZIO continues to see strong growth in large screen sizes, with the 40"+ segment rising from 21 percent of shipments in Q4'09 to 32 percent of shipments in Q1'10. VIZIO also had the strongest improvement in ASP among the top North America LCD TV brands from Q4'09 to Q1'10, rising more than 27 percent. This is a direct reflection of improved mix of advanced technologies like LED and the increase in the 40"+ screen size mix. In fact, more than 3/4ths of VIZIO's 40"+ LCD TVs are 120Hz or higher in frame rate, which is the highest among the top LCD TV brands."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Global server market revenues rise 4.7 percent in Q1 as market demand improves sharply

FRAMINGHAM, USA: According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, factory revenue in the worldwide server market increased 4.7 percent year over year to $10.4 billion in the first quarter of 2010 (1Q10).

This is the first quarter of year-over-year revenue growth in seven quarters, as server market demand continued to improve around the world. Server unit shipments increased 23.3 percent year over year in 1Q10, accelerating from the modest 1.9 percent increase in shipments experienced in 4Q09 and representing the fastest year-over-year quarterly server shipment growth in more than five years.

Volume systems experienced the sharpest improvement with year-over-year revenue increasing 31.9%, the second consecutive quarter of positive growth for the segment. Midrange enterprise demand weakened with a year-over-year decline of 18.9 percent and the slowdown extended to the high-end enterprise segment as revenue declined 28.7 percent when compared to 1Q09. This is the sixth consecutive quarter that both the midrange and high-end server segments of the server market have experienced a year-over-year revenue decline.

"This is the third consecutive quarter that IDC reported improving market conditions for servers worldwide. The market recovery has been led by sharply higher demand for x86 servers around the world as SMB and enterprise customers aggressively refresh their infrastructures," said Matt Eastwood, group vice president, Enterprise Platforms at IDC.

"IDC expects the recovery to extend to Unix and mainframe platforms in the second half of 2010 as the technology refresh extends from volume- to value-oriented systems with somewhat longer planning horizons. It's also important to note that we are in the middle of one of the sharpest periods of market inflection in a decade and we expect significant shifts in technology usage and market shares to occur as the recovery continues."

Overall server market standings, by vendor
HP held the number 1 position in the worldwide server market with 32.5 percent factory revenue share for 1Q10; HP increased revenue 16.3 percent year over year and gained 3.3 points of share from a year ago. HP's growth was led by strong demand for its x86 ProLiant servers during the quarter.

IBM held the number 2 spot with 27.5 percent share for the quarter as factory revenue declined 1.2 percent compared to 1Q09. Although IBM experienced weakness in its POWER Systems and System z servers as customers waited for the completion of a product refresh cycle, demand for x86-based System x servers remained strong in the quarter.

Dell maintained third place with 16.3 percent factory revenue market share in 1Q10. Dell gained 5.1 points of share year-to-year on strong 51.9 percent revenue growth driven by surging demand from enterprise and SMB customers.

Sun and Fujitsu tied for the number 4 position. Sun, which was acquired by Oracle on Jan. 27, experienced a year-over-year revenue decline of 31.9 percent in 1Q10 to 6.6 percent market share, while Fujitsu experienced a 2.2 percent increase in factory revenue holding 6.5 percent revenue share in 1Q10.

Top server market findings
* Microsoft Windows server demand was positively impacted by the accelerating x86 server market, as the hardware revenue increased 33.6 percent and unit shipments increased 28.3 percent year over year. Quarterly revenue of $5.1 billion for Windows servers represented 48.9 percent of overall quarterly factory revenue. This is the highest percentage of server hardware revenue that Windows servers have ever represented.

* Linux server demand also improved sharply in 1Q10, with revenue growing 20.4 percent to $1.7 billion when compared with the first quarter of 2009. Linux servers now represent 16.2 percent of all server revenue, up 2.1 points over 1Q09.

* Unix servers experienced 29 percent revenue decline when compared to 1Q09 as customers waited for additional detail on the Sun-Oracle server roadmap. They were also anticipating a ramp of IBM POWER7 servers, which began shipping in Q1, and, separately, HP Integrity servers based on Intel Itanium 9300 processors that were announced in April. Worldwide Unix revenues were $2.3 billion for the quarter, representing 22.2 percent of quarterly server spending (down 10.5 points over 1Q09).

* The market for non-x86 servers, including servers based on RISC, EPIC, and CISC processors, declined 25.9 percent year over year to $3.6 billion in 1Q10. This is the fourth consecutive quarter that non-x86 servers have been outperformed in the market by x86 servers. IDC believes that demand for non-x86 systems will improve in the second half of the year as leading OEMs complete important product refresh cycles, which will help drive server demand in the midrange and high-end of the market.

"The Unix server marketplace is in transition, with new market dynamics—and a new provider in Oracle, which just completed its acquisition of Sun Microsystems," said Jean S. Bozman, research vice president, Enterprise Servers at IDC.

"This segment was hard-hit in 2009, and its product mix – with most of its revenue in the midrange and high-end segments – has yet to show signs of growth in 2010. IDC expects this decline to moderate in 2H10, as all vendors have refreshed their product set to carry forward Unix-specific, mission-critical workloads."

x86 industry standard server market dynamics
The x86 server revenues continued to accelerate in 1Q10, growing 33.6 percent in the quarter to $6.8 billion worldwide as unit shipments increased 25.7 percent to 1.8 million servers. Each one of the top four server vendors experienced positive x86 server revenue growth in the quarter.

HP experienced sharp revenue growth and led the market with 39.2 percent revenue share. Dell retained second place, securing 24.8 percent revenue share, while IBM now holds 16.8 percent revenue share. Overall, this was the fastest year-over-year factory revenue growth for x86 servers in more than 10 years, helping HP, Dell, and IBM to all gain market share.

Bladed server market results
The blade market accelerated and continued its sharp growth in the quarter with factory revenue increasing 37.2 percent year over year, with shipment growth increasing by 20.8 percent compared to 1Q09.

Overall, bladed servers, including x86, EPIC, and RISC blades, accounted for $1.4 billion in revenues, representing 13.6 percent of quarterly server market revenue. Over 90 percent of all blade revenue is driven by x86 systems, a segment in which blades now represent 18.8 percent of all x86 server revenue.

HP maintained the number 1 spot in the server blade market in 1Q10, with 56.2 percent revenue share and IBM finished with 23.6 percent revenue share. Both HP and IBM outperformed the market and gained year-over-year factory revenue market share.

"Driven by the pent-up demand in customers' refresh cycles, the x86 rack server segment experienced its largest growth in years. The rack segment exceeded the overall market due in part to a relatively easier year-over-year compare as the economic downturn severely impacted the segment in the first quarter of 2009," said Jed Scaramella, senior analyst, Enterprise Servers at IDC.

"In the first quarter of 2009, we observed a lot of business in the mid-market as well as refresh activity of a more transactional nature; these factors have driven x86 rack-based revenue to just below 1Q08 value. Blade servers, which are more strategic in customer deployments, continue to accelerate in annual growth rates. The blade segment fared relatively well during the 2009 downturn and have increased revenue value by 13 percent from the first quarter of 2008."Source: IDC.

Friday, May 28, 2010

iPad won't be print media’s silver bullet

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: The iPad won’t be the ‘silver bullet’ traditional news media was hoping for, according to a major new study* by analyst firm Ovum.

Despite forecasting a ‘gold-rush effect’ that will see the total value of downloaded applications on the iPad hitting $68.8 million this year and $511.8 million in 2011, Ovum believes Apple’s much-hyped tablet device alone will fail to secure the future of news and magazine publishing.

By way of contrast, Ovum has forecast that the global mobile applications market will be worth $5.7 billion by 2014, with total paid downloads of 3.3 billion applications.

Ovum’s research indicates that volumes of the iPad will take time to build. In addition, the tablet media market will soon become as congested as the smartphone app store market.

Adrian Drury, Ovum’s principal media and broadcasting analyst and report co-author, said: “The iPad promise is a set of new distribution channels for packaged media, but it is one device and volumes will take time to build. Traditional publishing’s challenge to find a new and sustainable business model is immediate.”

He added: “Previous attempts at defining this fourth screen product category have so far failed. Apple, however, is doing more than just selling a hardware platform; it is also leveraging the content and the volume of pre-existing iPhone applications (most of which will run on the iPad) to demonstrate the utility of this form factor. Apple needs the content ecosystem to drive mass-market appeal.

“The iPad and the tablet product category are a revenue opportunity and a showcase for the future of packaged media. However, this new fourth screen does not alone represent the silver bullet for the news and magazine industry.”

Ovum forecasts total shipments of Apple’s iPad to reach 13.2 million by end of 2011 (by comparison, Apple shipped 25 million iPhones in 2009 alone).

Resurgence in tablet PCs revitalize ICT industry

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: The launch of Apple’s iPad in early 2010 has stirred up the long-silent Tablet PC industry and has won it once the attention of the worldwide computer industry.

As a result, makers of Netbook and eReader, which have functions overlapping with tablet PC, have the jitters over some ongoing developments which climaxes at this year’s COMPUTEX TAIPEI from June 1 to June 5. It’s here where the latest Tablet PCs, as well as Netbooks and eReaders will be demonstrated and compete for the buyer’s eye.

COMPUTEX TAIPEI is not only a stage for computer makers to claim their presences, but also a coveted place to set and see the trends. The PC revolution war waged by Tablet PC will help to top off the 30th-anniversary of COMPUTEX TAIPEI which has grown up with the industry.

Tablet PC’s strong growth momentum
The concept of Tablet PC emerged several years ago, an effort to grab the mobile commercial and consumer markets which lie between NB and smartphones. However, influenced by issues like weight, CPU heat dissipation, short battery life, immature touch input technology, and unpopular wireless networks, Tablet PCs were not widely accepted as expected.

The situation continued until Apple revealed iPad, and major brand makers begin to launch related product to heat up the market again. At present, major PC makers including Apple, Lenovo, HP, Asus, and MSI have all introduced Tablet PC products, and Dell, Acer, and Sony have plans to launch related products this year.

Besides functioning as word processors and for networking, the new-generation Tablet PC integrates contents and services of gaming, entertainment, and eBook. For the first time here is a device that has positioned itself as a consumer entertainment device rather than a commercial device.

According to Gartner, worldwide shipment of Tablet PCs will comprise less than 1 percent of current total PC shipments. But ABI Research indicates that the sale of new-generation Tablet PCs will grow 10 times to reach 4 million units this year, and the number will reach 57 million by 2015, becoming a major boost for the worldwide computer industry.

eReaders go 2 extremes
In terms of hardware specs, Tablet PC is very similar to eReader, which can also provide eBook download services. It is generally considered that the emergence of Tablet PC will first impact on eReaders.

According to the analysis done by Topology Research Institute, though the mainstream gray-scale eReader is good for long-time reading, the ASP of USD 500 is still too high and lacks multimedia browsing, Internet surfing, and word processing functions. If eReader wants to compete with Tablet PCs then it has to lower its price to below US$200. With the same reading experiences of the paperback, eReader at this price has the potential to be considered a home appliance and can differentiate itself from the Tablet PC.

The contents of the eBook include news, magazines, literature novels, and textbooks. It is expected that the market will develop toward two extreme directions. For book fans who want lots of reading, light and low-cost, professional eReader will still be their choices.And, for those who require colorful content or textbook readers, Tablet PC with multi-functions, color display, and touch input support will fit their needs. On the other hand, the widespread usage of Tablet PC may speed up the development and commercialization of color epaper.

Soft power to boost netbook competitiveness
Tablet PC is also a respectable rival to Netbook, which has the same functions of mobile Internet, multimedia entertainment, and basic word processing, which comes at a similar prices and display size. Though the two major Netbook makers, Acer and Asus, are optimistic about the outlook of the Netbook market, it is believed that Tablet PC will still have impact on the Netbook shipments.

The new trend of Tablet PCs triggered by Apple’s iPad indicates that “soft power” (the combines software and service), will replace low-cost manufacturing capability becoming the growth momentums to drive consumer demand and hardware development. The profits made from applications will be more lucrative than those from hardware contract manufacturing. Take Apple as an example, its online App Store created $1.5 billion revenue in 2009. Such a case offers a good strategic roadmap for Netbook makers to follow in competing with Tablet PCs.

Taiwan PC makers take the lead
As the center of worldwide PC industry, Taiwan makers surely will keep abreast of the latest trend of Tablet PC. So far, Asus and MSI have introduced Tablet PC, and Acer will also launch new products. Regarding the deployments of component makers, epaper module companies such as PVI (Prime View International), AUO, and Delta Electronics will not be impacted by Tablet PC in the short term.

In fact, it is expected that they will speed up the development of color technologies. Netbook makers may also improve product quality through design innovations or by allying with non-IT vendors. Additionally, the electronic components used in Tablet PC are very similar to those used in traditional PCs.

Therefore, they will benefit from the new-wave of Tablet PC developments. In looking at the iPad for example, we find that except for processor and software, most of the other components are provided by Taiwan makers, such as PCB from Compeq and Gold Circuit Electronics, casing from Foxconn, touch panel from Wintek and Sintek, and EMS service from Foxconn.

It is expected that Tablet PC will be one of the most popular products that attract everyone’s attentions at the 30th anniversary of COMPUTEX TAIPEI. Many are also anxious to see how Netbook and eReader makers will respond to the competition. It’s at COMPUTEX TAIPEI where the struggle will come out in full play, where buyers and exhibitors go all out to score the best.

Source: Computex Taiwan 2010

Teledyne EMS deploys Aegis manufacturing operations software

HORSHAM, USA: Aegis Software announced the successful deployment of its Manufacturing Operations Software at Teledyne EMS of Lewisburg, Tennessee, a full service electronic contract manufacturing supplier.

Teledyne EMS, a recognized leader in providing sophisticated electronic assemblies that meet the outsourcing needs for the defense and commercial communities chose Aegis after an exhaustive evaluation of different systems.

The Aegis deployment provides Teledyne expedited process planning and launch using their customers' CAD and BOM data, shop floor WIP tracking, and quality and test management. This information from the shop floor execution system supports Teledyne's continuous improvement through Aegis' real-time dashboards and reporting capabilities.

Teledyne found that Aegis was the optimum solution for their environment. Their defense and commercial market customers are particularly demanding in their expectations for ECO frequency and supporting limited prototype runs. Their dense and exotic designs make quality control and traceability of paramount importance.

Aegis' ability to handle such demanding high-mix and ever-changing production requirements while maintaining throughput and efficiency was of key importance to Teledyne. Traceability and visibility without additional overhead was the goal and it has been achieved.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tablet PC will be the spotlight during Computex 2010

TAIWAN: According to DRAMeXchange, strong netbook growth credit to the PC market in 2009 since netbook has featured with affordable price with performance. 2009 netbook shipment is recorded in 28 million units with 172 percent YoY growth.DRAMeXchange expects that netbook has reached the peak at 2009. With the declining ASP and low margin, PC-OEMs will re-focus on regular notebooks due to the preferred performance. The 2010 netbook market size is expected at 36 million units with 27.2 percent YoY growth.

Meanwhile, the Apple iPad, launched at April, is generally taken as the tablet PC. Many PC-OEMs will start to penetrate into tablet PC market given the shining iPad.

The tablet PC had been launched back to 2000 and targeted itself as the niche product. Due to the higher price, heavy weight, unsatisfactory battery endurance, lack back up for wireless and 3G connection, the tablet PC development is limited. The iPad has been positioned differently with the emphasis being more on friendly user interface, strong application and matured telecom support.

Apple believes that iPad will create a new space between smartphone and notebook. Compared with a million units sold in 74 days for iPhone, it took only less than a month for iPad to reach one million units sold. DRAMeXchange expects that the 1H10 iPad shipment should be around 1.7 million units while 7~8 million will be aimed for 2010 overall.

According to DRAMeXchange, the tablet PC is featured differently from netbook in fundamental. Consumers with higher demanded in office work will still prefer to use netbook as the computing device. However, users with higher demand in entertainment with internet browsing and simple tasking will choose tablet PC.

The iPad offers brand new using experience in terms of multi-touch and software/hardware application rather than netbook. We believe tablet PC will be more competitively advantaged with it can support multi-tasking and Flash player, which will result in the strong impact for competing with netbook.

Generally speaking, DRAMeXchange sees seldom overlapping customer base from netbook and tablet PC. That is, DRAMeXchange expects that the tablet PC will create another new market after netbook.

Intel, Asus and Acer will plan to launch and demonstrate the tablet PC products in Computex at this June. Also, Google will cooperate with Verizon on new tablet PC to compete with ipad. With the new joint and new structure that many companies are dedicating, tablet PC is expected to be another spotlight in PC world.

Hotel TV shipments to grow more than fourfold by 2013

EL SEGUNDO, USA: After being hit hard by the economic recession in 2009, worldwide shipments of in-room televisions for use in hotels will bounce back with a vengeance to grow by a factor of more than four during the coming years, according to iSuppli Corp.

Hotel television shipments are expected to rise to 7.4 million units in 2013, up from 1.7 million in 2009, equating to a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 55 percent. The shipments represent in-room hotel TVs sized greater or equal to 30-inches.

“Much like the other sectors of the market for signage and professional displays used in hospitality businesses, the hotel television market felt the impact of the downturn in 2009,” said Sanju Khatri, principal analyst for signage and professional displays at iSuppli. “Although shipments grew by 33 percent that year, revenue declined as hoteliers opted for lower-cost and smaller-sized sets.

“Macroeconomic forces in 2009 also had a direct impact on spending, which meant that consumers and business people traveled less and spent less while on the road. As a result, the hotel industry saw numerous properties fall into foreclosure, and hotel construction in the United States and Europe declined in 2008 and 2009.”

Now, in the renewed economy and with rising confidence among hoteliers in those areas, the hotel industry is emerging from the recession with a renewed focus on enhancing the experience of its guests, expanding brand loyalty and maximizing profits, Khatri added.

As a result, iSuppli expects hotel TV shipments to increase robustly in the foreseeable future, fulfilling pent-up demand left over from 2009, with larger sizes in hotel TVs to become the norm as new construction of hotel properties takes place in the emerging economies. To this end, hotel shipments in 2010 are expected to grow to 3.1 million units, up a whopping 79 percent from 2009.

The figure presents iSuppli’s forecast for hotel TV unit shipments by region for the period of 2008 through 2013.Source: iSuppli, USA.

New revenues
A major challenge for hoteliers is how to increase guest loyalty in order to encourage return visits. Furthermore, hotel franchises are looking at ways to raise their revenue per room.

One of the easiest ways for hotels to do this is by equipping rooms with flat-panel televisions that create a home-away-from-home experience. For hotels, flat-panel televisions open up a whole new world of entertainment options not offered by existing CRT sets, such as high-definition entertainment, MP3 playback capability, digital camera connectivity and more.

Consequently—and not surprisingly—hotels can create new revenue streams from video and other on demand services to derive additional revenue from guests.

The move to IP
A number of factors have prompted hotels to adopt Internet Protocol (IP)-based systems for their in-room technology offerings. As the costs for IP solutions fall, hotels are finding it easier to spend to implement the technology. However, this can be bolstered only by improving Internet bandwidth and the arrival of more reliable service.

At present, most new hotel properties are adopting IP-based in-room hotel services. The solutions give rooms the capability to interconnect various services, such as the Internet, video on demand, voice over IP and property management systems.

“iSuppli believes that the hotel experience for guests in the future will be very different from what it is today through the rise of a more personalized media approach, with each guest able to obtain access to individualized and interactive content,” Khatri said. “Nonetheless, the speed at which hotels can move toward this approach will depend on how future economic conditions or unforeseen events impact the travel and hotel industries.”

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Worldwide PC shipments on pace to grow 22 percent in 2010

STAMFORD, USA: Worldwide PC shipments are projected to total 376.6 million units in 2010, a 22 percent increase from 308.3 million units shipped in 2009, according to the latest preliminary forecast by Gartner Inc. Worldwide PC spendingis forecast to reach $245.4 billion in 2010, up 12 percent from 2009.

The worldwide home PC market will outpace the professional market with 29.5 percent growth in 2010, while the professional PC market is projected to grow 13.1 percent this year.

"PC demand in the consumer segment continues to strengthen even though the global economy remains uncertain. Consumers are now viewing PCs as necessities rather than luxury items," said Ranjit Atwal, principal research analyst at Gartner. "In the downturn, PCs remained the electronic device of choice on which to spend household income in mature markets, and we do not expect this to change either in 2010 or beyond."

"In the professional PC market, the aging life of PCs will drive replacements. Organizations will find it tougher to further extend PC life cycles without incurring more costs," Atwal said. "This, together with the adoption of Windows 7, will generate robust demand in the professional market. Larger businesses expect to start replacements in the second half of 2010, with the majority replaced in 2011. We now expect Windows 7 migration to last through 2012."

Mini-notebooks continue to grow rapidly, but their growth is showing signs of slowing as the submarket for them matures. Worldwide mini-notebook shipments are preliminarily forecast to total 41.8 million units in 2010, a 30 percent increase from 2009 shipments of 32.1 million units.

Mini-notebooks will account for 18.6 percent of mobile PC shipments in 2010, but their share will steadily decline after this year, falling to 13.9 percent of the mobile PC market in 2014.

"The mini-notebook segment will be impacted by increasingly competitive ultralow-voltage (ULV) products, the decreasing prices of all mobile PCs and the maturing preferences of consumers," said Raphael Vasquez, research analyst at Gartner. "Some consumers purchased mini-notebooks based solely on price. Many consumers are now choosing purchases up the price curve rather than at the bottom of it."

Gartner defines a tablet PC as having a touchscreen size of 5 inches or more, outfitted with a full-function operating system (OS), such as Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP or Mac OS X. A media tablet is defined as a device that has a screen size of 5 inches or larger and is outfitted with a restricted-function OS, such as iPhone, Android and Chrome.

Gartner includes tablet PCs in its PC market statistics and forecasts. However, it excludes media tablets from both. Nonetheless, Gartner analysts said media tablets will impact the PC market, especially mini-notebooks, and the forecast reflects this.

"Media tablets will not impact the mini-notebook segment this year," Mr. Vasquez said. "However, media tablets, such as the iPad and similar devices, will significantly detract from mini-notebook shipments in 2013 and onward, when we expect their prices to be lower and, more importantly, their functionality to be more similar to mini-notebooks."

In Gartner's most likely scenario, approximately 10 million media tablets are expected to ship in 2010. Media tablets will have a more substantial place in the market than tablet PCs. Annual worldwide tablet PC shipments will reach approximately 2 million units in 2010 and may not surpass 3 million units until after 2012.

"On a regional basis, PC markets in Western Europe, China, and the U.S. will generate more than half of 2010 PC shipment growth," said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner. "Over half of PC shipment growth in 2011 will come from the US and China.

Coming into the first quarter of 2010, the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) super-region lagged behind other regions. However, EMEA returned to strong growth earlier than expected, especially with the recovery of the Eastern Europe region. Even with the economic uncertainty in southern Europe, PC demand seems to be holding up, even though it is a little more volatile."

Explosive market growth in US for MIDs/tablets and 3DTVs

SCOTTSDALE, USA: Demand for consumer electronic (CE) devices is soaring in the US – especially in key segments like 3DTVs and Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs)/Tablets.

Year-over-year shipment growth for these two segments will be 142 percent and 231 percent, respectively, between 2010 and 2011, reports In-Stat.

The 3DTVs and MIDs/Tablets will also represent a bright spot for CE manufacturers and content providers because the installed base for these segments will continue to expand steadily.

“The US installed base units for 3DTVs and MID/Tablets will double from 2010 to 2011 and on through 2013,” says Stephanie Ethier, In-Stat analyst. “In fact, In-Stat expects the total US installed base of CE devices to almost double between 2009 and 2013.”

Recent research by In-Stat found:
* The US installed base for smartphones to reach 198 million by 2013.
* Mobile PCs will continue to lead the computing category in units shipped through 2013.
* Despite many bright spots in the US CE market, maturing segments like portable media players (PMPs) and desktop PCs will show declining growth rates through 2013.
* By 2013, there will be 1.9 billion installed CE devices in the US.

Code launches Code Reader 8000 featuring Aptina MT9M033 HD image sensor

SALT LAKE CITY, USA: Code Corp. announced that its new CR8000 bar code reader features the new MT9M033 HD image sensor from Aptina. The Code Reader 8000 (CR8000), designed for embedded applications, includes a world-class imaging and decoding platform that meets demanding space requirements without compromising on bar code reading performance.

Code began collaborating with Aptina on its new product during the summer of 2009. “We had very strict product requirements, and the Aptina MT9M033 was the clear choice in meeting the needs of our product roadmap for the next five to seven years,” said Garrett Russell, VP of Marketing for Code.

“Our products have several key differentiators that give Code extreme competitive advantage in the marketplace, and by selecting the MT9M033 from Aptina, we have chosen a partner that gives us the base platform to continuously push bar code scanning performance to the next level.”

Aptina’s sensor can be integrated with either a global shutter or rolling shutter. For the CR8000, Code has initially selected the rolling shutter, but with pin for pin compatibility, Code can easily integrate the global shutter version for additional applications that have unique bar code scanning requirements.

Designed with Aptina Dual Conversion Gain (DCG) technology and high speed capture technology, the MT9M033 HD megapixel image sensor uniquely offers both 60 fps high speed capture and excellent low light sensitivity for bar code reading function.

“HD resolution, speed and performance are critical success factors for scan reader devices. We are very excited about Code Corporation adopting the MT9M003 and fully optimizing the sensor capabilities in their latest CR8000 reader,” said David Zimpfer, Vice President and General Manager of Aptina’s Automotive & Industrial Business Unit. ”We are committed to developing and delivering distinctive imaging solutions like the MT9M033 to our customers.”

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CARTES & IDentification 2010 celebrates 25th anniversary with 'Innovation' as theme

PARIS, FRANCE: "Business, Innovation, Foresight and Celebration" will set the tone of the 25th CARTES & IDentification trade show, the world’s leading event for digital security, smart technologies, payment and contactless which will open its doors in Paris from 7th to 9th December 2010.

A real focal point for innovation, the 20,000 visitors and 1,300 delegates expected will be the very first to discover all the latest news from the international market of smart technologies and identification from the 500 companies present at the reference event.

25 years already
Launched in 1986, just a few years after the first smart cards appeared, the CARTES trade show in Paris brought together a handful of experts for a programme of strategic conferences covering payment and e-money.

Over its 25 years, CARTES has certainly grown up and undeniably established itself as the international event bringing together the entire digital security, payment and contactless community. Providing a vast platform for building strategic business alliances, the event has become the trend setter for the global market and the sector’s innovations.

For the 2010 event, the CARTES trade show and congress are offering new roads into new markets.

M2M and radio communications technologies enabled a growing number of “things” to exchange data electronically, without human intervention. Thus, the Internet of Things was born! The potential is considerable and the challenges in terms of communication methods (M2M, RFID, NFC, WIFI, ZIGBEE, etc.), auto ID, network infrastructure, data and data transfer security, as well as respect for confidentiality are crucial.

The representation of the technologies from around the world, in the exhibition and the topics of global concern, addressed at the conferences, CARTES is indeed the ideal platform to bring together the IoT community. The trade show will be an opportunity to transform ideas into practical projects and to revive real opportunities for new business.

To achieve this, the Internet of Things area will welcome a new target of visitors from the communicating vehicles, smart buildings, leisure and consumer technology sectors. This space will also include an exhibition area, specific events and dedicated workshops. A series of conferences specific to the Internet of Things will be held over the three days of the exhibition.

CARTES & IDentification 2010 will also include:

Conferences on the cutting edge
A real concentration of information and expertise, the Conferences bring together for three days 1,300 delegates to discuss the latest technical developments, marketing and strategic issues and hear feedback on concrete case studies.

Based on the theme "cards and identification", these 20 conferences (NFC and contactless, card security, debit and credit cards, manufacturing of cards, identification, M2M & IoT) shall be the best way to assess the market and an indispensable way to have a virtual tour of all the stands. Over the years, the conferences have become the forum of choice for communication among leading industrialists in the sector and international decision-makers.

The World Card Summit: industry leaders speak out
The trade show’s opening conference welcomes the leading CEOs in the industry. They will share their vision of the market and their views on the future of this industry, while Eurosmart will exclusively announce its latest figures. This presentation, the highlight of the Conferences, attracted more than 400 people last year.

Consumers start buying 3-D TVs -- but challenges loom

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Although consumers have started to buy 3-D TVs, a number of challenges—including standardization, content availability and interoperability—must be resolved before the new television technology can take off, according to iSuppli Corp.

Worldwide shipments of 3-D TVs—introduced to the market for the first time in March—are expected to reach 4.2 million units in 2010, thanks to increasing traction and acceptance from enthusiastic early adopters. Global 3-D TV shipments will then triple to 12.9 million units in 2011 and then more than double to 27.4 million units in 2012.

In 2015, 3-D TV shipments will reach 78.1 million units, as presented in the attached figure, rising at a vigorous Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 80.2 percent from 2010.

Among US consumers who purchased a new television in the first quarter of 2010, 4 percent indicated they were acquiring one that was 3-D capable, with 60 percent buying a 3-D LCD-TV and the remaining 40 percent preferring a 3-D plasma set, iSuppli figures show. As of April, 26 television models featured 3-D capability, compared to 23 the previous month.

The majority of 3-D TV sales in 2010 will occur in the mature television regions of the United States, Japan, and Western Europe, where sizable markets exist for upgrading or replacing older, non-3-D sets. Other countries that have rolled out 3-D trials include South Korea and Australia.

Despite such an apparent strong showing, 3-D TVs occupy only a small portion of the overall television market. Shipments of all types of LCD-TVs are expected to hit 170 million this year, while shipments of LED backlit sets—the LCD-TV submarket employing light emitting diodes as backlight—will reach only 26 million globally in 2010.

“Although robust growth of 3-D television sales appears to be assured during the next few years, mass consumer acceptance will not come until three critical issues are resolved concerning standardization, content availability and interoperability of the 3-D glasses used to view the sets,” said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst for TV systems at iSuppli.

Standards and content challenges arise
In the case of standards, the Blu-ray standard for 3-D TV establishing 1080p 3-D to each eye was set in 2009.

However, other standards still being worked out to ensure a successful rollout, including HDMI 1.4 for a variety of 3-D formats, SMPTE for 60 frames-per-second resolution, CEA for 3-D glasses and SCTE for 3-D content over cable.

Content is also a critical driver. Although consumers will expect quality similar to the blockbuster movie Avatar, achieving an equivalent immersive experience will depend on content availability, among other factors.

Cognizant of this fact, content providers and broadcasters alike are pooling their efforts to develop 3-D content availability and service plans. Already, ESPN has declared its plans to launch the world’s first 3-D network, while Walt Disney Co. and Sony Corp. both have announced 3-D Blu-ray title releases for 2010.

Through 3-D glasses, darkly
A third issue concerns the use of 3-D glasses or eyewear. 3-D glasses are among the most common 3-D TV bundles preferred by consumers, aside from 3-D Blu-ray players and 3-D Blu-ray movies.

While television manufacturers might throw in one or even two pairs of 3-D glasses to sweeten a 3-D TV purchase, additional glasses to accommodate more viewers—either other family members or guests to share the 3-D viewing experience—could be expensive. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that 3-D glasses will be interoperable among brands—that 3-D eyewear bundled or purchased with a particular TV will work with another.

Technology for watching 3-D TV without glasses is at least several years away, analysts say.

Concern also has been expressed about potential health hazards posed by viewing 3-D TV content. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has cautioned its Australian customers, for instance, about potential dizziness, motion sickness and disorientation.

Likewise, a research group at the University of California in Berkeley has confirmed the phenomenon of vergence-accommodation conflict, which can lead to fatigue, eye strain and headache. The issue results from the disparity between where the viewers’ eyes focus on the screen and where in the 3-D image the viewers believe they are looking.

Overall, standards will play a key role in promoting increased adoption of 3-D TV in the consumer space, iSuppli believes. Because the 3-D value chain from content creation to content consumption is a complex and multilayered system, standards are needed to ensure interoperability, reduce risks in product planning and foster innovation.

A lack of standards, on the other hand, will create substantial uncertainty throughout the value chain, hinder 3-D product development and discourage consumer adoption.

iSuppli: Worldwide 3-D TV Shipment Forecast, 2010-2015 (Millions of Units)Source: iSuppli, USA.

Textron Defense Systems' unattended ground sensors enter low-rate initial production

WILMINGTON, USA: Textron Defense Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, announced that its Unattended Ground Sensors program has entered low-rate initial production (LRIP) as part of Increment 1 of the Brigade Combat Team Modernization (BCTM) program.

This results from the BCTM program’s rigorous Milestone C review process and approval by the Defense Acquisition Board in December 2009, encompassing criteria including successful test, evaluation and operational assessment, as well as minimal manufacturing risk, mature software capability, interoperability, supportability, information assurance features and anti-tamper provisions.

“While this milestone is a source of pride for our team, our focus remains on the work yet to be accomplished on behalf of our troops. Unattended Ground Sensors increase their protection and confidence while facing the demands and dangers of the current mission.”

Textron Defense Systems is scheduled to deliver its Tactical-Unattended Ground Sensors (T-UGS) and Urban-Unattended Ground Sensors (U-UGS) during 2011, in close cooperation with prime contractor Boeing. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Armored Division will be equipped with the sensors for the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation process beginning in 2011.

“The BCTM program’s positive Milestone C decision and transition into LRIP are critical steps toward getting our T-UGS and U-UGS into the hands of warfighters,” says Senior Vice President and General Manager Mark Catizone of Textron Defense Systems. “While this milestone is a source of pride for our team, our focus remains on the work yet to be accomplished on behalf of our troops. Unattended Ground Sensors increase their protection and confidence while facing the demands and dangers of the current mission.”

Textron Defense Systems’ T-UGS and U-UGS detect, classify, locate and track threats to provide warfighters actionable intelligence in near real time. The T-UGS variant includes small, robust ground-based networked devices that provide an early warning system capable of remote operation under all weather conditions.

Textron Defense Systems and Honeywell International Inc. teamed to develop the U-UGS variant, a wireless, hand-emplaced system of sensors that can be used during the securing of buildings, caves, sewers, tunnels, alleys and other confined spaces.

Kopin showcases ultra-compact, low-power displays and Golden-i headset

SID Display Week 2010, TAUNTON, USA: Kopin Corp., a leader in microdisplays for consumer and military applications, will showcase its newest high-resolution, low-power, ultra-small displays and its innovative Golden-i headset computer at the SID 2010 Exhibition.

The event takes place May 25-27 at the Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA. The highlight of the Kopin exhibit is the new ultra-compact CyberDisplay WVGA LVD display with 854 x 480 full-color resolution in a size smaller than a fingernail. The new displays consume less than 30 mW.

New displays and modules being shown at Kopin’s booth (#545) include:

* CyberDisplay WVGA LVD display: The 0.32”-diagonal WVGA display with a16:9 aspect ratio utilizes the world’s smallest 2.8 x 8.4 µm color dots. The ultra-compact display will be demonstrated in a compact eyewear that shows vivid color 3D movies. The CyberDisplay WVGA LVD display can be driven by Kopin’s A912 driver ASIC.

* CyberDisplay WVGA LVS display: This display has an 854 x 480 resolution in a 0.44”-diagonal size. The CyberDisplay WVGA LVS display will be demonstrated in Kopin’s binocular display module (BDM). Kopin’s BDM includes two displays, backlights and a pair of optics precisely aligned to the displays for viewing comfort. The BDM enables manufacturers to reduce time and complexity in getting video eyewear products to market. The CyberDisplay WVGA LVS display can be driven by Kopin’s A912 driver ASIC.

* CyberDisplay SXGA LVS display: This display has a 1280 x 1024 resolution in a 0.77” diagonal size. This display is targeted at emerging high-end applications such as advanced night vision, virtual reality and 3D HD gaming. The CyberDisplay SXGA LVS display can be driven by Kopin’s A251 or A920 driver ASIC.

* Golden-i: This three-ounce Bluetooth headset computer with a near-eye, 15-inch virtual display is a revolutionary new concept in hands-free mobile cloud computing.

Using natural speech recognition and gesture sensing, it provides users with hands-free, spontaneous wireless access to virtually any information in the world—including digital information, Internet services and real-time, full-color, high-resolution broadcast programming.

Users of the Golden-i device can control as many as seven independent devices or networks simultaneously—PCs, mobile phones, company servers and more.

In addition, Kopin will exhibit its electronic viewfinder which is currently featured in Samsung Electronics’ DSLR-style NX10 camera. This hybrid camera incorporates an APS-C size 14.6-mega-pixel CMOS sensor and accepts interchangeable zoom lenses.

Coship selects Microtune TV tuner for cable HD STBs and modems in China

PLANO, USA: Microtune Inc. has announced that Coship Electronics Co. Ltd, one of China's largest manufacturers of set-top boxes, designed its DVB-C cable set-top box and its high-speed cable modem using the MicroTuner MT2066 TV tuner chip.

Addressing the large and growing domestic China cable services market, Coship's products enable cable operators to add video, voice and data services to their cable network infrastructure as part of the country’s transition to digital TV (DTV).

According to BDA China, cable TV reached 163 million households and an estimated 500 million people in China in 2009, making it the world's largest cable market. Based in Shanghai, Microtune China has dedicated sales, manufacturing, engineering, and design support teams in place to support Coship and other local manufacturers.

"With our strong employee and manufacturing base in China, Microtune is committed to providing customers with proven, high-performance devices at the price points that allow them to penetrate the growing and diverse Chinese cable TV market," said James A. Fontaine, President and CEO of Microtune.

"We are extremely pleased that Coship has chosen Microtune technology as an integral part of its cable product strategy, and we look forward to seeing their products continue to bring performance and competitive advantages to cable operators throughout China."

The Microtune MT2066 offers a versatile digital cable tuner that is ideal for use in DVB-C set-top boxes and cable modems – it is designed to help reduce overall system cost, to speed deployment, and to offer excellent price/performance value.

Given the diverse and challenging cable system needs throughout China, the MT2066 is designed to provide a high level of performance that allows cable products to deliver consistent, reliable performance, even in the provinces. As an added advantage, Microtune China's team offers skilled applications and engineering support to help expedite designs and accelerate time to production.

Operating from a 3.3-volt supply, the MT2066 is a miniature 6.35mm2, multi-functional chip that delivers excellent price/performance value.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tyco intros Elo TouchSystems interactive digital signage solution

SEATTLE, USA: Elo TouchSystems, a Tyco Electronics (NYSE: TEL) business, has launched at SID 2010 a new line of Interactive Digital Signage (IDS) touch systems designed to drive significant opportunities for digital display applications and development.

The new IDS portfolio – which combines precision acoustic pulse recognition touch screen technology with commercial-grade, large format LCD panels – offers System Integrators, Value-Added Resellers and Software Developers a high-performance solution for the interactive enablement of large-scale digital displays in high-traffic environments.

Interactivity that works
The new Elo TouchSystems IDS portfolio offers the digital signage market a unique industry solution: the only display system to incorporate zero-bezel, edge-to-edge glass touch-screen technology into large-format, ruggedized panels specifically built for commercial environments.

The responsive Elo TouchSystems acoustic pulse recognition (APR) touch technology – which promises consistent, resilient touch functionality – is housed in a highly durable, aluminum chassis to ensure reliable interactivity and performance in almost any public-access location. Optional computer modules further optimize media bandwidth and interactivity for the delivery of highly engaging and measurable consumer content.

"Our new IDS portfolio offers the digital signage market something it hasn't seen before: large-format, exceptionally durable display screens specifically designed for interactive touch applications," said Mark Mendenhall, vice president, Tyco Electronics and general manager of Elo TouchSystems.

"Elo considers touch functionality the next wave of consumer engagement and targeted out-of-home messaging – and we believe that our IDS portfolio will significantly drive this evolution in the digital signage market by accelerating our channel partners' adoption and competitive advantage."

US consumer purchases of LED-backlit LCD-TVs doubles in Q1

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Lured by declining prices and increased availability, US consumers significantly increased their purchasing of LED-backlit LCD TVs in the first quarter of 2010, resulting in a doubling of market share for these products compared to the fourth quarter of 2009, according to consumer preference surveys conducted by iSuppli Corp.

LED-backlit LCD-TVs, also known as LED-TVs accounted for 12.1 percent of all televisions purchased by consumers in the United States in the first quarter of 2010, up from 6.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, as shown in the figure.Source: iSuppli, USA.

LED-TVs make use of light-emitting diodes to provide backlighting of LCD panels, in contrast with conventional LCD-TVs using the older Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp (CCFL) technology.

While the share of LED-TVs has risen consistently since the introduction of the technology last year, the doubling in the first quarter marks the biggest jump yet.
In comparison, the share of LCD-TVs using CCFL backlighting fell to 74.4 percent in the first quarter, down from 79.7 percent in the fourth quarter. Plasma television panels continued to hold steady at the 12 percent level, while rear-projection TVs and tube-type CRT-TVs were all but dead categories.

“The growing popularity of LED-TVs can be attributed to their increased availability and declining prices, according to iSuppli,” said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst, television systems, for iSuppli.

“From initially being available only at Consumer Electronics (CE) retailers and online stores, LED-TVs now can be bought at club stores, such as Costco Wholesale Corp., and in mass merchandisers, like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Moreover, both value and premium brands have started offering LED-TVs in smaller models—including the 19-, 22- and 24-inch sizes—broadening their appeal and accessibility.

“Furthermore, prices of LED-TVs declined on average by 19 percent from $2,380 in the fourth quarter of 2009 to $2,040 in the first quarter of 2010. As of April 2010, average pricing for LED-TVs was further down to $1,830—an astonishing 50 percent decline from a year earlier.

Current LED-TV prices carry a smaller price premium compared to LCD-TVs using CCFLs, an important factor in the growing enthusiasm of the populace for the new sets, iSuppli surveys show.”

Compared to CCFL-backlit LCD-TVs, LED TVs consume less electricity, possess an even thinner form factor, and generate a smaller amount of pollution to the environment during their manufacture, Patel added.

Many LED-TVs also include the newer features and technologies that appeal to consumers wishing to upgrade from older sets. Such features include higher refresh rates, 3-D capability, and built-in Internet connectivity for easy Web access, entertainment and even social networking on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

E Ink, Chilin Technology announce joint partnership

SID Display Week 2010, SEATTLE, USA: E Ink Corp., the leading developer and producer of electronic paper display technology, and Chilin Technology Corp., a leading manufacturer of vertically integrated flat panel displays, have announced a partnership to bring low-power industrial and other specialized electrophoretic displays to the marketplace.

The co-operation between the two companies enables solutions that are highly integrated, easy to use and install, and tailored to unique customer environments.

The partnership makes the patented E Ink Vizplex imaging film available to Chilin for mass production, distribution, and sales to consumers. The collaboration not only expands E Ink’s product offerings but also leverages Chilin’s extensive ability to engineer and manufacture low-power, customized solutions for the industrial market.

Chilin has a history of incorporating the latest technology advances such as RF/Zigbee, barcode functionality, RFID, and advanced sensors into its offerings. The agreement entails greater cooperation between the two firms to expand the rapidly growing ePaper business.

E Ink is the leading developer of EPD technologies, leveraging a vast portfolio of patents related to ePaper. This joint effort combines Chilin’s expertise in developing custom displays and turnkey solutions with E Ink’s unique low-power, paper-like, sunlight readable, lightweight displays.

“Electrophoretic display modules from Chilin meet the low-power, high readability requirements of the industrial markets,” according to Sriram Peruvemba, Vice President of Global Marketing and Sales at E Ink Corp. “Solutions with E Ink and Chilin technology reduce dependency on paper, printed labels, and large batteries.”

This co-operation will open the door to new small- and medium-sized display opportunities in areas as diverse as logistics, signage, medical devices, automation, smart labels, manufacturing, and data collection. According to market research firm DisplaySearch, the e-paper market is expected to reach $9 billion by 2018.

“Our partnership with E Ink makes electrophoretic active matrix and direct drive displays accessible to the expanding demands in the industrial and specialized sectors,” said YG Hsu, President of Chilin Technology. “By bundling flexible engineering services and value focused manufacturing into one operation, we hope to create a one-stop-shop for our customers.”

One target application for this effort is industrial controls or mobile industrial applications where the low-power and daylight readability qualities of an electronic paper display provide value. Another example use is shop owners struggling to manage in-store product price information in a timely and economical manner. Joint solutions in the electronic shelf label space support dynamic and accurate updates of in-store information displays.

E Ink and Chilin displays will be demonstrated this week at the SID conference in Seattle, Washington at the E Ink booth (#1507). Jointly developed products will be going into production later this year.

Seagate intros Momentus XT solid state hybrid drive for laptops

SCOTTS VALLEY, USA: Seagate has announced channel and OEM shipments of the Momentus XT drive, the world’s fastest 2.5-inch laptop PC hard drive, combining SSD-like performance with the massive capacity and much lower cost of HDDs.

The Momentus XT drive also features Adaptive Memory – a groundbreaking new technology from Seagate that learns and optimizes the drive’s performance to each user by moving frequently used information into the flash memory for faster access. The Momentus XT solid state hybrid drive boots up to 100 percent faster than traditional 5400RPM drives, the mainstream spin speed for laptop PCs, and sets new benchmarks for real-world system performance for laptops and gaming systems.

Today’s high-performance SSDs for mobile computing cost as much as 10 times more than hard disk drives of the same capacity, with the price of a 250GB SSD outstripping even the cost of many laptop PCs. As a result, most consumers and system builders are unwilling or unable to pay the high price for the greater speed and quiet operations of SSDs. Additionally, SSDs offer fewer capacity options than hard disk drives.

The Momentus XT drive is a best-of-both-worlds solution that combines a 7200RPM spin speed, 4GB of solid state memory and Seagate’s Adaptive Memory technology to deliver unprecedented hard drive performance. The unique Adaptive Memory technology works by identifying patterns in how often certain digital data is used, and then moving the most frequently used information to the embedded solid state memory for faster access – effectively tailoring hard drive performance to each user and their applications.

“For notebook PC users looking forward to faster PC performance without sacrificing storage capacity or affordability, now there’s an option,” according to John Rydning, IDC’s research director for hard disk drives. “Seagate’s new Momentus® XT drive is the first storage device for notebook PCs that raises the bar for affordable capacity and performance.”

“We see the Momentus XT drive as a game changer, a product heralding a new generation of hard drives that combine SSD and HDD capabilities so that laptop users don’t have to make trade-offs on speed, cost or capacity,” said Dave Mosley, Seagate executive vice president of Sales, Marketing and Product Line Management. “The feedback we’ve received from customers, industry experts and early reviews has been overwhelmingly positive, and Seagate will continue to drive innovation that provides more value and a better computing experience to consumers.”

In addition to the Momentus XT drive, Seagate is delivering the world’s highest capacity 7200RPM drive at 750GB. This new Momentus 750GB drive is a traditional hard disk drive designed for mainstream to high-performance computing and external backup enclosures.

The Momentus 750GB drive also features a SATA 3Gb/s with NCQ interface, 16MB cache with silent acoustics and low power consumption. The Momentus 750GB drive delivers high capacity with high performance and further enhances the feature-rich options already available in the Seagate Momentus family of 2.5-inch notebook drives.

Corning to unveil next-genG-2000 green laser technology

SID Display Week 2010, Booth #641, CORNING, USA: Corning Inc. will introduce its new Corning G-2000 green laser at the Display Week 2010 conference, held by the Society for Information Display (SID), in Seattle, Wash., May 23-28.

The G-2000 green laser demonstrates the industry’s highest commercially available performance in optical power, efficiency, and bandwidth. As a result, it is well suited to meet the demands of the growing market for portable microprojection devices.

Corning has led the industry with the development of the first synthetic green laser technology, the first commercially deployed synthetic green laser for microprojection (Corning G-1000) and now, the next-generation commercial product, the G-2000. Advancing from the G-1000 technology, the G-2000 green laser is 30 percent brighter, 60 percent more efficient, and offers 20 percent better bandwidth than its predecessor.

“The microprojection market presents a very large opportunity for our customers. That’s why the development of a winning light-source solution — one that is bright, small, and easy on a battery – is so important,” said Thomas Mills, general manager, Green Lasers, Corning New Business Development.

“The G-2000 is brighter, faster, and more efficient than any other green laser commercially available today. With these benefits, it can provide our customers a much needed competitive edge over alternative solutions, like LED-based projectors.”

As microprojection moves toward mass adoption in the consumer electronics industry, performance requirements are becoming increasingly demanding. Device makers want projectors with brightness of greater than 10 lumens, wide-video graphics array (WVGA) resolution or better, and at least two hours of battery life.

Providing outstanding solutions for these tough requirements, the Corning G-2000 green laser:

* generates 80mW of optical power, enabling up to twenty lumens projection;
* provides a power-efficient solution with 8% wall-plug efficiency (WPE), and longer battery life;
* delivers excellent bandwidth capability with modulation speeds up to 150 MHz, enabling wide extended graphics array (WXGA) resolution;
* ensures consistent green power across a 10-60ºC temperature range, providing thermal stability over wide temperature ranges and extended use periods; and
* is designed with a 4 mm height and slim footprint that enables embedded microprojection in today’s ultra-slim mobile devices.

“With the market shifting to greater than 10 lumens brightness and resolution of WXGA, we need to develop solutions that place us ahead of the competition,” said Andrew Hung, president, Opus Microsystems, a leading provider of MEMS-based picoprojector solutions to enable new-generation mobile projection applications that is currently evaluating the G-2000 in multiple picoprojector designs. “The optical power, efficiency, and modulation frequency demonstrated by Corning’s G-2000 green laser make it possible for us to deliver on these demanding requirements.”

The Corning G-2000 green laser is currently being sampled by customers. Commercial production is estimated to begin later in 2010.

QD Vision acquires Motorola patent portfolio of quantum dots in display and lighting apps

WATERTOWN, USA: QD Vision, a developer of Quantum Light nanotechnology-based products for solid state lighting and displays, has purchased from Motorola a patent portfolio pertaining to the use of quantum dot technology in display and lighting products.

The addition of this portfolio augments QD Vision’s position in quantum dot intellectual property. Included in the acquisition is U.S. Patent No. 5,442,254 of Jaskie, one of the earliest patents on the use of photoluminescent quantum dots in product applications, and pending applications relating to the use of quantum dots to a wide variety of display applications, including LCD backlight units.

Prior to this acquisition, QD Vision’s position in quantum dot intellectual property already included nine issued patents and more than 130 patents pending originating at MIT and QD Vision.

QD Vision is developing Quantum Light solutions for display backlight units (BLUs) used in several markets, including cell phones, laptops, and TVs, and plans to ship its first products in 2011. The company currently sells its Quantum Light optic product to the solid state lighting industry. All QD Vision products integrate cutting-edge technologies in nanotech materials, spanning chemistry, manufacturing methods, device designs and applications.

“As we continue to develop new products for solid state lighting and displays based on quantum dot technology, we are building one of the strongest patent portfolios in the industry,” said Dan Button, QD Vision President and CEO. “This Motorola patent portfolio will be added to the vast wealth of intellectual property we already possess, which will enable us to maintain our market leading positions with our existing and future products.”

Kaai releases blue laser diode product

Projection Summit 2010, GOLETA, USA: Kaai Inc., a leader in commercialization of green and blue laser diodes, announced shipments of its new blue laser diode product for display and specialty applications.

The company will present a product introduction for the blue laser and an update on its green laser commercialization at Projection Summit 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 7, 2010.

Kaai’s new blue laser diode is designed for integration into portable applications such as embedded and companion pico projectors and features 60 mW of 445 nm single mode output power in a compact TO‐38 package.

The lasers operate with high efficiency and require minimal power consumption over a broad temperature range, meeting the demanding requirements of consumer projection displays, defense pointers and illuminators, biomedical instrumentation and therapeutics, and industrial imaging applications.

Kaai’s blue lasers are based on the company’s patented and proprietary InGaN semiconductor technology and are fabricated on innovative GaN substrates.

Monday, May 24, 2010

iSuppli issues fast facts on display industry for SID 2010

EL SEGUNDO, USA: To support media coverage of the Society for Information Display (SID) 2010 International Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition this week in Seattle, iSuppli Corp. is issuing the following fast facts:

* Global shipments of large-sized LCD panels, i.e., panels 10-inches in size or larger in the diagonal dimension, are set to rise by 22 percent to reach 642.5 million units in 2010, up from 526.6 million units in 2009, as presented in Fig. 1.Source: iSuppli, USA.

* “The large-sized LCD panel market is expected to undergo a major shift in 2010 as suppliers shift their focus toward replacement buyers of LCD-TVs and away from first-time purchasers,” said Sweta Dash, senior director, LCD research, for iSuppli. “Panel makers are stressing technological innovation, product differentiation and cost reduction to attract replacement and upgrade purchases. These differentiation and innovation efforts include LED backlights, thinner sets, lower weight, less power consumption, higher refresh rates and 3-D images.”

* Driven by booming demand for Active-Matrix (AM) displays for mobile handsets, shipments of Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screens are set to rise to 326.8 million units in 2015, up by a factor of more than four from 79.7 million in 2009, as presented in Fig. 2.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Shipment growth will be driven by the AM-OLED segment, which will boom to 261.5 million units in 2015, up more than twelvefold from 21.1 million in 2009. AM provides superior image quality compared to the traditional Passive Matrix (PM) screens.

* “AM-OLED shipments are accelerating as new suppliers enter the market, existing companies add more capacity and manufacturing processes yield better efficiencies,” said Vinita Jakhanwal, principal analyst, small and medium displays for iSuppli.

* Worldwide shipments of LCD-TVs are set to rise to 277.2 million units in 2014, nearly double the 141.7 million in 2009, as presented in Fig. 3.Source: iSuppli, USA.

* “The growth in LCD-TV shipments is being driven by the continuing strong commitment from brands and panel makers to introduce products with new features while maintaining aggressive pricing at both the panel and set levels,” said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst, television, for iSuppli.

* Global plasma television shipments are set to decline to 9.4 million units in 2014, down from 15.8 million in 2009, as presented in Fig. 4.Source: iSuppli, USA.

* “Increased consumer adoption of LCD-TVs will lead to a decline in plasma television unit sales in the coming years,” Patel noted.

* Global shipments of LCD desktop PC monitors are set to rise to 177.1 million units in 2010, up 9.2 percent from 162.1 million in 2009, as presented in Fig. 5.Source: iSuppli, USA.

* "Growth expectations for 2010 remain strong, as recovering business demand is expected to drive substantial monitor sales activity, particularly in the second half of the year,” said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research for iSuppli.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Gracenote powers smart drive app for iPhone with streaming music identification technology

EMERYVILLE, USA: Gracenote announced that its MusicID-Stream technology is powering the new smart drive app for the iPhone for smart fortwo owners, representing the world's first deployment of a streaming music identification solution by an automotive manufacturer (smart is a brand of Daimler AG).

As part of the smart drive app, Gracenote's technology allows smart fortwo drivers to use their iPhone to identify music playing in their car from any audio source. The app will then return information about the identified track including artist and track name, album cover art and a purchase link for convenient download.

The smart drive app for the iPhone, a world's first from an automotive supplier, the smart drive app for the iPhone brings an entirely new level of music enjoyment to the car, which is the primary environment in which many people listen to and experience new music.

Thanks to an integrated web radio function, users can listen to their favorite domestic and foreign radio stations and podcasts whenever they want. Gracenote's MusicID-Stream makes it possible for smart fortwo drivers to easily identify and acquire this music as well.

MusicID-Stream leverages Gracenote's audio waveform fingerprinting and search technology as well as Gracenote's Global Media Database, the largest and most comprehensive in the world. The result is a robust, scalable solution for partners that can be deployed on a mobile handset or directly on an automotive head unit.

"We are pleased to enable this industry first with our MusicID-Stream technology, particularly in such an innovative and functional system as the smart drive kit for the iPhone," said Bill Fleck, head of automotive sales, Americas, at Gracenote.

"MusicID-Stream is an outstanding and fast music identification resource that will allow smart fortwo drivers to enjoy and acquire music content in their car in completely new ways."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Announcing Google TV: TV meets web. Web meets TV.

This has been taken from the Official Google Blog!

USA: If there’s one entertainment device that people know and love, it’s the television. In fact, 4 billion people across the world watch TV and the average American spends five hours per day in front of one*. Recently, however, an increasing amount of our entertainment experience is coming from our phones and computers.

One reason is that these devices have something that the TV lacks: the web. With the web, finding and accessing interesting content is fast and often as easy as a search. But the web still lacks many of the great features and the high-quality viewing experience that the TV offers.

So that got us thinking...what if we helped people experience the best of TV and the best of the web in one seamless experience? Imagine turning on the TV and getting all the channels and shows you normally watch and all of the websites you browse all day — including your favorite video, music and photo sites. We’re excited to announce that we’ve done just that.

Google TV is a new experience for television that combines the TV that you already know with the freedom and power of the Internet. With Google Chrome built in, you can access all of your favorite websites and easily move between television and the web. This opens up your TV from a few hundred channels to millions of channels of entertainment across TV and the web. Your television is also no longer confined to showing just video. With the entire Internet in your living room, your TV becomes more than a TV — it can be a photo slideshow viewer, a gaming console, a music player and much more.

Google TV uses search to give you an easy and fast way to navigate to television channels, websites, apps, shows and movies. For example, already know the channel or program you want to watch? Just type in the name and you’re there. Want to check out that funny YouTube video on your 48” flat screen? It’s just a quick search away.

If you know what you want to watch, but you’re not sure where to find it, just type in what you’re looking for and Google TV will help you find it on the web or on one of your many TV channels. If you’d rather browse than search, you can use your standard program guide, your DVR or the Google TV home screen, which provides quick access to all of your favorite entertainment so you’re always within reach of the content you love most.

Because Google TV is built on open platforms like Android and Google Chrome, these features are just a fraction of what Google TV can do. In our announcement today at Google I/O, we challenged web developers to start coming up with the next great web and Android apps designed specifically for the TV experience. Developers can start optimizing their websites for Google TV today.

Soon after launch, we’ll release the Google TV SDK and web APIs for TV so that developers can build even richer applications and distribute them through Android Market. We've already started building strategic alliances with a number of companies — like Jinni.com and Rovi — at the leading edge of innovation in TV technology.

Jinni.com is a next-generation TV application working to provide semantic search, personalized recommendation and social features for Google TV across all sources of premium content available to the user. Rovi is one of the world's leading guide applications. We’re looking forward to seeing all of the ways developers will use this new platform.

We’re working together with Sony and Logitech to put Google TV inside of televisions, Blu-ray players and companion boxes. These devices will go on sale this fall, and will be available at Best Buy stores nationwide. You can sign up here to get updates on Google TV availability.

This is an incredibly exciting time — for TV watchers, for developers and for the entire TV ecosystem. By giving people the power to experience what they love on TV and on the web on a single screen, Google TV turns the living room into a new platform for innovation. We're excited about what’s coming. We hope you are too.

austriamicrosystems scores success in patent infringement lawsuit against Melexis

UNTERPREMSTAETTEN, AUSTRIA: austriamicrosystems announced that the District Court (Landgericht) in Duesseldorf (Germany) issued a decision in the patent infringement lawsuit regarding magnetic field encoder products against Melexis N.V. / SA (Belgium) and its German subsidiary Melexis GmbH fully in favor of austriamicrosystems.

In its first-instance verdict the court established that the sale and distribution of products from Melexis’ product family of magnetic field encoders in Germany infringes European Patent EP 0 916 074 B1 exclusively held by austriamicrosystems. The court decision can be appealed.

austriamicrosystems is the worldwide leader in high resolution ICs with magnetic field sensors, offering a broad range of rotary and linear encoders. Providing robust, contactless position measurement, magnetic field encoders from austriamicrosystems are ideally suited for virtually countless applications in industrial, automotive and consumer electronics.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Automotive electronics to benefit from increased quality in Chinese car makers

BOSTON, USA: At the 2010 Auto China show in Beijing, Strategy Analytics saw much improvement in new models on display. The Strategy Analytics Insight, “Chinese OEMs: Rapid Advance in Quality Bodes Well For Automotive Electronics,” reports on the improvements made by Chinese car makers.

Strategy Analytics sees increased demand for automotive electronics in the Chinese market from:

* Increased penetration in new electronic systems models for each vehicle;
* Improvements made to structural safety and exterior design;
* Comfort and convenience features;
* Safety systems – a key decider for Chinese car purchasers; and
* Other systems, such as infotainment.

“The emergence of more discerning consumers and the growth in technical centers of established global vendors working with Chinese OEMs on new product development are encouraging improvement,” said the author of this Insight, Kevin Mak, Industry Analyst of the Strategy Analytics Automotive Electronics Service.

The pace of product improvement has quickened as global OEMs ramp up their operations, importing flagship models while looking for new sales from the inland and rural markets. A greater use of platform-based model development has enabled the Chinese players to maintain their cost advantage in these markets, while adding features and entering the higher model segments in the highly competitive markets of the major cities.

Some Chinese vendors are using the Australian market as their first steps in exporting cars to mature markets. Furthermore, unit car sales growth will not be as rapid this year as it was during 2009. Chinese OEMs will now emphasize quality and maximizing sales value per unit sold.

Corresponding Strategy Analytics research also looked at Chinese powertrain developments and the new Android-based infotainment system, InkaNet, which was deployed on the new Roewe 350 compact sedan.

Telestream joins major industry leaders to offer video transcoding support for WebM

NEVADA CITY, USA: Telestream, a leading provider of digital media tools and workflow solutions, today announced broad support for the WebM project along with Google and other industry leaders.

The new WebM open web media format, based on the VP8 open source video codec, will be available at no additional charge in all Telestream video encoding, transcoding and workflow products, including FlipFactory, Episode and recently announced Vantage.

“A key factor in the web’s success is that its core technologies are open and freely implementable. Video is fundamental to the web experience, and developers and content publishers need an open video format option,” said Mike Jazayeri, Group Product Manager at Google. “We are excited Telestream is joining a broad coalition of industry leaders supporting the WebM project to bring a new era of open innovation in web video.”

WebM is a flexible format that provides high-quality video across resolutions and bitrates to support a variety of viewing devices. Computational efficiency enables smooth video playback on low-power devices such as netbooks and mobile phones.

WebM is optimized for the web and network video delivery, providing fast video starting and seeking within videos. VP8 is based on 10+ years of innovation in video compression by On2 Technologies. Its predecessors have been installed over two billion times, making it proven technology. Google gained access to the VP8 video codec when it acquired On2 Technologies earlier this year.

“Telestream has extensive experience optimizing and deploying On2 technologies and is uniquely positioned to bring the new WebM format to the video consumer, enterprise, media and entertainment markets,” said Barbara DeHart, VP of Marketing at Telestream. “We are excited to join Mozilla, Opera, Google, YouTube, and other software and hardware manufacturers in the WebM project.”

Telestream provides the broadest and deepest video and audio transcoding format support on the market today for desktop to server, Mac and Windows systems. Telestream video compression products support more than 120 digital media formats and wrappers, including WMV9, H.264, VC-1, Flash 8, VP6, MPEG-2, and 3GPP.

In addition, Telestream video transcoding and workflow products support direct integration with leading third-party systems, allowing users to create and distribute content to virtually any platform or viewing device.

The WebM format, including the VP8 codec, is included free with all Telestream video transcoding and workflow products. WebM is available immediately in Telestream FlipFactory 7.0 software. It will be available in Telestream’s new Vantage and Episode 6 software products when they are released later this quarter.

Motion launches new line of rugged Tablet PCs

AUSTIN, USA: Motion Computing, a leading provider of integrated mobile computing solutions, announced the industry’s first slate tablet PCs with Intel Core vPro processors, offering new levels of performance, security and manageability.

Built on the company’s proven line of tablet PCs, Motion’s F5v and C5v meet the needs of mobile workforces across industries, and now feature enhanced integrated features, connectivity and durability.

“From its inception, Motion has delivered tablet PC solutions that address the needs of a highly mobile workforce,” said Mike Stinson, Vice President of Marketing, Motion Computing. “Today we extend that leadership with the introduction of the industry’s most advanced purpose-built slate tablet PCs that offer mobility, power and durability.”

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Samsung India strengthens printer offering; launches ML-1666 - world’s smallest laser printer

BANGALORE, INDIA: Samsung Electronics, the digital technology leader today enhanced its Printer line-up with the launch of eight new, advanced printer models in the Laser Printer, Multi Function Printer and Network Printer categories, including the World’s Smallest Laser Printer-ML1666.The company is targeting a 30 percent market share and a 58 percent jump in volumes in the Year 2010 based on its considerably enhanced product offering, strengthened distribution channel and a sharper focus on B2B business.

With a sharpened focus on the B2B business, the company is expecting this business to contribute 30 percent to its Printer Volumes this year.

Samsung also launched the ML-1666, the world’s smallest laser printer in the Indian market. This compact “Made for India” Product offers the highest value to a customer. It has an impressive 16 pages per minute speed and offers an intuitive printing experience by incorporating a number of easy to use one touch features into the product design.

The full starter toner of 1500 pages, the standard one year onsite warranty and an additional two year warranty on this printer at Rs 399/- only coupled with an extremely affordable MRP of Rs 5499/- make the Samsung ML 1666 a great value for money printer.

Samsung also launched three Mono Laser printers - ML 1911; ML 2525; ML 2581N. These boast monthly duty cycles up to 12,000 pages, 8MB Memory and Print speeds of 18ppm/24 ppm pages (ML-2526/2581N). The MRP of the new models is as follows : ML 1911: Rs. 6499/-; ML 2526 : Rs. 8999/- and ML 2581 N: Rs. 12999/-.

Samsung also launched an impressive range of Laser Multi Function Printers to strengthen its current portfolio and retain market leadership in the Multi Function Printer category. These feature rich Multi Function Printers SCX 4601, SCX 4623 FH, SCX 4623 FN boast of high speeds up to 22 ppm and are designed for optimum usability. The MRP of Samsung Multi Function Printers is as follows : SCX 4601 : Rs. 9999/-; SCX 4623FH : Rs.14499/-.

The new SCX 4623FN is a versatile 22 ppm Network ready MFP with Print, Scan, Copy and Fax functions, gives up to 1200X1200 dpi effective output for print/scan and Copy functions; comes with 128 MB Memory; a monthly duty cycle of upto 10000 pages and a 7 MB Fax memory. The Samsung 4623FN is priced at Rs 15499/-.

Philips Innovation Campus (PIC) reinforces its commitment to deliver products and solutions for Indian market

BANGALORE, INDIA: Philips Innovation Campus (PIC) in Bangalore today outlined their plan of action for the coming year. Their key area of activity would be developing cutting edge technologies for the healthcare sector, but now with an increased focus on India.

The announcement was made today, by Dr. Wido Menhardt who has taken over as CEO, Philips Innovation Campus in Bangalore.

Dr. Menhardt elaborated on his plans for PIC: “PIC in Bangalore has a talented pool of engineers and scientists who are able to develop top of line technologies for any market in the world. At this point in time, our focus would be on delivering products and solutions of the highest quality, especially in healthcare, but with an increased focus on India”.

PIC contributes to the robust portfolio of Philips’ medical systems. The goal of each product is clear - faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment. Product lines the engineers work on include best-in-class technologies in X-ray, ultrasound, magnetic resonance, computed tomography, nuclear medicine, PET, radiation oncology systems, patient monitoring, and information management and resuscitation products. Engineers at PIC provide 'end-to-end' solutions, covering requirement definition, architecture, design, development, integration and testing as well as on-site consultancy.

Dr. Menhardt also announced the commencement of development activity for Philips lighting. Envisaging the requirements of consumers and at the same time keeping in mind concerns of the environment, Philips will develop a range of innovative digital lighting solutions for global markets.

Hardware Intrinsic Security (HIS) Initiative to advance adoption of new hardware security solutions

LONDON, UK: A group of industry leaders throughout the electronics industry today announced the launch of the Hardware Intrinsic Security (HIS) Initiative -- an educational forum dedicated to reduce barriers and advance the adoption of HIS solutions.

A new approach is needed to combat counterfeiting, which is a growing problem driving down the average selling price (ASP) of genuine products and accounting for approximately 10 percent of electronics sales today. The HIS approach provides greater security at a lower cost per chip by enabling secure key storage without storing the key. By leveraging the expertise of its members, the HIS Initiative is developing an educational agenda with supporting deliverables aimed at reducing barriers to adoption of HIS solutions.

To effectively advance HIS technology adoption, the Initiative members represent a full spectrum of the ecosystem, from systems to semiconductor, fabless, foundry, and intellectual property (IP) providers. With Intrinsic-ID serving as the managing sponsor, the HIS Initiative members are comprised of advisors from the following leading companies: Cisco Systems, imec, Intrinsic-ID, Irdeto, NXP Semiconductors, SiVenture, TSMC and Virage Logic Corp.

Industry need for new hardware security
The security and authenticity of electronic devices is fundamental to electronics companies to assure that assets of companies and end-users are protected.

Counterfeiting is a growing issue that, among others, reduces market size and damages brand reputation. HIS technology provides a new level of hardware security utilizing the inherent uniqueness in each and every silicon chip. This approach allows a device to generate a secret key only when needed and power down with no key present. As no key is stored, attackers have nothing to find.

"The launch of the HIS Initiative reinforces the high degree of importance our industry places on security and authentication," stated Intrinsic-ID CEO, Daniel Schobben. "The HIS Initiative aligns thought leaders to reduce the barriers to HIS technology adoption by facilitating industry work and the development of proof points. We welcome their contributions as we work together to make counterfeiting a thing of the past."

Lisa Tafoya, Vice President of Research for Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA), said: "GSA is seeing a significant amount of interest in the various types of security solutions, but there is a decided lack of information and educational awareness about hardware security for chip designers. The GSA has been working to help fill that gap and we welcome the Initiative's contributions to this effort."

Intrinsic-ID has successfully completed a proof point validation of a Virage Logic 90-nm SRAM for use in a HIS solution. Brani Buric, executive vice president of marketing and sales at Virage Logic, noted, "As an integral part of the SoC design ecosystem and member of the Initiative, we recognize the value of HIS solutions and are committed to working to remove the barriers for adoption. With the ability to collaborate with other Initiative members, we look forward to helping enable the adoption of HIS solutions throughout the industry."

Irdeto helps Skylink reach 1 million subscribers for digital satellite service

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS: Irdeto, the global leader in securing and delivering premium content and digital assets, today announced that long standing customer, Skylink has reached one million subscribers for its Direct to Home (DTH) satellite service in Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Skylink's content is protected by Irdeto's Conditional Access System (CAS), which has contributed to the company’s success by enabling the satellite TV provider to invest in premium content as well as offer national channels from both countries securely.

Czech Republic and Slovakia have an increasingly competitive satellite TV market with five providers between them. Skylink has been able to differentiate itself in the market by developing a compelling business model that allows subscribers to make a one off payment for the dish, box and smart card, in addition to pay monthly Premium and high definition (HD) services.

Skylink also offers high quality viewing including national channels from both countries as well as sport, film and entertainment channels. The content is protected by Irdeto’s CAS, which offers a state-of-the-art hardware platform, software technology and cryptography, for protection against content theft.

Skylink's success is also driven by its relationship with SES ASTRA, Europe’s leading provider of satellite services, as it uses ASTRA's prime satellite orbital position, which is located at 23.5 degrees East. This means that Skylink viewers experience a crystal-clear picture quality with minimal disruption to the service.

“Achieving one million subscribers is a major accomplishment in our competitive market," commented Jaromír Glisník, Managing Director at Skylink. “Irdeto has been instrumental to our success by enabling us to offer secure content, meaning our services are appealing to both content owners and consumers. To continue this level of growth we are now looking at adding even more compelling features to our service such as high-definition channels and more premium content into subscription packages. Irdeto will continue to protect our content and enable us to continuously improve our customers’ viewing experience.”

Graham Kill, CEO, Irdeto, said: “Skylink has developed compelling business models which have ensured the continued growth of its business. The company has also recognized the importance of content protection, which gives operators in all markets the ability to defend their content against a growing number of threats, protecting their revenue and giving customers access to the latest television shows, films and sporting events.”

Martin Kubacki, Managing Director of ASTRA Central Eastern Europe concluded; “The success of Skylink shows that SES ASTRA has succeeded in establishing 23.5 degrees East as a prime orbital position for the Czech Republic and Slovakia. We are very proud to have contributed to Skylink’s success and will remain committed to further promote 23.5 degrees East as well as the digitalization process in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and other Central Eastern European countries.”