Wednesday, June 30, 2010

MHL 1.0 specification and adopter agreement now available

SUNNYVALE, USA: MHL, LLC the entity responsible for administering the MHL Consortium, announced the availability of the MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) specification version 1.0 and Adopter Agreement.

The MHL standard defines a new mobile interface to directly connect mobile phones and other portable consumer electronics devices to high-definition televisions and displays. One of the key advantages of the MHL specification is that it enables manufacturers to utilize widely established connectors available in today’s mobile and CE products.

“The increasing availability of storage and media capabilities on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile electronics is contributing to the consumption of video on the go,” said Michael Palma, senior research analyst for Consumer Semiconductors of market research firm IDC.

“The MHL specification should enhance the ability to link these portable devices to HDTVs opening up opportunities for manufacturers and service providers to deliver new applications and add more value for consumers.”

The MHL 1.0 specification delivers the following functionality:

Video: Up to 1080p/60 picture quality can be displayed from portable devices to TVs and displays.
Audio: Up to 192 kHz of audio transmission is supported, delivering up to 7.1 channel Linear Pulse Code Modulation (LPCM) surround sound and compressed audio.
Power: Five volts and 500 mA are provided from an A/V device to continuously power the portable device and charge its batteries.

Products implementing the MHL 1.0 specification have the following benefits:

Connect: With a simple 5-pin interface, mobile devices can output high-quality video and digital audio over a single cable while receiving power from TVs and displays and multi-purposing existing connectors in the market.
Control: Consumers can display digital media from portable devices to A/V devices and access content with a remote through command and control technology.
Protect: High-value video and audio content is safe from unauthorized interception and copying with High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP).

“Our 1.0 specification release marks another MHL milestone and brings us one step closer in achieving our goal of becoming the standard of choice for wired mobile connectivity,” said Barry McAuliffe, president of MHL, LLC. “Utilizing existing connectors saves valuable space in devices by keeping form factors small, allows for cost-effective implementation, and enables consumers to get more functionality and features from a single connector.”

HDBaseT Alliance announces incorporation, finalized specification

BEAVERTON, USA: HDBaseT Alliance, the cross-industry alliance formed to promote and standardize the HDBaseT technology for whole-home distribution of uncompressed high definition (HD) multimedia content, announced its formal incorporation.

The Alliance is founded by LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Valens Semiconductor, all of which comprise the HDBaseT Alliance’s Board of Directors.

The Alliance also announced the finalization of the HDBaseT 1.0 base specification. The development of this cohesive specification is set to transform the digital media ecosystem, allowing consumers to enjoy premium content through unparalleled, uninterrupted HD distribution ‒ without the tangle of cables currently required.

“HDBaseT Alliance’s creation of a unified specification based on HDBaseT technology will raise the bar as the most technologically advanced, unmatched solution for optimum digital media distribution,” said Ariel Sobelman, president and chairman of the HDBaseT Alliance. “HDBaseT technology is poised to become the unrivaled next-generation home networking transport to meet the ever-changing trends in the digital media market.”

The cornerstone of HDBaseT technology is 5Play, an unrivaled feature-set that converges full uncompressed HD video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, high power over cable and various control signals through a single 100m/328ft CAT5e/6 LAN cable. HDBaseT has the bandwidth to support the highest video resolutions such as full HD 1080p as well as 3D and 2Kx4K formats.

HDBaseT is the first to provide all-in-one connectivity, making it possible for a single-connector TV to receive power, video/audio, Internet and control signals from the same cable.

HDBaseT enables a network of sources — such as digital video recorders (DVR), Blu-ray disc players, game consoles, PCs and mobile devices — to be connected directly to displays in multiple locations. For instance, a DVR can be connected to several TVs throughout the home, allowing users an independent yet fully compatible experience.

HDBaseT LAN based technology makes it possible to cut out the assortment of cables for audio, video, connecting CE devices and even the power source. This form of networking, whether it is done by daisy chaining devices or through star topology, can be applied in both the consumer home and in B2B cases such as digital signage networking.

The demand for in-home converged distribution of HD multimedia content and the lack of adequate existing technologies are driving the industry toward an HD digital connectivity standard such as HDBaseT. Through development of the HDBaseT 1.0 digital connectivity specification, the HDBaseT Alliance addresses consumer needs and high market demand. HDBaseT increases the transfer distance of uncompressed HD multimedia content, expanding distribution, simplifying installation and ultimately lowering overall system cost.

“Today, there is an abundance of content in the home, including video, images and data. As HDTVs and HDTV service proliferate throughout the world, the amount of content, and the ability to move it around the home, becomes much more complicated,” stated Brian O’Rourke, principal analyst, In-Stat. “The next frontier in networking is the ability to control and distribute this content. HDBaseT technology is well-positioned to offer a simple solution throughout the home to meet consumers' needs.”

The finalization of the HDBaseT specification paves the way for HDBaseT embedded products to hit the market. The HDBaseT Alliance anticipates products with embedded HDBaseT technology to be available in the second half of 2010, with the majority of adoption taking place in 2011. The specification will also be available for licensing within the second half of 2010.

Development and preparation for an HDBaseT Alliance Compliance Program is currently underway. The Alliance plans to formulate a logo usage and licensing program to ensure consistency and consumers’ ability to recognize interoperable HDBaseT devices in the market.

VESA issues updated embedded DisplayPort standard

NEWARK, USA: The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has announced a new version of the Embedded DisplayPort Standard (eDP).

eDP version 1.2 includes several enhancements to further enable improved display performance and reduced system power consumption. eDP v1.2 defines new panel and backlight control capabilities using the DisplayPort bi-directional AUX Channel. It also adds support for the higher 5.4Gbps link rate defined by the DisplayPort v1.2 standard released in January 2010, enabling high performance Stereo 3D at Full HD, 1080p60 per eye, and support for Field Sequential Color (FSC) panels.

VESA member companies developed eDP as the eventual replacement for LVDS which has been used in notebook PCs for over 10 years. eDP-enabled mobile PCs went into production this year, and will account for approximately 11 percent of the 2010 mobile PC market, according to In-Stat. Mobile PCs using the new eDP v1.2 will be in production the first half of 2011. Industry market trends indicate eDP will have largely replaced LVDS by 2013.

eDP notebook panels use fewer interconnect signals, thereby simplifying internal cabling and requiring less EMI shielding. eDP notebook panels can also decrease system power consumption significantly, enabling extended notebook battery life. eDP v1.2 further reduces wire count and adds new LCD panel control and backlight capabilities using the bidirectional AUX Channel.

Such capabilities include backlight brightness and modulation frequency control, enabling of dynamic backlight control, color engine operation, dithering, self-test mode, and more. The new 5.4Gbps link rate option doubles the data bandwidth of the video data channel(s), allowing for either further reduction in wire count or higher performance 2D or Stereo 3D displays at Full HD resolution. eDP is ideal for Field Sequential Color panel applications that require 120Hz or higher refresh rates and high dynamic range support.

eDP also plays an important role in PC chip integration. Based on the VESA DisplayPort standard, eDP uses low-voltage, AC-coupled signaling which is compatible with today’s sub-micron chip processes; and less device pins are needed. With the latest PC architectures featuring graphics integrated into the CPU, a reduced interface footprint is crucial. Unlike LVDS, eDP shares commonality with the DisplayPort external interface, simplifying design.

“eDP provides a significant advantage for integrated GPU architectures,” said Craig Wiley, Sr. Director of Marketing at Parade Technologies, VESA Board Vice-chair and eDP editor. “It would be difficult to support LVDS directly from the CPU, which now includes the GPU, due to the number of pins and high voltage required. eDP uses a physical interface similar to PCI Express which simplifies the design process.”

For the system developer, eDP means longer battery life and fewer wires for the display interface across the display hinge. This also makes it easier to add other wires for a wireless antenna, camera, microphone(s) and speakers.

The eDP v1.2 standard is now available for purchase from VESA and is provided free of charge to VESA member companies.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pay TV content exclusivity: Justified?

Adeel Najam, Frost & Sullicvan

MALAYSIA: Exclusive content carriage has been a formidable pay TV provider strategy
to rapidly acquire customers and increase market share. In choosing a pay
TV provider, subscribers base their choice largely on the programming
content of the pay TV service.

Many alternative pay TV providers around
the globe including PCCW (Hong Kong), France Telecom (France) and SingTel (Singapore) are achieving success in the pay TV market in large part due to exclusive content acquisition. Incumbent pay TV providers also use exclusive content to keep their pay TV market dominance from waning and block the prospects of success for new market entrants.

Country examples in this article from Frost & Sullivan include: Singapore, USA, UK, France and Hong Kong.

iPhone 4 carries BOM of $187.51: iSuppli

EL SEGUNDO, USA: The iPhone 4’s design may be radically different—but the strategy remains the same, with the latest member of the product line carrying a Bill of Materials (BOM) that should continue to generate high profit margins for Apple Inc., according to iSuppli Corp.’s Teardown Analysis service.

The 16Gbyte version of the iPhone 4 carries a BOM of $187.51, based on a preliminary cost estimate derived from a physical teardown of the product.

“Just as it did with the iPad, Apple has thrown away the electronics playbook with the iPhone 4, reaching new heights in terms of industrial design, electronics integration and user interface,” said Kevin Keller, principal analyst, teardown services, for iSuppli.

“However, the BOM of the fourth-generation model closely aligns with those of previous iPhones. With the iPhone maintaining its existing pricing, Apple will be able to maintain the prodigious margins that have allowed it to build up a colossal cash reserve—one whose size is exceeded only by Microsoft Corp.”

iSuppli estimated the BOM of the 3GS in 2009 at $170.80; the 3G in 2008 at $166.31
and the first iPhone in 2007 at $217.73.

The figure presents the results of iSuppli’s preliminary teardown estimate. Please note that the BOM accounts only for hardware costs and does not include other expenses such as manufacturing, software, marketing, distribution and royalties and licensing fees.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Housing complex
One of the most apparent examples of the iPhone 4’s design innovation is its completely redesigned housing. Unlike the unibody housing of previous models, the iPhone 4’s enclosure is composed of multiple pieces, allowing it to accommodate a considerably larger battery as well as the much-discussed integrated antenna.

“The metal housing of the outer enclosure serves as a physical antenna, a tough task to design and manufacture because antennae pieces have to be insulated from other parts, and yet be rigid around the perimeter,” Keller said. “This adds more complexity and cost, but elegantly uses every possible cubic millimeter of the iPhone for function, and not just form. The tight intertwining of form and function is an area where Apple has always excelled.”

Less is more in wireless
The wireless subsection of the iPhone 4 is far smaller than in previous members of the line because of greatly increased integration of the Radio Frequency (RF) functionality into the core chipset components, despite the presence of an additional air standard: High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA), which allows the uploading of bandwidth-intensive HD video.

“Out of the nearly 300 cell phones torn down by iSuppli, the iPhone comes the closest to integrating the entire wireless interface—including all the supporting Radio Frequency (RF) modules—on a single chip,” Keller said. “This further enhances the iPhone 4’s space efficiency and serves as yet another testament to the advanced state of Apple’s design.”

Design winners
The LCD display represents the single most expensive component in the iPhone 4, costing $28.50 and accounting for 15.2 percent of the product’s total BOM. The 3.5-inch display uses advanced Low-Temperature Polysilicon (LTPS) and In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology, and features a 960 by 630 resolution—four times that of the iPhone 3GS.

While the display is not labeled, iSuppli believes the most likely supplier is LG Display. Toshiba Mobile Display (TMD) also could serve as a source for the part.
The next most expensive single component is the NAND-type flash memory. In the 16Gbyte version of the iPhone 4, the NAND costs $27 and accounts for 14.4 percent of the BOM. In the individual iPhone 4 torn down by iSuppli, the NAND flash was supplied by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., although Apple could be employing other sources as well.

Samsung also supplies the next costliest part, the 4Gbits of mobile Double Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM, priced at $13.80, or 7.4 percent of the BOM.

Following on the value ranking is the baseband Integrated Circuit (IC), at $11.72, or 6.3 percent of the BOM. Infineon Technologies AG is the supplier of this part, iSuppli’s teardown reveals.

Next on the component cost countdown is the A4 applications processor, manufactured by Samsung but using Apple’s Intellectual Property (IP). iSuppli estimates the cost of the A4 at $10.75, or 5.7 percent of the iPhone 4’s BOM.

Other parts and suppliers
Subsequent on the cost list is the capacitive touch screen with reinforced glass, at $10.00, or 5.3 percent of the BOM. While the supplier of the touch screen is not labeled and thus cannot be determined through a teardown analysis, iSuppli believes the source is TPK and/or Balda.

The main camera on the iPhone, a 5-megapixel autofocus device, costs $9.75, and accounts for 5.2 percent of the BOM. Like the touch screen, the camera cannot be identified from a teardown.

The Wi-Fi Bluetooth controller IC, priced at $7.80 and representing 4.2 percent of the BOM, is supplied by Broadcom Corp.

Other parts in the iPhone 4 include:
* The $5.80 battery, with an unknown supplier.
* NOR flash, supplied by Intel Corp./Numonyx; and Double Data Rate (DDR) mobile DRAM, provided by Elpida Memory Inc., at a combined cost of $2.70.
* A $2.60 microelectromechanical (MEMS) gyroscope, supplied by STMicroelectronics.
* Infineon’s $2.33 quad-band GSM/Edge transceiver.
* The $2.03 main power-management IC from Dialog Semiconductor.
* A Global Positioning System (GPS) chip from Broadcom, costing $1.75.
* Texas Instruments Inc.’s touch screen controller IC, at $1.23.
* Cirrus Logic’s $1.15 audio codec.
* An e-compass from AKM Semiconductor Inc., at 70 cents.
* The accelerometer, provided by STMicroelectronics, and costing 65 cents.

Source: iSuppli, USA

The Tokyo Institute of Technology selects Voltaire 40 Gb/s InfiniBand for Japan’s first 2.4 petaflop supercomputer

CHELMSFORD, USA & RA’ANANA, ISRAEL: Voltaire Ltd, a leading provider of scale-out data center fabrics, announced that the Tokyo Institute of Technology has selected Voltaire’s 40 Gb/s InfiniBand switches for Japan’s first 2.4-petaflop supercomputer, the TSUBAME 2.0. The new supercomputer will bring powerful research tools to users in both the industrial and academic world.

“TSUBAME 2.0 will continue to push science forward by providing world-class supercomputer facilities that enable research and development to be completed and utilized more quickly than ever before,” said Professor Satoshi Matsuoka of Global Scientific Information and Computing Center (GSIC), Tokyo Institute of Technology.

“We designed the system with the latest Intel Westmere-EP and Nehalem-EX CPUs coupled with more than 4,200 of NVIDIA Tesla 20-series GPUs to provide extreme processing capabilities on each node. To capitalize on this new level of compute power, we implemented a dual-rail, non-blocking fabric that can support throughput up to 80 Gb/s per node, employing two Voltaire 40 Gb/s InfiniBand connections on each node.”

“Since GPUs provide extremely high floating-point capabilities as well as memory bandwidth, Voltaire’s high-speed InfiniBand fabric is needed to achieve the highest throughput and lowest latency possible, in order to sustain performance in large-scale parallel workloads involving thousands of GPUs,” Professor Matsuoka added.

Voltaire is working with NEC on the system that will begin operation in the fall. The TSUBAME 2.0 supercomputer, while being 30 times faster than its predecessor, the TSUBAME 1.0, will require only 200 square meters of floor space, a reduction by two-thirds, and will exhibit comparable power consumption thanks to numerous green technologies that will be incorporated. The performance of the new supercomputer will also be 12 times greater than the current fastest system in Japan, owned by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency – also a Voltaire customer.

“The Tokyo Institute of Technology’s requirements in its design of TSUBAME 2.0 call for extreme levels of high-performance, high scalability, and low-latency in the fabric,” said Asaf Somekh, vice president of marketing, Voltaire. “Voltaire’s 40 Gb/s InfiniBand solutions deliver top performance, and as a result are used within the world’s leading supercomputers. We are pleased to be working with our long-time OEM partner NEC on this project.”

The new TSUBAME 2.0 supercomputer system, which will have more than 1,400 compute nodes, will incorporate Voltaire’s QDR InfiniBand fabric in a fully non-blocking configuration, with 12 Grid Director 4700 40 Gb/s InfiniBand switches, 179 Grid Director 4036 edge switches and 6 Grid Director 4036E switches for high performance bridging to 10 GbE storage.

The TSUBAME 2.0 supercomputer is equipped with cutting-edge technologies including the latest Intel Westmere-EP and Nehalem-EX CPUs combined with over 4,200 NVIDIA Tesla M2050 GPUs, based on the Fermi architecture. This “hybrid scalar-vector architecture” will achieve world-leading performance in both compute and bandwidth, while maintaining the overall system size, power, and cost to be an order of magnitude smaller than its competitors.

The system will also facilitate nearly 3,000 solid-state drives (SSDs) for the world’s fastest total data I/O throughput at 2/3 terabytes per second, augmented with DataDirect Networks storage system with over 7 petabytes of capacity and planned 8 petabytes of tape.

The operating system will include both Linux and Microsoft Windows HPC, and will also use cloud and virtual machine technologies in order provide flexible services to its over 2,000 users as well as facilitate advanced machine operation capabilities.

Monday, June 28, 2010

May large-area TFT LCD shipments and revenues reach record highs

SANTA CLARA, USA: May 2010 shipments of large-area TFT LCD panels were 58.8 million units, up 9 percent from April, and revenues were 7.5 billion, up 7 percent M/M, according to the DisplaySearch Monthly TFT LCD Shipment Database.

These results surpassed the previous monthly high record level in March 2010. Furthermore, they were also significantly better than a year ago, as shipments and revenues increased 36 percent Y/Y and 60 percent Y/Y, respectively.

According to David Hsieh, Vice President of DisplaySearch: “The May results indicate that although the TFT LCD industry is going through a panel price and inventory correction period this quarter, panel shipment momentum is not slowing down and has bounced back to reach record monthly highs after a monthly decline in April.”
All applications showed good growth from the previous month, with notebook and slate/mini-note panels are showing the strongest growth with 16 percent M/M.

Table 1: Large-Area TFT LCD Panel Shipments and Growth (Millions of Units)Source: DisplaySearch May 2010 Monthly TFT LCD Shipment Database

Hsieh added: “It is to be expected that the panel price will fall gradually in Q2’10 due to the slowdown in demand. However, we do not think the price decline will be drastic, as shipments continue to grow.

“On the other hand, tightness in the LCD module and backlight components supply chain and confidence about strong demand in the next quarter have encouraged panel makers to maintain their present high capacity utilization rates and the downstream buyers to accumulate more preparatory inventories. This explains why we are seeing panel prices fall and shipments increase, concurrently. Furthermore, panel makers are expecting to increase shipments again in June despite falling prices.”

Additional highlights from the DisplaySearch monthly TFT LCD shipment database

* On a unit basis, LG Display was the leader with 24.1 percent market share, followed by Samsung with 22.4 percent, Chimei Innolux with 17.9 percent, and AUO with 17.4 percent.
* On a revenue basis, Samsung led with a 26.3 percent market share, followed by LG Display with 24.2 percent, AUO with 17 percent, and Chimei Innolux with 15.1 percent.
* On an area basis, Samsung was the leader with 25.1 percent market share, followed by LG Display with 23.5 percent, Chimei Innolux with 17.6 percent, and AUO with 16.5 percent.
* All panel makers enjoyed M/M growth, with companies like Samsung, LG Display, IPS Alpha and CPT are experiencing double-digit M/M growth.
* Slate/mini-note (5.0-11.6”, including 9.7”) panel shipments were 4.8 million in May, reaching a new record high as well.

Friday, June 25, 2010

TTNET intros Web TV service in Turkey with Envivio Internet video solution

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Envivio has announced that TTNET, a subsidiary of Türk Telekom and the leading broadband Internet service provider in Turkey with more than 5 million subscribers, has added a new dimension to its customer offerings by deploying multiple Envivio Three Screens video encoders to launch a new Web TV service.

The new service, integrated by Envivio’s system integration partner Birtel based in Ankara, enables TTNET to offer live TV channels and on-demand services to subscribers over the Internet for viewing on their computers and Wi-Fi enabled devices.

“The Envivio Three Screens solution provides TTNET subscribers with a superior viewing experience by ensuring exceptional encoding and video delivery with support for technologies such as Smooth Streaming,” said Metin Olgun, GM of Birtel. “The result is that the new TTNET Web TV offers video quality to computers and Internet-connected TVs that exceeds what people have come to expect from satellite TV.”

The Envivio Internet TV solution employed by TTNET, based on the Envivio 4Caster C4 encoders, delivers more than 70 live and on demand channels to the Web TV service subscribers across Turkey. The solution directly ingests MPEG-2 satellite sources, eliminating the need for additional costly and quality-degrading interfaces.

The 4Caster C4 encoders supply IIS Media Servers with continuous streams of Microsoft PlayReady DRM-protected, Silverlight video encoded at up to HD resolution for distribution to subscribers. The 4Caster C4 systems simultaneously encode video at multiple resolutions enabling TTNET to use adaptive streaming technology to continuously deliver video, without interruptions or buffering, as network bandwidth and other conditions vary. Service reliability, redundancy management and operational control in the headend are fully integrated within the Envivio 4Manager network management system.

“The TTNET deployment is an excellent example of how Envivio’s high efficiency encoding and support for advanced features like Smooth Streaming and PlayReady DRM are enabling operators to innovate and expand their services,” Julien Signès, President and CEO of Envivio. “The Web TV service introduced by TTNET creates a new revenue opportunity for the company by offering a powerful enticement for consumers looking for an alternative to incumbent services.”

Polycom, Glowpoint power Georgetown University’s 'Global Classroom'

HILLSIDE, USA: Students on two separate continents, almost 7,000 miles apart, now study together live via high-definition (HD), immersive Polycom telepresence suites, managed by Glowpoint, a carrier-grade provider of managed services for telepresence and video conferencing.

Georgetown University’s classrooms feature high-definition video, voice and content-sharing capabilities, which allow students to interact with teachers and collaborate with each other, thereby bridging the geographical divide.

As part of the Glowpoint and Polycom service, students at Georgetown’s Washington, D.C., and Doha, Qatar, campuses now communicate and interact using the Polycom RealPresence Experience (RPX) HD, a state-of-the-art immersive telepresence solution. Glowpoint is providing technology, network, and managed services through its hosted-cloud infrastructure, to deliver a seamless experience across the campuses.

“Having recently taught a class using the ‘Global Classroom,’ I know the value this technology can bring in connecting students with diverse backgrounds and perspectives,” said Mehran Kamrava, interim dean of Georgetown’s Qatar campus.

“Faculty members are excited about the technology, and they’re developing new ways to use this technology to improve the educational experience for students on both campuses." Kamrava taught Revolutions in Comparative Perspectives, just one of the classes that utilize Georgetown’s Global Classroom.

Located in the capital city of Doha, the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar is the only branch campus of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown. The program provides a four-year undergraduate degree in international politics to students from the Middle East and around the world. The Global Classroom initiative is designed to help provide a consistent learning experience between the campuses.

“Classrooms and cultures around the world are becoming more interactive thanks to immersive telepresence technologies,” said Joe Laezza, Glowpoint’s president and Co-CEO. “Glowpoint is dedicated to supporting capabilities that transcend the limitations of traditional classrooms. Our managed telepresence services ensure that remote students can learn from invaluable teachers in one educational setting.”

Polycom telepresence solutions eliminate the barriers of working across distance through immersive, life-like visual communications, enabling people to collaborate face to face with coworkers, customers and partners in different locations as effectively and productively as if they were in the same rooms.

Joe Sigrist, Polycom’s senior vice president and general manager of video communications said: “As Polycom’s telepresence solutions are based on open standards, they work seamlessly, allowing organizations such as Georgetown to interconnect their entire educational institution. Our partnership with Glowpoint ensures that our clients, such as Georgetown University, achieve the highest level of quality and service for telepresence.”

Georgetown’s telepresence systems are currently being used in two classes per semester. The Georgetown students have quickly adapted to the technology and new learning experience, and the University is evaluating ways to expand the use of the system for additional courses, student meetings and faculty training.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

iPad spurs eBook reader price war

EL SEGUNDO, USA: The move by Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon to slash the prices of their eBook readers reflects a fundamental change in their business strategy intended to counter the rising competitive pressure from Apple Inc.’s iPad.

Barnes & Noble on Monday slashed nearly $60 off the $199 prices of Nook eBook reader. Hours later, Amazon dropped the retail price on the Kindle eBook reader to $189, down from $259. Not coincidentally, Apple launched its iBook application, making the free reader software available on the iPad, iPhone and iPod.

“With these cuts, eBook readers from Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon now are priced at about the breakeven level with their Bill of Materials (BOM) and manufacturing costs, according to iSuppli’s Teardown Analysis Service,” said William Kidd, director and principal analyst, financial services for iSuppli.

“With zero profits on their hardware, both these companies now hope to make their money in this market through the sale of ebooks. This is the same ‘razor/razor blade’ business model successfully employed in the video game console business, where the hardware is sold at a loss and profits are made on sales of content.”

In the very short-term, the price drop could entice consumers to purchase eBook readers that cost less than half of the starting price point for an iPad, according to Jordan Selburn, consumer electronics analyst for iSuppli. However, the longer-term future of eBook readers is likely to be more niche than initially expected.

iSuppli’s forecast calls for global eBook readers shipments to rise to 11 million in 2010, up 120 percent from 15 million in 2009, as presented in the figure. iSuppli at present doesn’t plan to change this near-term forecast significantly.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Who books the ebook sales?
Although there is no doubt that the iPad is encroaching on eBook readers’ hardware sales, the iPad is also spurring the sales of eBook content by Barnes & Noble and Amazon. However, it’s unclear if the two big booksellers benefit to a significant degree.

Both the Nook and Kindle apps are available for free on the Apple’s iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, which is a positive for the booksellers. Nonetheless, a major negative for these companies is that the Apple iBook application will become another consumer destination, further fragmenting the ebook market and hurting their sales of such content.

Hard row to hoe for hardware
Compared to the Kindle, the Nook has nearly 50 percent more components due to the added sophistication of running the full Android OS, the inclusion of WLAN capability and the use of dual displays. The largest cost component of both devices is the e-ink display module provided by PVI, accounting for an estimated 28 to 32 percent of the total BOM for both eBook readers. With these and future price drops, PVI would be affected.

The future of the eBook reader platform will largely depend on whether device manufacturers add technological functions to remain competitive with the more dynamic, multi-function iPad. There is a color e-ink display for eBook readers in development, but according to iSuppli analyst Wayne Lam, the technology is at least a year away from market, at best.

“In sum, there is no visible short-term solution to drive significantly more sales of eBook readers, except to use price as a tool,” Kidd said. “Consequently, at current retail prices, the forward EPS impact is incrementally negative for both companies, as many analysts still need to readjust models to reflect the shift from about a 20 percent gross margin to no margin.”

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Cisco shares details on fabric based computing approach to address data center market

BANGALORE, INDIA: Underscoring the significant opportunity in the Indian data center market, Cisco has shared plans to grow and strengthen its market and technology leadership in the space. In addition, Cisco showcased its radically simplified approach with the Unified Computing System and the ‘fabric based computing’ approach.

Fabric based computing helps enable a "wire once" deployment model where changing configura tions no longer means installing new components or re-cabling existing ones. It helps to reduce cost by eliminat ing the need for a parallel set of components to support multiple data transmission protocols. Along with the reduction in these infrastructure components on the server side, a similar reduction on the network edge is possible, further reducing costs.

“At Cisco, we aim to bring together network, compute and virtualization technologies into one unified system. We are confident of revolutionizing datacenter management by offering flexibility and taking advantage of the role that the network plays in addressing key aspects such as security, scalability and interoperability”, said Pramodh Menon, sr. vice president, Cisco India & SAARC.

Cisco also shared details of the second-generation Cisco Unified Computing SystemTM, which further accelerates the promise of virtualization, delivering a high performance computing architecture uniting compute, network, storage access, and virtualization resources in a single energy-efficient system. Cisco’s introduction of Unified Computing established a new industry standard for data center virtualization.

With new compute, I/O, management and developer capabilities, the 2nd generation of Cisco UCS enables unparalleled scalability, breakthrough performance, and tangible business advantage. With these innovations, the Cisco data center architecture now delivers:
* Up to four times the compute capacity in the same footprint, compared to first-generation Cisco Unified Computing System servers.
* Up to four times the bandwidth capacity in the same footprint with the existing chassis, compared to first generation Cisco Unified Computing System.
* Up to 92 percent fewer points of management than legacy networks.
* Up to 30 percent greater application throughput with the Cisco Virtualized Interface Card.
* Up to 76 percent greater database consolidation with Cisco memory extension.
* Up to 10 percent reduced power consumption, compared with like-for-like competitive configurations.

Fusion-io develops fusion-powered IO accelerator for HP ProLiant DL and ML servers

LAS VEGAS, USA: Fusion-io, pioneer of a new memory tier of flash-based solid-state (ioMemory) technology, has extended its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) relationship with HP to provide the company with PCI Express-based IO Accelerators for the HP ProLiant DL and ML server line.

The Fusion-powered IO Accelerator is already available with HP’s industry-leading BladeSystem platform for use with ProLiant server blades. With the addition of this PCI Express-based offering, HP customers gain the flexibility to optimize infrastructure and accelerate applications in a variety of architectures suitable to their needs.

The new PCI Express form factor IO Accelerator will be available for use with ProLiant servers in 160 GB and 320 GB SLC capacities and 320 GB and 640 GB MLC capacities.

“We are excited to advance the future of the datacenter with HP,” said David Flynn, CEO of Fusion-io. “We are pleased to take our relationship with the company to the next level by developing the IO Accelerator for their ProLiant line and appreciate HP’s continued recognition of the consolidation, performance and reliability that ioMemory-based technologies offer the enterprise.”

“Clients require innovative technologies that improve system performance while reducing operational and capital expenses,” said Jim Ganthier, vice president of marketing, Industry Standard Servers, HP. “By offering the PCI Express-based IO Accelerator on select HP ProLiant servers, clients can take advantage of accelerated application performance as well as optimized power usage.”

Now, HP Rack, Tower and BladeSystem customers can deploy the IO Accelerator wherever there is a need to accelerate performance of I/O intensive applications and workloads, including scaling virtual machine deployments, driving faster financial transactions, serving up Web content and accelerating database and data mining performance.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Samsung launches 50 series LED-backlit monitors

RIDGEFIELD PARK, USA: Samsung Electronics America Inc., a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Corp., has launched its line of 50 Series LED-backlit monitors. The displays, which range from 20 to 24 inches, combine top-flight image quality, design leadership, and are created to be ecologically responsible throughout their life cycle.

“The 50 Series LED monitors redefine what a desktop display should deliver to users,” said Young Bae, director of display marketing Samsung Information Technology Division.

“Samsung created this family with the complete user experience in mind. These monitors deliver top-quality images and, with a slim 19mm profile, elegant housing and sophisticated Touch of Color gray bezel, are just as attractive on the eye when turned off. Samsung has also incorporated a range of design features to reduce energy consumption and make the monitors fully recyclable. This ensures that the 50 Series’ footprint on the environment is as small as on the user’s desktop.”

Kingston Digital announces USB security partnership with BlockMaster

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, USA: Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, announced that it will partner with security company BlockMaster and provide greater availability of centrally managed USB drives, which makes it easier to protect information on-the-move.

The partnership further strengthens both companies' positions in the secure USB Flash drive market.

"Kingston has been looking at partnering with a firm that specializes in USB management software as our customers have expressed interest in secure USB management solutions for some time," said John Terpening, business manager, secure USB products, Kingston.

"After looking into several companies in that market, Kingston concluded that BlockMaster would be an optimal choice. We are confident that the partnership will facilitate the sharing and development of the necessary technology to provide USB products with advanced secure management to our corporate customers."

BlockMaster is well known for its USB security solutions, including the centralized USB management software, SafeConsole, which offers organizations the ability to remotely manage USB drives by resetting passwords, configuring password policy and activating audit for compliance procedures. With this partnership, Kingston will be offering its customers a centrally manageable version of its DataTraveler Vault – Privacy Edition utilizing BlockMaster's technology to provide complete control over USB drives.

"BlockMaster has been considering various strategies to extend the reach for our SafeConsole product in all markets and concluded, like Kingston, that partnering would be an effective approach," said Daniel Ostner, CEO, BlockMaster.

"Kingston was on top of our list with their strong global presence. We are confident that the joint offering will bring great value and impact to the marketplace as it will make managed secure USB drives available to a greater number of organizations. It will also usher in a new level of awareness of USB security, which is critical as workforces become more mobile and transport more corporate information outside the protection of the corporate network."

Future plans include Kingston rolling out a version of its DataTraveler Vault – Privacy Edition that requires management by BlockMaster's SafeConsole server software to activate the drive. This product will be able to address the strictest security requirements of the market, ensuring that the drive will not work unless managed. The launch of this product is scheduled for Q3, 2010.

The partnership does not affect current available BlockMaster product offerings. As the partnership develops, BlockMaster will remain focused on the development and distribution of their SafeStick technology and the management platform SafeConsole; and Kingston will continue to focus on their core competency in this area, the manufacturing and distribution of secure USB drives.

Toshiba and Trek establish Forum to promote SD Cards embedding wireless communication functions

TOKYO, JAPAN: Toshiba Corp. has announced the launch of an industry forum to promote a new SD card that integrates Wi-Fi wireless communication with data storage capabilities. The forum, the "Standard Promotion Forum for Memory Cards Embedding WLAN has been founded by Toshiba and Singapore-based Trek 2000 International Ltd.

In recent years, as digital cameras have achieved huge rates of market penetration, the need for quick and easy way to share photographs has grown. The new card offers an innovative solution that brings new capabilities to the already very popular SDHC format.

The card is designed to bring Wi-Fi functionality to digital still cameras that have an SDHC slot. Once in a camera, a card can recognize and communicate with the same type of card in another camera (on a one-to-one basis), and users can exchange photographs quickly and easily. It also allows users to upload and download photographs to and from a server without any need for a cable connection or transfers of the memory card.

The new card is compliant with the SD memory card standard, supports IEEE 802.11b/g and has an 8-gigabyte capacity. It can transfer both JPEG and RAW images, the two most widely used digital formats.

Toshiba and Trek will invite the participation of digital camera manufacturers and other interested parties in promoting the card, and in exchanges of technical information toward establishing standard specifications and expanding the use of the card.

Toshiba is a market leader in the development and manufacture of NAND flash memory, which is indispensable for today's personal digital devices. The company seeks to enhance and expand its memory business by proposing new applications for NAND flash memories.

Features of SD card embedding wireless communication functions
* The ability to send and receive image data among digital still cameras equipped with an SDHC slot and the card.
* Upload and downloads of digital photographs between a digital still camera equipped with an SDHC slot and the card, and in a Wi-Fi environment, and a server.
* User management of image transmission and reception minimizes power consumption compared with current solution.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Motion’s complete line of Tablet PCs feature advanced security capabilities including Intel Anti-Theft technology

AUSTIN & NATIONAL HARBOR, USA: Motion Computing announced from the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit that the complete line of Motion Tablet PCs now feature the new Intel Core vPro Processors for enhanced security, performance and manageability. In collaboration with Intel, Motion has added support for Intel Anti-Theft Technology (Intel AT) which helps deter theft, and protect valuable data in the event that a tablet is lost or stolen.

“Enterprises are realizing significant operational benefits by equipping mobile workers with devices that through real time access to information improve customer service, team collaboration, revenue and more,” said Mike Stinson, VP of Marketing, Motion Computing. “Motion is committed to ensuring that our customers can continue to reap the rewards of mobile productivity by ensuring that our tablet PCs can be secure and protected.”

The Motion C5v Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA), and the rugged F5v and J3500 Tablet PCs are now available with the Intel Core i5 vPro Processor or the Intel Core i7 vPro Processor.

In addition to significantly enhancing performance, the hardware includes Intel Anti-Theft Technology with built-in intelligence to disable the tablet in the event that it is lost or stolen. The technology, which can be used with or without a connection to the Internet or a corporate network, helps IT teams protect laptop data by blocking the operating systems from loading and/or disabling access to encryption keys.

“Motion Computing is taking advantage of Intel Anti-Theft Technology to deliver innovative slate tablet PCs that give IT the ability to disable lost or stolen devices,” said Anand Pashupathy, General Manager, Anti-Theft Services Business Unit, Intel PC Client Group. “With this advanced capability, enterprises can deploy Motion’s highly mobile computing solutions with more confidence, knowing that Intel Anti-Theft Technology is helping protect the devices."

In addition to rendering a device inoperable in the event that it is lost or stolen, Intel AT also allows IT managers to re-activate and restore a recovered device to full functionality without damage to the hardware or data. Through a pre-provisioned passphrase or by a recovery token generated by IT, recovered tablet PC’s can quickly be put back into use. The hardware-strengthened features of Intel AT are managed via security software solutions when paired with an Intel AT-enabled PC.

inPoint Lightning app promotes outdoor safety with first Geo-located lightning alerts for iPhone

MADISON, USA: Coinciding with this year's Lightning Safety week, June 21-June 27, Weather Central's division launches 2010 PinPoint Lightning, the only iPhone application with live lightning strike data and alert notifications.

2010 PinPoint Lightning is the first app to register cloud-to-ground lightning strikes within 30 miles of a user's geo-located position and deliver rapid alerts enabling people to take immediate action to ensure their safety.

From June 21-July 5, 2010, is donating 10 percent of PinPoint Lightning's net sales to the Lightning Protection Institute, a non-profit lightning safety organization. The app is available via the iTunes store.

Pinpoint Lightning uses patent-pending technology to identify a lightning strike's location by latitude and longitude, and then determine the nearest street intersection. The app sends alerts - displaying the time of lightning strikes and their distance from the user's current location. Immediately following these alerts the user sees a street level view of the most recent strike and a display with specific information; for example, "Lightning Strike, 1200 Main Street, 2 miles NW from Your Location at 2:06 PM."

In addition to geo-located notifications, the app is equipped with animated local and national radar displays as well as various terrain options. With the ability to save up to 10 locations, this application helps individuals make informed decisions about lightning dangers not only for themselves, but for loved ones as well. (Note: The App is operational in the Continental U.S. and Canada only and where a data connection is available.)

"Nearly 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes occur each year and it takes just one to change someone's life in an instant." stated Terry Kelly, Weather Central Chairman and CEO. "Weather Central is proud to be on the cutting edge of safety with the very first geo-located lightning application. Whether you're a parent, teacher, construction worker, coach, manager, pilot, golfer or grandparent, PinPoint Lightning will help you to make informed decisions during dangerous weather situations."

Lightning is the most deadly weather event on the planet, surpassing both tornadoes and hurricanes in yearly death toll averages for the past 30 years*. During the first half of 2010, lightning has killed seven individuals and injured 69 others.** With severe weather season underway, it's more important than ever to protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of lightning.

AIS releases fanless industrial Windows CE touch panel computer

IRVINE, USA: American Industrial Systems Inc. (AIS) has introduced a robust 5.7” Industrial Windows CE Touch Computer that provides Microsoft CE based industry operator panel PC and graphic OIT to meet the toughest industrial requirements concerning performance, ultra-low power consumption, shock, vibration and temperature resistance in a single, low-cost, economical, small form factor system.

It would be ideally deployed in automation, building management, and operator HMI applications. The AIS 5.7” operator interface panel is designed with an IP64 protected front panel with touchscreen for sealing out dust and water in environmentally challenging conditions.

The open platform human machine interface utilizes a 520MHz RISC-based processor providing high performance and extreme low power consumption. Additionally, a rugged solid state 1GB of storage and embedded Windows CE 5.0 is preloaded on the system.

Staying connected is simple with built-in WiFi 802.11b/g connectivity eliminating the need to run additional cables. The high brightness LCD display with touchscreen interface allows intelligent user interaction for graphical display automation, monitoring, and control.

These embedded HMI systems are encased in waterproof and dustproof enclosures to ensure complete all-weather protection capable of operating under extreme temperatures from -20 to 60 degrees C. VESA standard mounting holes are available on every unit for easy deployment into any installation. Whether your application requires a commercial off the shelf (COTS) unit, or a fully customized HMI Panel PC, AIS has the flexibility to meet your requirements.

VAR pricing starting at $399.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Arbitron announces next gen electronic audience measurement: PPM 360

COLUMBIA, USA: Arbitron Inc. has announced the PPM 360 technology, its new generation of audience measurement, a flexible, convenient solution to measuring media by extending the Portable People Meter (PPM technology onto a wireless platform.

By migrating to a wireless platform, Arbitron is better able to follow the media habits of on-the-go consumers. This new approach lays the foundation for the development of future applications for the patented, proprietary PPM technology on multiple consumer devices.

"This innovative approach further liberates audience measurement from the home and enables media, brands and marketers to follow the mobile consumer more closely – which is particularly important for brands appealing to younger demographics," said William Kerr, president and CEO, Arbitron. "This platform is designed to be an integrated component to our existing radio services and drive future innovation for media measurement."

The new device design resembles a simple cell phone and is sleeker and smaller than the current meter. The inclusion of cellular wireless technology in the meter eliminates the need for an in-home docking station and a communications hub, creating an enhanced, streamlined experience for a panelist.

The meter is ready out-of-the-box and can be charged with a simple USB cord. Arbitron can communicate with panelists through a text screen on the meter. It also retains a motion detector to monitor compliance, similar to previous versions of the PPM meter.

"The PPM 360 technology is a combined approach to measurement and data retrieval that enables future development of applications for multi-platform measurement, including cell phones, wireless devices and computers providing flexibility for future services that better reflect the industry need to follow the consumer," said Taymoor Arshi, Chief Technology Officer, Arbitron Inc. "Our new technology is designed to position us to meet the research needs of a network, station or advertiser, including seeing data closer to a major event."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Kobo releases first global eBook reader and store for Android

TORONTO, CANADA: Kobo, a global eReading service, today announced availability on Android-enabled smartphones. Just like other Kobo applications, Kobo for Android is designed to provide the best eReading experience to customers around the world. This announcement furthers Kobo’s goal of delivering any book on any device. The service’s open standards mean that customers can access and read their books from a variety of devices.

“Now the fastest-growing mobile platform, Android has many new devices that are great for eReading and we’re excited to deliver Kobo to the millions of Android users around the world,” said Kobo CEO, Michael Serbinis. “We've adapted the features our customers love and expect from Kobo to ensure that we provide the best reading experience for Android-enabled smartphones. In the near future, Kobo will support other Android-enabled devices such as tablets, netbooks and eReaders.”

Kobo is available for free on Android smartphones through the Android Market. Kobo supports the ePUB standard including rich text and images, offering a top-quality reading experience. Existing Kobo users can login to their Kobo account and start reading their books right away.

Additionally, there are over 2 million eBooks available for download through the Kobo store, including hundreds of thousands of free titles, classics, and today’s hottest bestsellers.

Kobo has developed a strong global following for their eReading service, which includes free apps for the iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Android, as well as the Kobo eReader. Now Android users can login to their existing Kobo account and download the eBooks they’ve already purchased at no additional cost.

Further, a Kobo user’s library and bookmarks are automatically synchronized across all the applications and the Kobo eReader offering a seamless Kobo reading experience on any Kobo-enabled device.

Prime View International (PVI) is now E Ink Holdings Inc.

HSINCHU, TAIWAN & CAMBRIDGE, USA: Yuan Tai Technologies Inc. announced that it has changed the international version of its name from Prime View International (PVI) to E Ink Holdings Inc. (E Ink).

This change was approved at the Annual General Meeting held today. With this change Yuan Tai Technologies reaffirms its strong commitment to ePaper, an industry that it has pioneered for over a decade.

E Ink Holdings will offer its ePaper products under the brand name ‘E Ink’ and its LCD products under the brand name ‘Hydis’. With over 20 million electronic paper displays in the field, the company’s E Ink-branded ePaper displays are used in applications such as eBooks, eNewspapers, eTextbooks, Wristwatches, Smart Cards, Shelf Labels, Battery/Memory Indicators, Mobile Phones, Public Information and Promotional Signs.

E Ink’s Hydis-branded Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology is regarded as the best wide view LCD in its class and is ideally suited for applications such as Televisions, Mobile Phones, Gaming Devices, Tablet PCs, GPS and Navigation systems.

“The E Ink name is synonymous with the ePaper industry that we pioneered and in which we enjoy a leadership position,” said Dr. Scott Liu, Chairman and CEO of E Ink Holdings. “We are now a globally recognized brand name and aim to have our displays on every smart surface.”

E Ink is continuing to make major investments in research, development and capacity expansion to support the growing demand for its LCD and ePaper products.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Harris' Apex M2X broadcast exciter supports DVB-T2 standard

WINNERSH, ENGLAND: Harris Corp. announced that its Apex M2X software-defined broadcast exciter now supports the next-generation DVB-T2 digital terrestrial transmission standard.

Support for the new standard was made possible via a software licensing agreement with the BBC, the largest broadcasting organization in the world.

"BBC Research & Development was at the heart of the evolution of the DVB-T2 standard and was involved in the first worldwide implementation," said Phil Argyris, vice president, Transmission Systems, Harris Broadcast Communications. "The DVB-T2 standard has been talked about in the industry for years. Now, through the joint efforts of BBC and Harris, this capability is a reality for our Apex M2X customers."

The DVB-T2 standard delivers efficiencies of 30-50 percent in its use of spectrum compared to the DVB-T standard. Global broadcasters are showing strong interest in using DVB-T2 in order to gain significant transmission efficiency improvements, allowing for increased capabilities for high definition, mobile and multicast content while reducing costs.

"The Apex M2X exciter was designed from the start to accommodate evolving standards such as DVB-T2 via a simple software upgrade, enabling customers to seamlessly migrate to DVB-T2 cost effectively and on their individual schedules," said Argyris.

"This announcement is the latest example of the Harris commitment to providing broadcasters with the technology they need to support new standards and make the most of their bandwidth."

Launched in 2008, the Apex M2X exciter works across a wide spectrum of frequencies including UHF, VHF and L band. In addition to DVB-T2, the exciter also supports ATSC, ATSC M/H, DVBT/H, ISDB-Tb, FLO, CTTB, DAB, DMB, CMMB and a wide range of analogue TV standards, including NTSC and PAL.

Harris Broadcast Communications offers products, systems and services that provide interoperable workflow solutions for broadcast, cable, satellite and out-of-home networks. The Harris ONE solution brings together highly integrated and cost-effective products that enable advanced media workflows for emerging content delivery business models.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

iPad and competitors spur touch screen boom — pave way for wider PC usage

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Driven by soaring sales of Apple Inc.’s iPad and competing products, shipments of touch screens for such systems are set to rise by nearly 5,000 percent in 2010, according to iSuppli Corp.

Global shipments of touch-screen systems for slate-type devices are expected to rise to 8.9 million units in 2010, up from just 176,000 in 2009, according to iSuppli. Shipments then will rise by a factor of seven to reach 63.9 million units in 2013.

The figure presents iSuppli’s forecast of worldwide shipments of touch screens for slates.Source: iSuppli, USA.

iSuppli defines slates, the fastest growing segment of the tablet PC market, as tablet computers constructed in a single, unhinged form factor, similar to a child’s chalkboard slate, from which the term is derived. While early versions of these units, designed for medical and construction markets, included a physical keyboard, the market is now dominated by touch driven display centric units, with no physical keyboard.

“The rising popularity of slates is setting off a conflagration in touch screen technology, firing up not only the long-dormant tablet computer market but also all-in-one PCs, desktops and monitors,” said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitors and sustainability displays for iSuppli.

Fast growth in 2010
Touch screen demand has been growing in the PC market in recent years, increasing at a rate of more than 26 percent in 2008 and 52 percent in 2009, substantially faster growth rates than in the overall system market.

However, those growth rates are dwarfed by the expected 242 percent expansion of the personal computer touch screen market in 2010. Slate computers are the primary initial driver in the PC touch revolution, projected to grow from 3.8 percent of the PC touch market in 2009 to 56.2 percent in 2010, as the overall PC touch screen market triples in size.

Clearing the slate
In many ways the majority of the initial slate offerings have more in common with smart phones than with their convertible tablet predecessors. Primarily consumption devices, both slates and smart phones rely on mobile operating systems to provide instant-on and easy access to readily consumable content. Apple, as the early market leader, has clearly put substantial forethought into how to design its touch doors. That marriage of hardware design and seductive content is likely to keep Apple in the lead through the initial years of the slate market.

“Challenging Apple’s lead will take more than offering a less expensive alternative,” Alexander added. “Tomorrow’s market leader will need a mix of superior industrial design, compelling applications and an expanded touch interface—all delivered in an ever-more affordable package. However, competitors are gearing up for a fight, as demonstrated by Hewlett-Packard’s recent acquisition of Palm Inc., Google Inc.’s acquisition of BumpTop, and the acquisition by of TouchCo.”

The right touch
Pre-iPad, most of the slate PCs on the market relied on either active digitizers or resistive screens for touch functionality. Projected capacitive screens, which only appeared in this market in 2008, had a very small share. As the select technology of market leader Apple, projected capacitive has now shot to the lead, eclipsing the competition.

Nonetheless, digitizers and resistive markets continue to grow and both of these technologies as well as others still in the development stage take increasing shares of the market in the coming years, as vendors attempt to differentiate their products through function and cost.

Most of the current offerings are limited to two-finger touch, enabling users to touch, slide and easily expand or shrink images. While this represents a marked expansion of what users experience on your average ATM, it is a comparatively primitive version of the rapidly expanding touch universe.

Entry of the slate
“Slates are providing the most dramatic entry for touch screen technology in the PC space, but all of the other markets—netbooks, notebooks, monitors and all-in-one computers—are embracing touch, albeit at a slower pace,” Alexander said. “And although early favorites in the touch technologies are emerging, the field remains wide open.

Today’s market leaders in the personal computing space—projected capacitive in slates as well as optical imaging in monitors and all-in-ones—are recent entrants to the touch environment and are still vulnerable to established alternatives and technologies just now emerging onto the market. The revolution has officially begun, and mice may soon be headed the way of dinosaur.”

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Seans Media builds India's first H.264-based cable service with Envivio video head-end compression solution

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Envivio announced that Seans Media—a subsidiary of Aerolex Cablenet and a leading digital cable TV service provider in Bangalore, India—has used an Envivio video head-end to launch India’s first digital cable service featuring high-efficiency H.264 video encoding.

Compared to traditional MPEG-2, the Envivio head-end reduces the amount of bandwidth Seans Media needs to deliver each of its channels to subscribers, freeing capacity for the service to expand its HD and SD channel lineup, while maintaining the highest quality video to satisfy its discriminating customers.

“The Envivio head-end gives us a significant competitive advantage,” said Pratap Wadhwa, managing director of Seans Media. “Increasing the number and variety of channels we offer is important for attracting and retaining subscribers. The excellent video quality delivered by Envivio’s compression system ensures that they love the way the service looks.”

Seans Media is able to deliver each channel using as little as 1.6 Mbps without impacting video quality even for demanding content like live sports channels thanks to the Envivio video head-end. The all IP design of the Envivio system, along with the ability to directly ingest baseband video, eliminates the need for costly, quality-impacting interfaces. The solution also provides Seans Media with the flexibility to adapt to future requirements. Envivio encoders support all Three Screens of consumer video—TVs, PCs and mobile devices—from a single platform with the ability to take multiple channels of content and encode them simultaneously to deliver multiple mobile TV profiles, multiple Internet TV profiles, or SD and HD IPTV profiles.

“Seans Media has made an important investment in customer satisfaction,” said Envivio President and CEO Julien Signès, “ensuring that they will deliver the variety of entertainment its customers want while ensuring outstanding picture quality for both its SD and HD channels. The Envivio head-end addresses their current goals while providing a solid foundation for the introduction of exciting new services in the future.”

Envivio head-end solutions provide cable operators with the flexibility and capability they need to compete in an increasingly diverse marketplace. Advanced compression liberates bandwidth, enabling operators to increase the variety of HD and SD channels they deliver over their existing network infrastructure. Envivio Convergence head-ends are a solid foundation for expansion, providing support for delivery of high quality video to mobile phone and Internet-connected devices.

AuthenTec’s new smart sensor adds multiple touch-powered functions to two new Fujitsu handsets from NTT DOCOMO

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: AuthenTec, a leading provider of security, identity management and touch control solutions, announced that its new AES1750 smart sensor has been integrated into two new mobile phones from NTT DOCOMO, the waterproof docomo PRIME series F-06B and docomo STYLE series F-07B.

AuthenTec’s AES1750 smart sensor, built around the Company’s durable TouchStone™ packaging, brings convenient one-touch security and multi-functional control to these new handsets which are now available in Japan.

The AES1750 smart sensor enhances touch-powered features of these mobile phones by giving users full navigation capabilities as well as the ability to quickly and securely lock and unlock the phone with the simple swipe of a finger.

This high performance, low power smart sensor combines multiple touch-powered functions in an elegant, one-half millimeter thickness, yet highly durable package that is easy to integrate in mobile phones, tablet PCs, remote controls, digital cameras, smartbooks, and other consumer electronic products.

”Our goal was to create a family of mobile phones tailored to the various lifestyles of end users, and we believe that the addition of AuthenTec’s smart fingerprint sensor to our new F-06B and F-07B models helps provide differentiating features that will help make these phones more personal and secure,” said Katsumi Takada, general manager for the Mobile Phone Group of Fujitsu.

“We are very pleased to build on our longstanding relationship with fingerprint technology leader AuthenTec, and believe that their new multi-function Smart Sensor solutions are a strong addition to the many human-sensing functions of these new mobile phones.”

“We worked very closely with Fujitsu to understand sensor requirements for their newest lifestyle phones -- including size, durability and cosmetic appearance in a central touch control -- and believe that we achieved our mutual goals with the seamless integration of the AES1750 smart sensor in the F-06B and F-07B,” said Masatoshi Morishita, AuthenTec Vice President and President of AuthenTec KK, Japan.

“We are honored to support NTT DOCOMO and Fujitsu on the launch of their 21st and 22nd mobile phone models to incorporate AuthenTec’s TruePrint technology, and we look forward to further expanding their leadership in mobile phone innovation through the continued evolution and expansion of our smart sensors and solutions.”

The AES1750 is the first sensor to take full advantage of AuthenTec’s new TouchStone packaging technology, which provides a perfectly flat, uniformly colored surface for a smooth feel and enhanced aesthetics, and is the first sensor to fully integrate AuthenTec’s TrueNav technology on chip.

TrueNav provides enhanced touch control functions such as precise cursor positioning, turbo scrolling, and full touchpad emulation, allowing smartphone and mobile device makers to replace a wide array of single function mechanical devices like track balls, touch pads, scroll wheels, and optical joysticks with a significantly thinner component that also offers enhanced security and personalization features for end users.

The waterproof docomo PRIME series F-06B is one of the world’s first mobile phones capable of shooting full HD (1920×1080) video, even under water, via its built-in 13.2 megapixel camera. The F-06B is a horizontally-rotating, slide style phone that is also equipped with a 3.5-inch LCD full wide VGA display and supports GPS, HSDPA, GSM, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

The F-06B is also equipped with a 3D motion sensor, and a map searching application which includes a new address search function, making it even more convenient for users to navigate. It meets IPX5/7/8 designations for water resistance, including capability of normal function even when submersed in water to a depth of 1.5 meters for 30 minutes.

The docomo STYLE series F-07B is a 14.8mm-thin, horizontally rotating clamshell mobile phone equipped with a 12.2 megapixel camera, 3.3-inch LCD full wide VGA display that enables split-screen viewing for simultaneous TV viewing and Internet access via an integrated, full-featured browser. It supports GPS, HSDPA, GSM, and Bluetooth connectivity and offers the same functions as the PRIME series F-06B.

AuthenTec is an ISO9001-certified provider of fingerprint sensors and solutions with complete solutions for security, identity management and touch control via its new smart sensor hardware, software, and client applications as well as new products and IP from the Company’s recent acquisition of SafeNet’s Embedded Security Solutions Division.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Muzak, BrightSign rollout small business digital signage solutions

CHARLOTTE, USA: Muzak, the leading provider of music, messaging and video for business, announced today a revolutionary new Digital Signage product: the Encompass DS. The new product represents everything the Digital Signage industry has been waiting for, by combining a small, simple device, premium rich HD content and nationwide service and support-all at an affordable price.

“We've closely evaluated the Digital Signage market for several years, paying specific attention to the market's wide range of use cases,” said Christopher Williams, Executive Vice President of Muzak Media. “While the very sophisticated solutions get the most attention, we felt that a simpler, more elegant solution was missing. The combined specialties of Muzak, BrightSign and Scala have created a truly unique solution that will satisfy the needs of today's savvy business owners.”

The Encompass DS was developed in partnership with BrightSign, a leader in video hardware, and Scala, one of the world's largest digital signage companies. The partnership creates strategic opportunities by uniting premium content, leading technology and nationwide support for the very first time.

Compelling, effective content was once a barrier to those without a large marketing budget. With the Encompass DS, options are diverse, dynamic and affordable. Users can log in from any Internet-connected computer to manage and monitor their content quickly and simply. With 1,000 unique content-rich feeds from top weather, news and fashion outlets including The New York Times and People Magazine, and dozens of easily customizable templates, users now have the power to create custom rich content plans in minutes.

“We're honored that Muzak selected BrightSign technology for the new Encompass DS,” said Jeff Hastings, BrightSign CEO. “The solid-state hardware platform we developed for Encompass DS is based on BrightSign's HD210 network-enabled player.”

Muzak customers expect quality and performance-and the Encompass DS delivers, with full HD video and premium-quality images, all without the complexity of a PC-based solution. With no moving parts, the controller is also more reliable, more affordable and offers a lower operating cost. The hardware for the Encompass DS weighs just 20 ounces and measures a mere 6.6''(w) x 5.9''(h) x 1.2''(d), making it easy to ship and small enough to deploy virtually anywhere.

“We've spent the last 18 months improving every facet of Muzak-with a specific emphasis on our products and service”, said Steve Villa, CEO of Muzak. “The launch of the Encompass DS is another proud milestone for our company.”

Entropic congratulates MoCA for ratification of MoCA 2.0 standard

SAN DIEGO, USA: Entropic Communications Inc., a leading provider of silicon and software solutions to enable connected home entertainment, has congratulated MoCA on the ratification of the highly anticipated MoCA 2.0 standard.

With the announcement of the new specification, vendors involved in connected home entertainment implementations can be assured of future-proofing prior MoCA investments, while meeting insatiable consumer demands for greater reliability and increased bandwidth, which are required for the delivery of high-speed, high definition (HD) video, multimedia and data services throughout the home.

"We applaud the Multimedia over Coax Alliance for their work on this vital standard that offers service providers a path to realizing future requirements for higher bandwidth services and home networking architectures," said Tom Lookabaugh, CTO, Entropic Communications.

"This is an important milestone in connected home entertainment, as major service providers worldwide are beginning to bring to market compelling new services, such as multi-room DVR, broadband extension and PC-to-TV connectivity, that will provide consumers with more robust, satisfying whole-home networking experiences. Additionally, as service providers look to the future for deploying a gateway-client architecture, the evolution of the standard to MoCA 2.0 will be a necessity."

As a founding member and original architect of the MoCA standard, Entropic is proud to be part of the industry standards body which is establishing and delivering higher reliability and performance benchmarks, as compared to other connectivity options available for the distribution of whole-home video and other multimedia entertainment over coaxial cable.

Ratification of the MoCA 2.0 specification ensures service providers and original equipment manufacturers can capitalize on their MoCA investments through backward compatibility with current MoCA 1.1/1.0 products. The new specification ensures consumers can enjoy the benefits of what MoCA delivers - including support for multiple streams of HD video, at speeds greater than 400 Mbps net throughput with a 500 Mbps Turbo mode for point-to-point applications. Furthermore, with MoCA 2.0, users will gain an unparalleled experience via parameterized quality of service (PQoS) across all three pay TV segments - cable, satellite, and IPTV.

Having shipped more than 30 million MoCA 1.1/1.0 chipsets, Entropic's field-proven MoCA silicon is integrated into products deployed by DIRECTV, Verizon FiOS, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, and Rogers Cable.

MoCA ratifies next generation specification

SAN RAMON, USA: MoCA, the worldwide standard for home entertainment networking, has ratified its next-generation specification, MoCA 2.0.

MoCA 2.0 offers two performance modes, Basic and Enhanced, with 400 Mbps and 800 Mbps net throughputs (MAC), using 700 Mbps and 1.4 Gbps PHY rates, respectively. For point-to-point WAN applications, performance can be optimized for two node networks with Basic mode delivering 500 Mbps net throughput (MAC) and Enhanced mode providing 1 Gbps net throughput.

The new specification also features an expanded operating frequency range to serve an even broader array of use cases and two network wide, low power-saving modes.

Essential to the specification is its full backward interoperability with MoCA 1.1/1.0, enabling operators to capitalize on their MoCA investment and future proof their networks to deliver the next level in high performance and highly reliable home networking.

"MoCA 1.1 meets the bandwidth and reliability requirements of service providers today. MoCA 2.0 addresses the requirements of operators and their subscribers in the future," said Charles Cerino, president of MoCA.

MoCA is the only home networking technology standard endorsed by all three pay TV segments: cable, satellite and IPTV. MoCA 1.0 and 1.1 are already deployed in millions of households.

"Performance becomes ever more critical as service providers add higher-bandwidth applications to their service offerings," said Dr. Anton Monk, VP of Technology at Entropic Communications and MoCA CTO. "MoCA 2.0 will feature unrivaled performance and reliability and MoCA continues to be the networking technology of choice for today's and tomorrow's home entertainment network."

MoCA 2.0 technical highlights:
* Net throughput (MAC) rates of 400 Mbps (baseline mode) and 800 Mbps (enhanced mode), up from 175 Mbps for MoCA 1.1, with turbo modes at each level. PHY rates are 700 Mbps and 1.4 Gbps, respectively.

* More than doubling the performance of MoCA 1.1 the 400 Mbps baseline level is achieved through higher levels of modulation and expansion of the operating channel bandwidth to 100 MHz from the current 50 MHz. Enhanced mode performance of 800 Mbps is made possible through channel bonding.

* To assure an even more robust and satisfying customer experience, the packet error rate (PER) has been improved to one packet error in 100 million. The PER mode is programmable on a per flow basis and can be assigned depending on the necessity of content. On time delivery is assured with an average latency of less than 3.5ms across all received packets and traffic profiles.

* The addition of sleep and stand-by modes for networked devices helps manufacturers and operators comply with worldwide energy reduction initiatives.

* Expanded operating frequency range of 500 MHz to 1650 MHz enables all types of pay-TV providers to provide advanced home entertainment networking simultaneously with devices and services already in use on the same coaxial cable.

Full backward-interoperability with MoCA 1.0 and 1.1 protects investment in current equipment. MoCA 1.0 and 1.1-based devices continue to operate at full speed even when MoCA 2.0-based devices are on the network.

Strong mainstream notebook sales, emerging market growth likely to help propel PC market to 20 percent growth in 2010

FRAMINGHAM, USA: On the heels of an exceptional fourth quarter in 2009, global PC shipments followed suit with year-on-year growth of 27.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010.

A measured, albeit sometimes bumpy economic recovery, coupled with strong buying across both Commercial and Consumer segments quashed earlier fears of consumer fatigue and led to a renewed projection for strong 2010 growth of 19.8 percent, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

Unlike most of 2009, the recent market recovery has also seen a small rebound in higher priced SKUs as Mininotebook PCs (also known as netbooks) became less of a driver of volume. Although low to mid-range Portable PCs still dominate the market, Desktop PCs also recovered with its first yearly growth since the second quarter of 2008.

Commercial Desktops posted positive growth, a first since the downturn, while the popularity of All-in-One PCs was a major factor in driving Consumer Desktop growth. Growth was positive across both mature and emerging markets but emerging regions saw a record high 37 percent year-over-year growth in the first quarter. The strong surge in volume brought a corresponding slowing of price declines over the past year. A combination of improved commercial activity and a renewed interest in mainstream notebooks led to a moderation of ASP decline rates.

Going forward, IDC expects PC market revenue in 2010 to surpass that of the previous revenue peak set in 2008 as more purchases shift to higher margin SKUs. Mininotebook PC volume growth is expected to moderate, and its share as a percent of the total PC market is expected to stay under 12 percent.

Desktop PC volume should grow over 8 percent in 2010 thanks in part to favorable comparisons to a dismal 2009 but also due to business replacements and the popularity of All-in-One PCs. The main driver of growth will come from mainstream notebooks.

Emerging regions are still expected to anchor much of the growth ahead, growing 26.6 percent in 2010 on the strength of strong Portable PC sales. Mature markets should see 2010 come in at 13.6 percent, with desktops rebounding slightly in 2010 over 2009. Portable PCs will remain the driver of growth across consumer and commercial segments, reaching nearly 70 percent share of PCs by 2012.

"Beyond continuing with the market recovery, 2010 will be a year filled with new formulations on what constitutes the PC experience," said Jay Chou, research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

"New devices such as e-readers and media tablets will pose disruptive challenges to conventional usage models while opening up intriguing possibilities in consumer and mobile business spaces. Aside from brute computing power, the value proposition of the PC will be increasingly measured by the flexibility with which it can meet the demands of content creation and content consumption as well as achieving optimal portability."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Samsung takes lead in US LCD-TV market in Q1

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. in the first quarter of 2010 regained the leading position in the US LCD-TV market, as the company capitalized on rising consumer demand for TV sets with advanced features, including LED-backlighting, built-in Internet connectivity and 3-D images, according to iSuppli Corp.

Samsung in the first quarter shipped 1.1 million LCD-TV sets in the United States. While this was down 33 percent from the fourth quarter, Samsung actually outperformed the overall US LCD-TV market, which contracted by 35.8 percent sequentially due to seasonal factors. This allowed Samsung to increase its market share to 18 percent in the first quarter, up from 17.3 percent in the fourth quarter, giving it the top position in the US market.

“The year 2010 marks a major transition period for the US LCD-TV market, when consumers increasingly are gravitating toward sets with more advanced features,” said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst, television systems, for iSuppli. “With Samsung at the forefront of trends including LED backlighting and 3-D, the company has been able to outperform the market and its closest competitors.”

Samsung of South Korea retook the lead from US-based brand Vizio Inc., whose unit shipments declined by 42.2 percent sequentially in the first quarter. Vizio and Samsung have been engaged in a tight race for leadership in the US LCD-TV market, with the two companies frequently swapping the No. 1 position from quarter to quarter.

Samsung held a 1.3 percent point lead over Vizio in the first quarter of 2010, the same margin in which Vizio led Samsung in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The table presents iSuppli’s ranking of the Top 5 LCD-TV brands in the first quarter based on unit shipments.Source: iSuppli, USA.

The sequential decline in LCD-TV shipments follows the normal seasonal pattern of sales peaking in the fourth-quarter holiday season and falling to the low point of the year in the first quarter. Most LCD-TV brands used the first quarter as an opportunity to clear out inventories of older model sets to make way for new products.

Many new models with enhanced features were introduced during the first quarter that are in tune with 2010 product trends. With the addition of new feature-rich models to the product mix, the average price of LCD-TVs in the United States increased by 7 percent $830 in the first quarter of 2010, up from $774 in the fourth quarter of 2009. Overall pricing tends to decrease on a sequential basis, making this increase a notable event.

The US LCD-TV market in 2010 is set to undergo a rapid transition away from traditional Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps (CCFLs) and toward LED backlighting technology. Shipments of LED-backlit LCD-TVs in the United States are projected to rise to 7.7 million units in 2010, up about 600 percent from 1.1 million in 2009. LED-backlit models will account for nearly one-quarter of all US LCD-TV shipments in 2010, at 23.4 percent, up from only 3.4 percent in 2009.

Meanwhile, Internet-Enabled Televisions (IETVs) are attracting consumer interest, with US shipments expected to rise to 11.8 million units in 2010, up from 6.9 million in 2009.

Among the US consumers that purchased new televisions in the first quarter, 26.8 percent indicated their new sets were connected to the Internet, either though the internal capabilities of their TVs or via external devices, such as digital video boxes or game consoles. This is up from 24.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009. Over time, IETVs will account for a rising portion of Internet connectivity in televisions.The most popular types of Internet content accessed by consumers are movies and social networking services.

US shipments of 3-D TVs—introduced to the market for the first time in March—are expected to reach 1.45 to1.5 million units In 2010, thanks to increasing acceptance from enthusiastic early adopters.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Nexus solidly positioned to continue success in business video market

VALENCIA, USA: Nexus, a leading national solutions provider of advanced technologies and network integration, has announced that it is ready to hit the market with combined Cisco and TANDBERG Solutions.

Nexus was the first Advanced Technology Partner (ATP) in the United States to deploy Cisco TelePresence Systems (CTS) for production use internally. Today, Nexus is the first Cisco partner to "interoperate" its legacy video endpoints as it expands its portfolio over time.

Nexus is working towards achieving Platinum Certification with TANDBERG and anticipates attaining it by June 30th, 2010.

Nexus fully expects to drive the newly enhanced portfolio RIGHT NOW by accomplishing the following: fully trained its Sales, Pre-Sales, and Implementation teams as well as has the TANDBERG purchasing vehicles in place.

Nexus has also enhanced its Demo Capabilities through the following:
* Nexus integrated TANDBERG and Polycom into the Nexus Production Video Environment in November 2009 providing Full High Definition Interoperability.
* Nexus currently leverages Cisco TelePresence and TANDBERG infrastructure and endpoints for its production network.
* Nexus continues to be a leader in testing new Cisco video technologies (WebEx OneTouch, TelePresence Recording Studio, etc.).
Nexus continues to utilize its business-to-business video connection with Cisco.

Samsung launches Blu-ray drive combo with world’s fastest 12X read performance

SAN JOSE, USA: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd has announced its new Blu-ray disc (BD) Combo, the SH-B123 optical disk drive (ODD), which reads BD-ROMs at the world’s fastest speed of up to 12X, CDs at up to 48X, and DVDs at a maximum speed of 16X.

With Samsung’s new internal Blu-ray drive, users can watch HD movies on their PCs as well as record HD camcorder movies and HDTV broadcasting on DVDs with Samsung’s Cyberlink Powerproducer software provided in the BD combo package.

“As market demand and adoption of BDs, HDTVs and digital broadcasting accelerate, so has consumer interest in watching Blu-ray movies on personal computers,” said John Suh, Director of Samsung Semiconductor Inc. Optical Disc Drive Division Sales Team. “Samsung’s new BD combo drives can read BD discs, and read and write CD/DVD discs, providing consumers with a broad choice of HD movie sources on their computers.”

With Samsung’s Cyberlink Trutheater technology, consumers can upscale DVD resolution movies to full HD resolution. PCs can be verified if they are Blu-ray enabled by activating the Cyberlink BD advisor, also available in the package and via the Cyberlink homepage.

The new BD combo guarantees high reliability in BD play performance by utilizing two lenses and a two laser diode structure, which provide stable BD read, and DVD and CD read/ write performance. SACT (Spherical Abberation Compensation Technology) improves the quality of the read function on BD drives if the protective layer does not have a uniform thickness.

In addition, PSCT (Precision Step Control Technology) optimizes position control for the optical pick-up feature that requires small track pitch of BD drives. Samsung’s Firmware Live Update ensures users that they always have the latest BD drive firmware version.

Samsung’s BD drive, designed with an edgier look that sets it apart from conventional ODDs, features a chic mirror front door, blue LED and high-tech front bezel of the internal BD. The light and tiny casing not only reduces internal heat, but also contributes to low CO2 emissions by improving loading efficiency.

Like all the other Samsung ODDs, the BD drive is eco-friendly. The new drive features Aerodynamic Frame Design for low acoustic noise and it operates at a low-power consumption level that averages 25 percent lower power compared to comparable drives in the market. Moreover, the lead time is greatly improved, reducing the overall timeline 17 percent to 37 percent over previous models.

The SH-B123 BD Combo is manufactured with lead-free soldering technology. The drives are compliant to international environmental regulations that restrict the use of materials such as Pb, Cd, Cr+6, Hg, PBBs and PBDE.

The BD Combo provides a variety of speeds across different data media types including: 12X BD-ROM read, 8x BD R/RE/DL read, 48X CD-ROM, 40X CD-RW, 16X DVD±R recording, 12X DVD-RAM recording, 8X DVD±R Dual Layer recording, 8X DVD+RW recording and 6X DVD-RW recording.

Samsung’s new BD combo, the SH-B123, is available worldwide in July 2010.

Monday, June 14, 2010

ADT adds alarming tag to anti-theft tools for retailers

BOCA RATON, USA: ADT Security Services, the world’s largest electronic security company, announced the addition of an alarming tag to its line of anti-theft tools for retailers.

The new Alarming SuperTag has all of the features and protections of a regular anti-theft tag but offers the added security of an audible alarm from the tag to protect retail merchandise from shoplifting and theft. The tag adds a layer of protection and increases sales by keeping products in the open and readily available for purchase, thereby enhancing the shopping experience.

A small speaker in the tag emits an alarm if there is an attempt to remove the tag or in some cases to leave the store with the tagged merchandise. This is in addition to activating a system alarm at the exit if the tagged product is taken from the store.

The alarming tags are compatible with the Ultra•Max anti-theft systems offered by ADT and can be deactivated using the Ultra•Max SuperTag detacher. These tags allow retailers to protect high-end electronics, leather and luxury goods while keeping them out in the open instead of locking them in cabinets or chaining them to displays.

Part of the economic recovery for retail has included an increase in sales for luxury goods, according to Jeff Bean, vice president, Retail Sales and Operations for ADT.

“We are seeing an increased interest in protecting luxury goods while keeping them accessible and this product is perfect for that market,” he said. “Shoppers want to be able to look at products, try them on and fully experience them in the store, so we are constantly looking for new ways to protect merchandise while providing the consumer with the most satisfying shopping experience.”

Retailers have a choice of a two tone (2T) or three tone (3T) audio alarm tag and both tags are available in a tack or lanyard version for more flexibility in tagging items. Both the 2T and 3T tags emit an alarm if an attempt is made to remove the tag from the product and both tags also trigger a system alarm at the exit. In addition, the 3T tag also emits an alarm from its speaker if it is taken out of the store before being deactivated.

“The Alarming SuperTag will also alarm if it is not properly attached to merchandise, so it helps retailers to make sure that items are correctly tagged and fully protected when they reach the store floor,” said Bean.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

PFT & Display Taiwan 2010 bring on best of Taiwan photonics industry

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: In echo of the resurging development of Taiwan Photonics industry, the latest Photonics Festival in Taiwan/Display Taiwan incarnation will be on stage with the largest scale ever. More than 600 exhibitors have registered for the Photonics Festival in Taiwan and Display Taiwan. The space booked in the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1, second floor, and TICC exceeds that of the previous show in 2009 to reach 1,580 booths.

Grouping four exhibitions — OPTO/ LED Lighting/ SOLAR/ OPTICS Taiwan, the prominent photonic event is set to launch during June 9-11 2010. This year’s Photonics Festival in Taiwan again reflects the unstoppable trend to “GO GREEN.”

Through the specially-organized areas such as “Green Photonics Cluster” and “Taiwan HCPV Cluster Zone” photonic technologies that help save energy, lower pollution, generate or conserve energy will be fully presented. The other spotlights of the exposition will be shown in “Advanced Photonics Research Zone,” “Touch Panel Zone,” “E-paper Zone,” and “Outstanding Photonics Product Award,” showing new ideas and technical solutions from all areas of photonics and from all over the world.

LED Lighting Taiwan 2010: Booming business
Taiwan’s LED and solar cell manufacturers have managed to capture leading positions worldwide. Taiwan LED production volume stands as the world’s largest, while ranking second in value.

On the other hand, the capacity of Taiwan solar cell tops the world’s third largest with 3,285 MW, while the production value ranks No. 4 worldwide. Taking pride in such outstanding performance, Taiwan industry players again bring on the best in Photonics Festival in Taiwan 2010.

Filled with key manufacturers, LED Lighting Taiwan is a must-see exposition in 2010. Not only will the big brand name companies such as Osram, Cree, Philips Lumileds and Panasonic exhibit their latest and innovative products, leading LED manufacturers including Epistar, LiteOn, Everlight, Edison, Delta, Kingbright, Tyntek, Neo-neon, Topco Sientific, Oasistek, and Forepi will also present a complete range of lighting technologies, together showing the bright performance of Taiwan’s LED industry.

The impact of several of China’s LED installation projects is apparent in the whole LED industry and makes cooperation with China LED companies an important issue. This year the show organizer PIDA invites China Semiconductor Lighting Industrialization Base to come attend LED Lighting Taiwan to spark off cross-strait cooperations.

Also, with positive responses from last year, the Cross Strait Photonics Show in Photonics Festival in Taiwan will continue to serve as a networking platform to bring out future connections for both China and Taiwan manufacturers.

Apart from the show, a special LED lighting night tour is arranged in Taiwan’s landmark skyscraper — Taipei 101. Taipei 101 had announced to seek gold-level LEED certification to be the world’s tallest green building, and was taking one of its approaches to replace its lighting system into LED lights. The night tour in Taipei 101 not only displays the GREEN image of Taiwan, but demonstrates Taiwan’s strength in industry integrations from upstream manufacturing all the way down to downstream application.

Solar Taiwan 2010: A greener Taiwan
Again, this year, exhibitors of Solar Taiwan 2010 will bring out the development leaps in PV technologies. Well-known companies including Pillar, M-Com, Nisshinbo, Veeco, and Edwards join the show to prove their market potentials and competitiveness. This gather-up not only makes the show a carnival of edge-cutting component, material, equipment, and technologies in the current PV industry, but also enhances the cooperation between local and global PV industry.

Regarding Taiwan’s strength in research and development, it is best demonstrated through the specially-planned initiatives “Advanced Photonics Research Zone.” This zone presents the most pioneering photonic technologies developed from Taiwan academia, serving a channel to connect industry players and academia.

Further, Solar Taiwan 2010 will bring together the three most important science parks in the specific area “Green Photonics Cluster.” This cluster features the synergy and cluster effect among industry players. Exhibitors in this area include Delsolar, Lof Solar, Gintech, CNJT, King Enertech, and Coretronic. “Taiwan HCPV Cluster Zone,” on the other hand, represents the comprehensive industry chain of Taiwan HCPV industry in miniature with a real HCPV system on site. Exhibitors will include Arima Eco Energy, Everphoton, PCM, M-Com and INER.

Over 150 conference topics
The 2010 Market & Technology Trend Conference is scheduled to be held together with the Photonics Festival in Taiwan and Display Taiwan exhibitions, and features renowned speakers from all around the world.

In the 6th International Conference in LED Lighting Taiwan 2010, speakers and hosts from Osram, Cree, Delta, Philips, and Nichia will give insightful analysis on topics over all facets of LED technologies and market trends. To name a few, the technical adviser of the international program “Lighting Africa” which provides lamps for children in Africa will bring a whole new market view to all participants.

As LED is getting closer to end users’ market, LED’s success hinges on the cooperation and integration of players among different fields. In 2010 Vertical Integration Strategies in Solid State Lighting, experts from LED, architecture, interior design, and fixtures will all gather up to talk over strategies of vertical integration in Solid State Lighting. Meanwhile, speakers in Forum of Cooperation Opportunities of Cross-Strait Photonics Industry will deliver the market potential in China photonic field.

In the 4th International Conference in Solar Taiwan 2010, speakers over Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and China are going to share with the audience their thoughts on the current regional PV development. Updates on advancement of edge-cutting technologies such as CIGS, H, c-Si, HCPV, polysilicon will also be a can-not-miss session during the exposition.

In response to the “GO GREEN” theme in the show, the International Green Photonics Forum with the topic “From Green Photonics to Low Carbon Society” addresses issues on how photonics technologies are used to improve the sustainability of environment worldwide. Speakers of the forum are key persons from OITDA, OIDA, EPIC, SOA, and OpTech-Net and will share their experiences in promoting green photonic technologies.

Display Taiwan 2010: Display the future of FPD
Display Taiwan 2010, Asia’s leading trade fair for flat panel display and technology, opens its doors concurrently with Photonics Festival in Taiwan during June 9th to 11th as the only innovation platform of its kind. Over 200 exhibitors amounting to about 550 booths will again prove Taiwan as the production base in the FPD industry.

This year’s Display Taiwan includes some exciting and significant progress in display imaging and some innovative products. Touch panels and E-papers, with an explosive growth in 2010, are set to specific zones to demonstrate the surging market.

Touch Panel Zone will be clustered with companies of the whole spectrum of touch panel industry chain, while Taiwan-based companies taking charge of four mainstream E-paper technologies will gather up in the E-paper Zone to showcase the current breakthrough of each technology.

Other key highlights exhibits include 3D, OLED, large-sized displays, and materials and components of the related areas. Leading companies in FPD industry such as AUO, CPT, Corning, 3M, NAKAN, Elan, PVI, SPG, and Nissan Chemical are expected to bring the most edge-cutting technologies and products in the 2010 show.

Besides the attractions of the trade show, the crowds will also be drawn by the Display Taiwan 2010 Business & Technology Forum which takes place in conjunction with the exposition. Speakers from leading companies will engage in a spirited in-depth discussion surrounding some of the current trends in the display market.

Also, due to the fast growing market in China, the organizers plan a special session targeting market and technological development in China, inviting speakers from China academia and industry to update the current status of China FPD industry.

Bringing more vitality to the industry
Apart from the exhibition itself, PIDA also presents special events such as the Opening Ceremony, Outstanding Photonics Product Award, Welcome Reception Party, Exhibitors’ Seminar, and Business Match Meeting to help promote this annual event.

In addition to 20 delegations from China coming to join the exposition, 30 international buyers from Japan, Korea, Singapore, India, Turkey, USA, Canada, UAE, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, UK, and Australia will participate in the show to procure Taiwan-manufactured LED/PV products as well as to explore future business opportunities. Over 300 procurement meetings held onsite are expected to bring strong business demands for Taiwan industry players.

The Photonics Festival in Taiwan and Display Taiwan 2010 not only show the strong performance of the Taiwan photonics industry, but also provide an ideal promotion platform for global companies. Each year, more and more buyers from overseas have gathered in the exhibition hall to witness the advancement of the Taiwan photonics industry and to seize the business opportunities there. The two paired events this year will again be spectacular and definitely bring an amazing success for everyone in the photonic industry.