Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Capital spending spurs LCD panel oversupply

EL SEGUNDO, USA: In a race to build bigger and better next-generation fabs, large-sized LCD panel manufacturers in 2010 are set to boost their spending on capacity expansions by more than 40 percent —triggering an oversupply of LCD panels, according to iSuppli Corp.

For the Top 13 large-sized LCD panel makers, capital expenditures in 2010 are forecasted to reach $16.9 billion, up a hefty 43.2 percent from $11.8 billion in 2009. This follows a decline of 29.3 percent during the recession year of 2009.

The figure shows iSuppli’s forecast for capital expenditures among major large-sized LCD panel suppliers from 2005 to 2010. iSuppli defines large-sized LCD panels as those having a diagonal dimension of 10-inches and larger.Source: iSuppli, USA.

“The boom in capital expenditures—all designed to expand LCD panel production capacity— come in the wake of expected strong demand among consumers for larger-sized LCD-TVs and other specialized technology carried by flat-panel televisions, including 3-D and LED backlighting,” said Sweta Dash, senior director for LCD research at iSuppli. “However, the increase has put LCD panel production in overdrive, contributing to an excess in panel supply.”

The oversupply situation began in the second quarter. The market had been expected to enter state of tight supply in the third quarter as television brands increased ordering to prepare for the holiday season. However, because of high inventories in China in the second quarter, panel purchases in the third quarter are likely to be lower than previously predicted.

While the overall large-sized panel market is in a state of oversupply, there is a shortage of products that use LED backlights, Dash noted.

The strategy of capacity expansion from panel suppliers will lead to price reductions because of oversupply, and also will help to trigger market demand, especially for larger-sized TV panels, Dash added.

The LCD panel manufacturers with the projected highest capital expenditures for 2010 include the South Korean giants of LG Display, in first place with approximately $4.6 billion, and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., in second with $4.3 billion. Virtually tied in third place are Taiwan’s AU Optronics Corp. and Chimei Innolux Corp. (CMI), each with about $3.1 billion in capital spending.

For LCD panel suppliers, a higher level of capital spending is needed in order for them to grow or maintain valuable market share.

LG Display commanded the biggest portion of large-sized LCD panel unit shipments in the first quarter, at 24.9 percent. The company now is expanding its capacity at its advanced 8.5 generation LCD fabs.

Samsung, with 22.4 percent share of unit shipments, also is plowing capital outlay into adding more 8.5 generation capacity.

In terms of large-sized LCD panel revenue, however, the two Korean giants trade places, with Samsung ranked at the top and LG Display in second.

Global production by area for large-sized LCD panels is projected to rise significantly as more capacity comes online in 2010. Production by area for large-sized LCD panels will rise 7 percent sequentially during the fourth quarter of 2010, leading to a 44 percent annual expansion for the entire year. Growth then will continue unabated for the next year, with production by area increasing 16 percent in 2011.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Vulkano -- world's first universal and affordable video platform for smartphones, PC/Macs, iPads and TVs

SAN MATEO, USA: Monsoon Multimedia, a leading provider of video convergence products, today announced it is now taking pre-orders for Vulkano, which is shipping in early August 2010. Vulkano is a sleek consumer device as easy to set up as a video game console.

Vulkano is a tightly integrated hardware and software platform that has a powerful video processor and local storage. Vulkano in addition to replacing multiple boxes such as TiVo, Slingbox and Roku provides significant other benefits and energy savings, giving consumers tremendous performance at a low cost. Cost of a Vulkano ranges from $259 to $379, depending on storage capacity.

When connected to a set-top box and a TV, Vulkano enables a complete video experience across Android, Blackberry, iPhones, iPads, Macs, PCs and the living room TV. Vulkano allows users for the first time to experience their TV channels, videos and photos on whichever screen they want, when they want it. Vulkano will be sold through Monsoon's,, leading retailers and etailers, and through strategic OEMs.

By downloading a free software application on to their device from, or for iPhone/iPad from the Apple App store and installing a Vulkano, consumers can watch and control any home TV channel through a wired, Wi-Fi or 3G connection from anywhere in the world. They can schedule a recording through an included EPG (electronic program guide) and transfer and watch these recordings at any time on their TV, computers, smartphones or iPad type devices. Software players for PCs/Macs and iPads also come with Pause/Live functions.

Vulkano lets users watch YouTube on their big screen TV. Moreover, by using a technology called UPnP (Universal Plug n Play), Vulkano users can stream video and photos from their smartphones, computers and cameras wirelessly on to their living room TV without having to use messy cables. In the near future, Vulkano will offer free service upgrades such as Google TV, Yahoo! Widgets, Netflix, Hulu and others.

TV set-top boxes are commonplace in households today with over 210 million shipped in 2009 alone, according to analyst firm In-Stat. The fundamental flaw in nearly all set-top boxes is that they are "closed." Vulkano "opens" these boxes by allowing consumers to enjoy a total video experience on their smartphones, iPads, PCs and Macs, or access services such as Netflix or YouTube.

"The combination of mobile video recording on iPads/smartphones, viewing YouTube on big screen TV, DVR and Universal Plug and Play streaming changes the television and web video experience in ways never before imagined," said Colin Stiles, EVP Sales and Marketing at Monsoon.

"We are proud to the be first to deliver your live and recorded TV content immediately with a simple screen tap. Whether in your backyard or on an international flight, you'll have your favorite programming available anywhere, anytime - live or recorded."

"We designed Vulkano from the ground up to replace single purpose solutions, such as TiVo, Roku, Slingbox, etc.," said Steve Stone, CTO at Monsoon. "In the coming months we will be pushing new apps to Vulkano owners for free so they can rest assured that this is the first and last product they'll need for all their TV and Internet media needs."

Mobile Video Recording (MVR): By using Vulkano's unique MVR technology, consumers can schedule and record content from any TV channel on to the Vulkano's local storage and either on demand or automatically transfer the content to smartphones, computers or iPads/iPod touches. A wired, Wi-Fi or 3G connection is required and an included EPG can be used.

For instance, iPad owners can schedule a recording before going to sleep and have it automatically downloaded to the iPad. It is then ready for watching anytime, anywhere at a cafe, airport, airplane, office or in one's bed. Hundreds of recorded movies, sports events or TV shows can be stored on the 64GB iPad for viewing anytime. PC, Mac and iPad apps also come with Direct Record, Pause and Live functions.

Place Shifting Live TV: Consumers can watch and control their home TV or TiVo from anywhere in the world, including their home.

Digital Video Recording (DVR): Users can select programs to be recorded to the Vulkano SD card or optional hard drive, which can store over a thousand programs depending on memory size. Once recorded, the programs can be downloaded to computers, smartphones or played back on living room TVs. Vulkano also allows a consumer to schedule recordings through a TiVo or other DVRs that may be built into a set-top box.

Web Video: Vulkano supports YouTube content (up to 1080p) streaming and progressive downloading for a big screen TV experience. Future software releases will add support for Netflix, Cinema Now, Amazon and free media content providers. Yahoo! Widgets will be released later this year and Google TV early next year. A fully functional web browser with media extensions (including HTML5 media support) will be released later this year.

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP): Consumers can easily enjoy photos, video and music stored on smartphones, iPads, PCs and Macs on a big screen TV by deploying industry standard UPnP technology. This capability also enables multiple UPnP devices, such as video cameras, to play directly on the TV eliminating the tedious job of plugging and unplugging cables into the TV.

State of the industry
Hundreds of millions of TV set-top boxes worldwide are "closed" preventing consumers from accessing new services and exciting video experiences. Due to the cost and logistics involved in constantly upgrading these boxes, companies cannot keep pace with the rapid changes in technology. The result is an array of single feature boxes resolving specific issues.

Consumers today are saddled with paying for TiVo, Sling, Roku, Vudu, Apple TV and other single solutions to address their needs. This has led to a cluttered living room, multiple service fees and constant maintenance of multiple devices. They are also often difficult to install and can cost over a thousand dollars combined. Vulkano eliminates all of these issues while saving on power consumption.

Lenovo intros first value line of dual processor servers

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, USA: Lenovo has introduced three new ThinkServers to bring growing businesses, branch offices and managed service providers server technology that fits their performance needs and budgets.

With models starting under $900, the ThinkServer RD230, RD240 and TD230 mark Lenovo’s entrance into the value dual processor server market. The trio offers unexpected features for the price, such as remote management, energy saving configurations and advanced data protection.

“These new ThinkServers are changing the model in the value server market,” said Tom Ribble, director, ThinkServer Product Marketing, Lenovo. “Instead of offering customers expensive add-ons, we built in manageability and performance features, like remote management and hot swappable drives, that growing businesses need. And we did this while keeping prices extremely affordable.”

The RD230 and RD240 rack servers provide technologies that equip growing businesses to run mission critical applications and allow larger businesses to dedicate specific features to a server. Competitors typically offer these performance and manageability technologies as options to their models, adding several hundred dollars in incremental cost to the price.

The servers include these standard features:
* Built in advanced RAID for advanced data protection on the RD230.
* Web-enabled remote management tools to enable managed service providers to remotely monitor and manage their clients’ IT systems.
* Hot swappable hard drive storage to eliminate downtime and give IT managers flexibility in assigning data to specific locations.
* A DVD writer for a convenient way to install new applications.

The servers also offer the latest Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 series processors, helping them run 60 percent faster than legacy servers. With up to eight hard drives, eight TB of storage and dual power supplies, the slightly larger RD240 rack caters to businesses that need to run high performance database, transaction and other line of business applications.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Software vendors help drive touch screen revolution

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) are set to play a central role in the booming market for touch screens in mobile and desktop PCs , providing the differentiating features that will allow the interface technology to expand its appeal to new users and segments, according to iSuppli Corp.

Global production of touch screen modules for use in computers will soar to 117.9 million units in 2014, up from 15.8 million in 2010, iSuppli predicts. The attached figure presents iSuppli’s global production forecast of touch modules for use in computers, including desktops, mobile PCs, and slate and tablet devices.

“ISVs will be key partners in the touch revolution,” said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research for iSuppli. “With intense competition flaring up among the ISVs to develop the next, must-have touch application, the battle will help to promote the sales of touch screendevices—not only in the consumer realm but also in the critical commercial segment. Whether the applications are developed for Windows 7, Linux, Mac, or the wealth of mobile operating systems, the ISVs will drive much of the demand for touch applications.”

Application concentration
As Apple Inc. has demonstrated first with the iPhone and iPod—and now with the iPad—content is key in touch-centric products.

For their part, operating system providers are providing more of the building blocks that help incorporate touch applications, which in turn is driving ISV competition.

The most popular tablet solutions may not be those that offer the widest doors to almost everything that is available on the Web, Alexander said, but rather those that offer entry into exclusive doors, or applications, that are only available through that particular brand or operating system.

The initial popularity of the iPad is a good example of this approach, with its Apple-specific development effort. As competitors introduce products, expect to see more vendor specific application development, pairing the appeal of the device with device specific applications, Alexander added.

As vendors struggle to differentiate their products, content—as well as the way the device accesses such content—will prove to be as critical as the product’s industrial design.

Corporate customers
Corporate investment in extra options, such as touch, tends to be linked to productivity. For touch sales to increase dramatically in this sector, vendors must work closely with ISVs to develop solutions that focus on productivity improvements for business customers.

Hewlett-Packard Co., one of the market leaders in all-in-one touch solutions, has worked closely with vendors—such as Priscilla Boston—to develop programs that, for instance, allow users to move through its wedding gown selection and change the colors of the dress with a touch.

Some of the ISVs for corporate usage are likely to develop across platforms, ranging from programs initially developed for more mobile devices, to those that migrate into corporate and desktop usage, as users look to link the devices and move more seamlessly from one to the other.

The right touch
ISVs also are expected to play a major role in promoting new types of touch screen technologies that are suited for compelling applications.

The ease of touch has been a major consideration and was, no doubt, a key factor in Apple’s selection of projected capacitive technology for its products, Alexander noted. The simple light touch needed to activate the touch option was a primary consideration in the choice of this technology, allowing users to easily slide an image across the screen. Such an approach contrasts with the firmer touch required for resistive screens.

In the future, however, the initial advantage proffered by projected capacitive technology may be offset by one of the advantages of digital resistive touch solutions: the ability to detect pressure and provide different responses, depending on the intensity of the touch.

Much of the success of digital resistive will depend on application development and on how quickly ISVs move to incorporate additional touch options, such as pressure detection into their software design. Just a few of the possible future uses of pressure detection might include gaming, music, art and even business.

In business-oriented, resistive touch applications, ISVs could build multi-layer functionality into single-button solutions by allowing users to change the response—depending on how they touch the button. A light touch may open the initial menu, while a heavier touch allows the user to drill down to sub-menus.

“As software vendors explore the possibilities inherent in pressure sensitivity, such options are likely to become an increasingly important differentiator in the portable segment of the touch-screen-enabled PC market,” Alexander said. Favored solutions could emerge, such as the Digital Resistive touch screen from Stantum, and the Interpolating Force Sensitive Resistance (IFSR) technology from Touchco.

Regional accent
ISVs are likely to play a critical role in regional preferences as well. Lenovo, among others, will attempt to build on its strength as a regional leader in China via the introduction of its upcoming LePad tablet.

The LePad is designed to run a host of regional applications and work with local ISV developers crafting new applications specific to the device.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Connected TVs shipments surge, with forecasted growth to 119 million in 2014

SANTA CLARA, USA: The TV market is entering a new phase, as connected TVs hit the mainstream. According to the latest DisplaySearch Quarterly TV Design and Features Report, Internet connectivity has emerged as a key feature in TVs this year.

The report, which surveyed 2010 product ranges from leading brands, notes that 55 percent of TV models available across Japan, North America, Europe, China and India have Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) capability. Overall, this is expected to translate to over 45 million connected TV sets, 19 percent of flat panel TV shipments in 2010.

DisplaySearch forecasts the connected segment to reach 119 million units in 2014, accounting for 42 percent of all TVs shipped worldwide.

“We have seen DLNA as a solution in search of a problem for a long while, but with the surge in media streaming, the technology has found its place—creating business opportunities for TV set makers, broadcasters and retailers,” said Paul Gray, Director of TV Electronics Research.

“The Internet video battleground will take place in the living room, with all facets of the TV supply chain trying to stake claims. As a result, the competition is creating attractive new viewing choices for consumers, which underpins the value of the TV’s network connection.”

Fig. 1: DisplaySearch Connected TV Forecast (2009-2014)Source: Quarterly TV Design and Features Report.

DisplaySearch research also covers the progress made in the development of energy efficient TVs, as well as enabling technologies such as LED backlights, which are forecast to be in over 80 percent of LCD TVs shipped in 2014.

The report also provides an analysis of the latest energy regulations. “The 2013 California Energy Commission standard was seen as ambitious even last year; but some sets use only half the power necessary for compliance, a direct result of the shift in technology and increased design focus on energy,” Gray noted.

Source: DisplaySearch.

Acer launches S1 line of ultra-thin, space-saving displays

SAN JOSE, USA: Acer America has debuted a new line of ultra-thin LED monitors that feature an eco-friendly, space-conscious design. The new S1 series displays combine the latest LED technology with a slim 13mm to 15mm profile, making them ideal for users with limited space for work or entertainment.

The S1 series LED monitors come in a range of sizes, delivering excellent video performance and innovative display technologies to deliver crisp, clear images.

“In addition to the eye-catching design and crisp visual quality, the S1 series monitors were designed to be one of the slimmest monitors available today for consumers with a limited amount of desk space,” said Irene Chan, senior product marketing manager for peripherals, Acer America. “Another key consideration was designing a monitor that delivers low energy consumption and environmental impact.”

Designed with clean lines, a polished black display frame and rounded porcelain-like stand, the eye-catching S1 series is the perfect blend of sophistication and style. These modern looking displays are available in three sizes – 23-inch, 21.5-inch, 20-inch – and feature an ultra-slim profile, ranging from only 13 mm for the 20-inch to less than 15mm for the 21.5-inch and 23-inch models.

The S1 series of monitors leverages some key eco-friendly, energy-saving technologies. All of the S1 models feature white LED backlighting, which does not contain hazardous substances such as mercury or halogen gases, making it safer for the environment. Additionally, white LED technology consumes less power, providing up to 68 percent power savings to users.

All of the new displays are RoHS and ENERGY STAR 5.0 compliant, the latest and most widely used energy-conservation qualification, helping consumers streamline costs and preserve power while providing higher efficiency.

To further decrease the environmental impact of the displays, the Energy Star 5.0 specifications incorporates stringent energy consumption and power management requirements while in the “On” mode.

For consumers with community recycling programs, the environmentally-friendly monitors all come in highly recyclable packaging materials, with all major plastic components properly labeled with the composition code and recycling symbols to facilitate future recycling based on ISO 1043/11469 standards.

Qualcomm tops ABI Research commercial telematics in-cab hardware vendor matrix ranking

LONDON, UK: Qualcomm has been ranked at the top of the latest Vendor Matrix released by ABI Research.

Xata Corp. and Webtech Wireless claimed the second and third spots in the company’s most recent evaluation of worldwide Commercial Telematics In-Cab Hardware vendors.

The Vendor Matrix is an analytical tool developed by ABI Research to provide a clear understanding of vendors’ positions in specific markets. Vendors are assessed on the important parameters of “innovation” and “implementation” across several criteria unique to each vendor matrix.

Telematics practice director Dominique Bonte comments, “Qualcomm Enterprise Solutions maintains its top ranking thanks to its high market share, organizational health, regional coverage, quality and reliability, advanced commercial navigation functionality and its innovative MCP100/200 Mobile Computing Platform addressing the emerging demand for revenue-generating driver empowerment and productivity.”

Khronos drives rapid evolution of cross-platform 3D graphics with release of OpenGL 4.1 spec

LOS ANGELES, USA; SIGGRAPH 2010: The Khronos Group announced the immediate release of the OpenGL 4.1 specification, bringing the very latest graphics functionality to the most advanced and widely adopted cross-platform 2D and 3D graphics API (application programming interface).

OpenGL 4.1 is the sixth update to OpenGL specification in two years, continuing the rapid evolution of this royalty-free specification. This new version continues to maintain full backwards compatibility to enable developers to begin using new features whenever they choose, while portably accessing state-of-the-art GPU functionality across diverse operating systems and platforms.

The OpenGL 4.1 specification has been defined by the OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board) working group at Khronos, and includes the GLSL 4.10 update to the OpenGL Shading language and is accompanied by a number of extensions introducing cutting-edge functionality to the OpenGL standard.

New functionality in the core OpenGL 4.1 specification includes:

- Full compatibility with OpenGL ES 2.0 APIs for easier porting between mobile and desktop platforms;

- The ability to query and load a binary for shader program objects to save re-compilation time;

- The capability to bind programs individually to programmable stages for programming flexibility;

- 64-bit floating-point component vertex shader inputs for higher geometric precision;

- Multiple viewports for a rendering surface for increased rendering flexibility.

New ARB extensions introduced with OpenGL 4.1 include:

- OpenGL sync objects linked to OpenCL event objects for enhanced OpenCL interoperability;

- The ability to set stencil values in a fragment shader for enhanced rendering flexibility;

- Features to improve robustness, for example when running WebGL applications;

- Callback mechanisms to receive enhanced errors and warning messages.

Lastly, Khronos has simultaneously released a set of ARB extensions to enable as much OpenGL 4.1 core functionality as possible on previous generation GPU hardware; providing maximum flexibility and platform coverage for application developers.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

CTS awarded production program for new engine sensors

ELKHART, USA: CTS Corp. announced that CTS Automotive Products was awarded a production program for a new sensor to be introduced by a Japanese OEM for global light vehicle manufacture. This new program continues the outstanding working relationship that has been established between CTS and Japanese OEMs on a variety of automotive sensing needs.

The sensor is used as a key part of an advanced engine management system on gasoline engines for added fuel economy and improved emissions on small cars sold globally. Sensor production is anticipated to begin late 2011 with total revenues over the life of the five-year program to be approximately $5.0 million.

With constant market pressures to improve emissions, improve fuel economy and reduce engine costs, automotive manufacturers are increasingly relying on advanced sensors to meet these needs. CTS’ sensor will provide automotive OEMs with a cost-effective solution for higher accuracy requirements.

The awarded program is the first in a targeted effort to establish CTS as an advanced sensor supplier for all automotive OEMs utilizing a variety of engine management strategies. An important milestone has been reached as CTS has adapted its current sensor technologies into new automotive market segments.

Friday, July 23, 2010

CE industry to surpass $174 billion in 2010, reach record high by 2011

ARLINGTON, USA: The consumer electronics industry will exceed initial revenue projections for 2010, with growth of three percent over 2009 and overall shipment revenues of $174.9 billion in the United States, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced.

The semi-annual U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast (July 2010) also projects that industry shipment revenues will climb four percent to an all-time high of more than $182 billion by 2011.

“Innovation in the CE industry is driving consumer enthusiasm, orchestrating a turnaround for our industry and bolstering the overall U.S. economy,” said CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro. “The response to innovative new products like tablet computers and 3D displays, and continued growth of other product categories, illustrate that consumers love technology. The freedom to innovate delights consumers, sustains our industry and strengthens the economy.”

The latest forecast increases CEA’s estimates for 2010 shipment revenues, last updated in January of this year, by more than $9 billion. The CE industry will see three percent growth in 2010, up from an earlier projection of 0.3 percent.

Much of the growth across the industry can be attributed to a handful of product categories—3DTVs, smartphones, Blu-ray players, eReaders and mobile computing solutions, such as tablets—that will contribute billions of dollars to the industry’s bottom line this year.

“The January edition of the forecast was cautiously optimistic about the industry’s return to growth this year,” said Steve Koenig, CEA’s director of industry analysis. “Despite a relatively sluggish first half, these innovative product categories have generated a great deal of consumer interest. As a result, we see a stronger second half demand unfolding, and we anticipate a robust holiday quarter.”

The mobile computing category is expected to have a strong 2010 and become the primary revenue driver for the CE industry by 2011. CEA projects that mobile computing, which includes laptops, netbooks and tablet computers, will reach more than $26 billion in shipment revenues by next year. Most of the growth in the computing category will be driven by tablet PCs as more companies enter the marketplace.

As a category, wireless handsets are also seeing continued growth. CEA projects that by 2011, wireless handsets will contribute $26 billion to the industry’s bottom line. Smartphones continue to be the key driver, with more than 54 million units expected to ship in 2010, an increase of nearly 31 percent. By 2011, more than 66 million smartphones will ship to dealers, generating $19.6 billion in revenue.

According to the US Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast (July 2010), digital displays will continue to see major growth with increasing unit sales but slightly less revenue due to fierce pricing competition.

Shipments of 3D displays will increase to 2.1 million this year, doubling the original forecast in January, and shipment revenue will top $2.7 billion. By 2011, more than six million units are projected to be sold, generating more than $7 billion in revenue.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Olive Telecom launches OlivePad - VT100, India’s first 3.5G Pad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Olive Telecom, India’s leading convergence solutions device developer, has launched the OlivePad - VT100, India’s first 3.5G Pad.The device was unveiled by Arun Khanna, chairman, Olive Telecom David Hind, CEO, Olive Telecom, Americas and Artem Orange, CEO, Olive CIS/CEE.

After the successful launch of many Industry firsts including the OliveFrvrOn (India’s 1st Hybrid Phone), OliveZipbook (India’s 1st 3G embedded Netbook), OliveWiz (India’s 1st Triple SIM Qwerty device), OliveGenie (India’s 1st 3G Music Modem) and OLiveNexus (India’s 1st Pocket Router) Olive brings India to the forefront of convergence technology with the OlivePad.

Designed as a multi functional device, Olive Pad operates on an Android Operating System and supports 3.5G HSUPA, Wi-fi, and Bluetooth. With an inbuilt three mega pixel camera and a front camera, the Olive Pad can be used as a touch notebook allowing browsing, Multimedia, Instant Messaging and easy access to the world of social networking, GPS for maps and turn by turn directions, gaming console, an e- book reader, Television and it is also a Smart Phone allowing voice and Video Calling.

Arun Khanna, said: “At Olive, it has been our constant endeavor to create products driven by technology at the forefront. With this launch, we are bringing consumers to experience cutting edge technology that the world has been talking of. It is the true convergence device that brings together the Computer, Mobile Phone and Entertainment on one platform. The Olive Pad is aimed at today’s technology savvy generation who want easy on the move connectivity.”

Unveiling the new product, David Hind, CEO, Olive Telecom, Americas said: “We are excited to launch the much awaited OlivePad in India. This latest creation from Olive willbring revolution in the field of technology with its magical features & stylish looks. Our global consumers are going to love this device because of the experience that it provides.”

Artem Orange, CEO for Olive Telecom, CIS/CEE said: “ With Olive Pad we launch a new generation of mobile devices which become your true window to the world in your pocket. With the same concept, we will evolve into more and more convergence devices giving the same reach and affordable experience to customers in India and across the world. We have received tremendous response from operators and consumers in highly sophisticated markets of Central, Eastern Europe and Russia and expect to launch Olive Pad in that market in the near future.”

OlivePad is equipped with distinctive features which include flash support, mini USB port, Camera and a Smartphone.

The OlivePad will be available countrywide at all Croma stores from August.

The new Olive Convergence portfolio is complete with WCDMA, CDMA, GSM and EV-DO handsets and smart-phones, Mobile Computing Devices and Advanced data modems for wireless broadband.

Kapil Sibal unveils low cost access-cum-computing device

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Kapil Sibal, the Union Minister for human Resource Development, has unveiled a low cost computing-cum-access device, here today. The price of the device exhibited today is expected to be around $35 per piece, gradually dropping down to $20 and ultimately to $10 a piece.Since this effort of continuous reduction in price and enhancement in capabilities would require a constant endeavour for R&D, IIT Rajasthan and some other IITs and technical institutions are setting up research teams to cover a wide range of issues in achieving our ultimate goal in terms of price and quality.

The three cardinal principles of the Education Policy viz., access, equity and quality could be served well by providing connectivity to all colleges and universities, providing low cost and affordable access cum computing devices to students and teachers and providing high quality e-content free of cost to all learners in the Country. National Mission on Education through ICT (NMEICT) encompasses all the three elements.

Connectivity to Universities and Colleges has already started. Nearly 8500 Colleges in the country have already been connected, high quality e-content in various subjects is being created and under the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), nearly 500 web based and video courses are available and uploaded on “sakshat”, YouTube and NPTEL portals and another 1100 courses in various disciplines of engineering and science are getting generated in 4 quadrant approach.

The ministry started its efforts, subsequent to lukewarm response from known corporates in this sector, by holding discussions on this concept with a group of Professors / experts at IISc, Bangalore, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras and IIT Bombay. B.Tech and M.Tech students were guided to produce the mother board for such low cost devices with ample flexibility to change components.

One mother board design was generated under Ministry’s guidance in the B.Tech project of a student at VIT, Vellore. The cost of bill of material worked to $47 at that point of time. The PCB of the mother board was got fabricated at IIT Kanpur. It could be seen that by customising the device to the needs of learners across the country, and utilizing the processor capabilities of processors suitable for the purpose, it was possible to substantially reduce the prices of such access-cum-computing devices. Then started a wave of collaboration with such interested partners.

A number of teams have been moving back and forth independently, but constantly interacting with the HRD Ministry and improving upon design parameters and customization guidance for Indian students. The efforts of some of the teams working with those design philosophies were presented today.

The aim is to reach such devices to the students of colleges and Universities and to provide these institutions a host of choices of low cost access devices around Rs. 1,500/- ($35) or less in near future.

Annual netbook shipments will more than double by 2013

NEW YORK, USA: This year, almost 60 million netbooks are expected to ship worldwide. According to a new set of forecasts from ABI Research, almost double that number will be reaching global markets in 2013. This is the result of the rapid netbook market growth observed since the introduction of the new computer category in 2008, a trend which will only start to abate in 2014-2015.

As the netbook market matures, market shares are beginning to shift among vendors. Half a dozen vendors commanded 78 percent of the market in 2009. Acer and ASUS (which pioneered the whole netbook concept with its Eee PC) held almost equal one-third shares of the market in 2008, but ASUS didn’t maintain that lead and lost half of its market share in 2009.

“Instead of having a preeminent two,” notes principal analyst Jeff Orr, “it looks as if only Acer will continue to maintain its commanding lead; but at the same time there are more vendors competing head-to-head. Most of the others major names – HP, Dell, Lenovo – increased their market shares in 2009, while Samsung lost a couple of percentage points.”

With the market starting to settle into a stable shape, Orr expects that we’ll soon start to see “consolidation through attrition,” with some of the smaller players exiting the market. “Some firms saw netbooks as an entry point into the PC market. Gigabyte is one example. But with a 2009 market share falling to just 0.1 percent, Gigabyte might be advised to rethink that strategy. Other suppliers, such as the OLPC (One Laptop per Child) initiative, have been hit hard by the global recession.”

Consumer interest in netbooks shows no sign of waning, and the attraction remains the same: value rather than raw performance. Netbooks are not replacing laptops or PCs; they are being bought as complementary devices. Education remains a strong market driver, and the next several years will see very respectable continuing growth.

AKAI announces resurgence in the Indian market with new range of LED and LCD TVs

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Global Brands Enterprise Solutions Pvt Ltd has announced the resurgence of the AKAI brand in the Indian market. Akai, one of the largest Japanese consumer electronics brands with eight decades of lineage as a technology innovator in consumer electronics, announced its revival in the India market with the launch of its new range of ultra-slim LED, LCD HD and CRT TVs.

Founded in 1929, Tokyo, Japan, AKAI specializes in advanced quality home entertainment products in the audio and video arenas to create the best solutions in the market. AKAI's Indian product portfolio includes high-definition TVs; color TV, washing machines, microwave ovens, DVD and home theatre systems. The products are priced between Rs.2,490/- to Rs.55,000/-.The company is targeting Rs 435 crore turnover in the Indian market in the coming year.

Announcing the launch of the new range of TVs, Pranay Dhabhai, MD, AKAI India said: "We are very excited to re-introduce Akai in the Indian market as a part of the Global Brands' portfolio and are very optimistic about the resurgence of Akai in the high-growth Indian market. Globally, Akai is known for its value driven Japanese technology and design, and is today present Globally. Akai targets to become one of the prominent players in the Indian market in the coming years. The fast growing LEDs and LCDs will be a key growth driver for us in the Indian market.

"Understanding Indian consumer preferences and aspirational values AKAI’s new TV range represents the company’s efforts to continuously introduce new technologies for the Indian consumer."

The company launched three new models of LED TVs and five new models for LCD TVs. The ultra slim LEDs and LCDs TV range has special features like natura Light Technology with dynamic back light, brushed steel or high gloss finish, dynamic skin correction and motion compensation etc. Some models have Video USB, where without use of a DVD player, movies can run straight on the LED TV through USB drive.

The range also allows one to pack in sports, movies and games with an amazing backlit picture, amplified and enhanced surround sound, and the convenience of sleep timer and picture freeze. The range priced between Rs.17,990/- to Rs.54,990/-will be available in 24" (61cm), 32" (81cm) and 42" (107cm) screen sizes.

Dhabhai added: “AKAI’s new range will redefine the standards for design, viewing experience and energy efficiency in colour televisions. Recent trends in the world, call for screens with higher resolution for true representation of images on screen, therefore, we have introduced new range of High Definition LED and LCD TVs, and we aim to further accelerate this trend.’

Always committed to designing relevant and trendy products to compliment the changing, modern Indian lifestyle, the range has been expanded to a total of 8 line ups. These cutting edge TVs use LEDs and CCFL as their primary light source. Benefits of using LEDs include ultra-high contrast ratios, slim depths that allow for more artful designs, plus increased energy savings.

Even the range of CRT TVs launched have an advanced "Heath Platform" feature, which allows user to define the distance and viewing angle and the TV automatically adjusts to the best contrast, brightness and color, suitable for such viewing giving the best picture quality. This feature has been introduced in CRT TVs for the first time in India.

All CRT TVs use energy efficient Green ICs and Company is approaching BEE for getting star rating certifications for its range, which will be then be displayed on the products.

BrightSign, Philips full compatibility confirmed

SARATOGA, USA: BrightSign, one of the fastest growing players in the digital signage industry, has partnered with MMD, the exclusive marketer and reseller for Philips-branded LCD monitors and public signage solutions worldwide.

With the partnership, system integrators and solution providers have the assurance that BrightSign's ultra-compact, PC-less digital controllers have been tested with Philips slim public signage solutions featuring Philips Smart Insert and are fully compatible.

Combined, the players and displays provide a turnkey, high-definition digital signage solution with a lower total cost of ownership, substantial energy savings and easy upgrades. BrightSign's ability to tile and synchronize content across multiple displays with Philips' new 46” BDL 4681XU slim monitor was also confirmed.

Smart Insert is a revolutionary provision at the back of Philips display that allows BrightSign players to be inserted discreetly-- without adding inches to the depth of the display.

Developed by MMD, Smart Insert provides easy installation and operational flexibility while simplifying upgrades. Users can start with a stand-alone BrightSign player and can cost-effectively move up to a networked player without having to replace the complete display.

Vizag Seaport goes high tech with Axis network surveillance

BANGALORE, INDIA: Axis Communications has completed the first phase of its physical security solutions installation at the Vizag Seaport.

The migration to Axis network based surveillance system delivers the benefits of enhanced monitoring and operational alertness, enabling authorities to supervise port activities on a 24/7 basis with minimal manual intervention; in addition to serving as a powerful training tool to help new employees understand port functioning.

Axis Communications, which started its Indian operations in August 2007, is a leading provider of network video solutions for professional installations. The company’s customers in India include Chennai, Delhi and Hyderabad International Airports; D.Y. Patil Stadium in Mumbai and ITC Welcome Group Hotels.

The Vizag Seaport authorities decided to go in for a greenfield IP-based surveillance solution from Axis Communications. In the first phase, the port has installed 17 cameras to monitor the cargo handling operations and allied activities at the Vizag Seaport. The installation was implemented by Morcorp Solutions, a Hyderabad-based System Integration (SI) partner of Axis Communications.

The Vizag Sea Port terminal is part of Visakhapatnam Port - one of the 12 major ports in India. The port earlier had a completely manual security system with guards patrolling the port. With the International Ship & Port Security (ISPS) code coming into effect, port authorities decided to implement the Axis solution to address their need to enhance monitoring and surveillance capabilities.

“Our objective was to implement a surveillance system that goes beyond ensuring security and actually serves as a tool to help improve our operational efficiency,” said Mr Ragam Kishore, CEO, Vizag Sea Port Pvt Ltd. “The Axis surveillance system has helped us to achieve all this and more.”

“We are proud to partner with Vizag Seaport authorities as they take the leap from manual surveillance to IP-based digital surveillance,” said Prakash Prabhu, Country Manager, Axis Communications, India. “IP-based surveillance is the definitely the future and the benefits of using this go far beyond just ensuring heightened security. We are thrilled that Vizag Sea Port is able to reap the benefits of this implementation.”

The Implementation team had to take utmost care while installing the system at all critical locations due to the nature of the weather and applications sensitivity and also to ensure future friendly installation and minimal damage to the environment.

With 24/7 surveillance in place, most of the top level management has eyes and ears to all the locations without moving out of their offices.

Corning announces new capacity investments

CORNING, USA: Corning Inc. announced that its board of directors has approved a capital expenditure plan to expand the company’s LCD glass and Gorilla glass manufacturing in response to strong market demand.

The company will invest approximately $800 million to construct a new LCD glass substrate facility in the People’s Republic of China. With the support of the Beijing municipal government, Corning will locate the new facility in the Beijing Digital TV Industry Park within the Beijing Economic Technological Development Area.

The manufacturing plant will have up to Generation 8.5 glass-melting and finishing capabilities. Groundbreaking is planned for September of this year, with production slated to begin in the first half of 2012.

Corning’s investments will also include construction projects in other regions to expand capacity for two of its flagship products: EAGLE XG LCD glass substrates and Gorilla glass.

As previously announced, the company has restarted an expansion project at its Taichung (Taiwan) LCD glass facility and is ramping up idled capacity at its facility in Shizuoka, Japan to produce Gorilla glass for various applications. The company now intends to expand further in Taichung under the new capital expenditure plan, with additional capacity projected to come on line in the first half of 2012.

“These investments will position Corning to capture significant new sales opportunities from rapidly increasing demand for our Gorilla glass, while continuing to meet the demand for our EAGLE XG products,” Wendell P. Weeks, chairman and CEO, said.

Corning expects Gorilla glass sales to exceed $200 million this year in its Specialty Materials segment, and estimates that sales could reach approximately $1 billion annually by 2011. Gorilla glass is a protective cover glass that provides superior damage and scratch resistance on hundreds of models of handheld devices and smart phones.

“The need for additional Gorilla glass capacity is based in part on the product’s new application as a TV cover glass,” Weeks explained. “Gorilla glass has already been embraced by information technology and handheld device makers, and the addition of the TV cover glass application creates a tremendous opportunity for further growth.”

LCD substrate growth
James P. Clappin, president, Corning Display Technologies, Asia, said: “We continue to forecast strong growth for LCD glass for the next several years. This growth will be driven primarily by continued market penetration of LCD televisions, with significant gains in Asia and South America, and an accelerated technology replacement cycle in more mature global markets. Therefore, we are making the appropriate capacity investments to take advantage of this projected demand.

“China is not only one of the world’s leading consumers of LCD televisions; it is also poised to become a major producer of LCD panels for TV applications within the next several years. We are excited to be a part of this emerging market.”

“China is quickly becoming a leader in LCD panel development, and Corning will be well positioned to grow with the China market through these capacity expansions,” noted Eric S. Musser, CEO of Corning Greater China. “These investments, combined with our earlier announcement to expand production of auto emissions-control products and establish a life science presence in China, underscore Corning’s long-term commitment to the China market.”

The company noted that continued higher-than-expected retail demand for LCD televisions, laptops, and desktop computers has resulted in an improved outlook for these consumer electronic products throughout the remainder of the year. Therefore, Corning now believes that annual LCD glass demand could be at the higher end of its forecasted range of 2.9 billion square feet to 3.1 billion square feet this year.

As a result of these investments, Corning has increased its forecast of capital expenditures to approximately $1.2 billion this year, up from its previous estimate of $1 billion. The company also expects that capital expenditures in 2011 will be higher than this year’s current forecast. Corning will provide additional details on its investments during its second-quarter financial results investor conference call on Wednesday, July 28.

Samsung first to begin mass producing 2-Gigabit green DDR3 using 30nm class technology

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd has begun mass producing the industry’s first two-gigabit (Gb) Green DDR3 using 30 nanometer (nm) class process technology.

“We’re seeing a sharp rise in demand for DDR3 chips and are meeting that need with the timely introduction of 30nm-class Green DDR3 solutions,” said Soo-In Cho, president, Memory Division, Semiconductor Business, Samsung Electronics.

“Thirty nano-class DDR3 DRAM will deliver the most satisfying user experience possible, offering extremely high performance and reduced power consumption for PC and server applications designed to capitalize on new multi-core processors.”

Samsung’s 30nm-class 2Gb Green DDR3 chips provide the highest performance solution in the industry, based on an innovative circuit design. For server applications, memory modules can reach up to 1.866 gigabits per second (Gbps) at 1.35 volts, while PC modules can run at up to 2.133Gbps (1.5 volts), which is 3.5 times faster than DDR2 and 1.6 times faster than 50nm class DDR3.

Recent growth in the smartphone market has triggered a sharp increase in data usage, leading to heavier traffic in data centers. Samsung’s new 30nm-class DDR3 chip will provide memory solutions with the highest performance and lowest power levels to accommodate the new generation of servers optimized for cloud computing and virtualization. Power savings for most new server applications using 30nm DDR3 will be about 20 percent greater than applications that use 50nm-class DDR3.

In addition, when combined with new multi-core PC platforms, Samsung 30nm-class 4GB DDR3 solutions for PCs can operate 60 percent faster than two 50nm-class 2GB DDR3 solutions, using 65 percent less power.

Using the new 30nm-class process, the new chip provides a 155 percent overall increase in productivity over Samsung’s 50nm-class process.

With plans to also produce the new 30nm DDR3 chips in a 4Gb density by year end, Samsung will soon broaden its memory line-up with mass production of 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB 30nm-class RDIMMs for servers, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB UDIMMs for workstations and desktop PCs, plus 2GB, 4GB and 8GB SoDIMMs for notebooks and all-in-one desktops.

Axis launches HDTV-quality video surveillance kits for small-, medium-sized businesses

CHELMSFORD, USA: Axis Communications is introducing several bundled product offerings addressing the specific needs of small- and medium-sized businesses.

The new AXIS M Series digital video surveillance kits each consist of four network cameras and come complete with professional monitoring and recording software. The kits are easily expandable by tapping into Axis’ comprehensive portfolio of more than 50 compatible network camera models for any need.

The AXIS M10, AXIS M11 and AXIS M32 Series digital video surveillance kits include AXIS Camera Station software for monitoring and recording. The proven, professional-grade software can be installed on a standard PC and features automatic camera discovery and configuration, a flexible live view setup and an intuitive user interface. AXIS Camera Station is in use at more than 30,000 sites worldwide and available in 11 languages.

“With our new bundled AXIS M Series offerings, business owners get a complete solution for next-generation digital video surveillance at an affordable price,” said Fredrik Nilsson, general manager, Axis Communications Inc.

“The new camera kits can be mixed and matched and are ideal for small retail shops, office environments and the education sector. They provide the option of HDTV image quality for better identification and also enable business owners to remotely monitor their properties.”

Business owners can choose from seven different AXIS M Series kits to best meet their individual needs. The AXIS M3203 Network Camera kit features discreet fixed dome cameras with motion detection, audio detection and detection of camera tampering attempts like blocking or spray-painting.

The AXIS M1031-W Network Camera kit includes four wireless cameras that can detect movement in the dark and have two-way audio functionality. All AXIS M Series kits can be easily expanded by adding on additional Axis network cameras.

Sorenson Spark video decoder licensed by Pantech for inclusion in new mobile devices

SAN DIEGO, USA: Sorenson Media announced that Pantech Co. Ltd, has licensed the Sorenson Spark video decoder to be included in the company’s broad range of mobile devices. The Sorenson Spark decoder will give Pantech handset users access to the most comprehensive range of Internet video.

Pantech, one of Korea’s largest mobile phone manufacturers, is relied upon by carrier customers worldwide to deliver innovative and trendsetting handsets. By licensing Sorenson Spark, Pantech can offer its costumers the widest selection of Internet video available on the mobile Web. Sorenson Spark allows access to Internet video that is inaccessible with any other decoder.

Sorenson Spark is the industry’s most ubiquitous video codec and was the first codec used in Macromedia Flash, now Adobe Flash. Sorenson Spark enables mobile devices and other consumer products to playback the largest selection of videos on the Internet, including those on YouTube, the single largest online video destination site today.

“Pantech has established itself as a major global handset maker, and we are excited to have them join the growing list of licensees of the Spark decoder,” said Douglas Cebik, director of business development for Sorenson Media. “Pantech customers that want access to all of the video the Internet can offer will be able to enjoy full access with Sorenson Spark.”

“Sorenson Spark is recognized in the mobile device market as a leading provider of complete mobile video packages,” said Joon-Woo Lee, executive vice president for Pantech. “As we continue to incorporate the best software and other services into our products, Sorenson Spark was a good fit in helping us deliver an even more full video experience to our customers.”

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Continued double-digit growth for Asia/Pacific PC market in 2Q10

SINGAPORE & HONG KONG: IDC's preliminary results show that the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market grew 15 percent sequentially and 36 percent year-on-year in 2Q10 to reach 27 million units, with nearly all countries posting double-digit year-on-year growth rates.

The region was just 1 percent below forecast, as stronger-than-expected desktop PC shipments helped to offset the shortfall in portable PCs.

"Portable PC shipments in markets like China and Indonesia came in short of our aggressive forecasts this quarter," said Bryan Ma, Associate Vice President of Asia/Pacific Devices and Peripherals Research at IDC. "But heavy demand for notebooks will still be a key driver in the upcoming years despite potential competitive pressure coming from media tablets like Apple's iPad."

Fortunately, Thailand was able to recover more quickly than expected toward the end of the quarter as the political turmoil in the months prior subsided, thus helping the entire market there. Singapore was also on track despite earlier concerns about limited sales at the quarterly PC show.

"Hong Kong was a bit slow given early notebook purchases and channel stocking in the previous quarter," said Kathy Sin, Manager of Asia/Pacific Client Devices Research at IDC. "But the retail channel remains a key driver, with some vendors shipping heavy volumes toward the end of the quarter in order to prepare for the summer promotions.”

Lenovo continued to lead the region while rival HP continued its downward slide, in part as it came off its strong performance in China last year. The commercial sector helped Dell sustain its third-place position given the vendor's historical strengths in that space.

STB shipments up 9 percent in 2009 despite global slowdown

USA: Shipments of digital set-top boxes (STBs) and DVRs topped 200 million in 2009 as close to 50 million TV households adopted free-to-air (FTA) and pay-digital services.

According to the recently-published IMS Research report The World Market for Digital Set-top Boxes & iDTVs – 2010 Edition, the official count of 204 million STBs shipped in 2009 is within one percent of the shipment number originally forecast by IMS Research in the 2009 Edition of The World Market for Digital Set-top Boxes & iDTVs.

Growth in 2009 set-top box shipments can be attributed to analog terrestrial switch-off (ASO) in the United States and strong demand in emerging markets such as China and India. More than 27 million digital terrestrial set-top boxes, or 13 percent of world shipments, were shipped to the United States in 2009. Close to 30 percent of STBs shipped in 2009 went to Brazil, China, India, and Russia.

The world STB market has shifted slightly in response to the global economic slowdown, notes analyst Anna Maxbauer, co-author of The Worldwide Market for Digital Set-top Boxes & iDTVs. “Contractions of disposable income meant fewer households were able to adopt digital TV or upgrade to advanced services in 2009. Many operators delayed equipment upgrades, modified pricing, or focused on enhancing bundled offerings as a result.”

Demand for set-top boxes will remain strong in 2010, notes Maxbauer. “China’s digital cable and FTA satellite projects, digitization of TV households in emerging markets, and imminent ASOs in Europe will require tens of millions of additional set-top boxes in the next 18 months.”

Tektronix provides video content monitoring solution to Videotron

BANGALORE, INDIA: Tektronix announced that its Sentry digital content monitoring solution – part of the recent acquisition of Mixed Signals Inc. – has been selected by Videotron, an integrated communications company engaged in cable television, interactive multimedia development, Internet access services, cable telephony and wireless telephone service.

The solution will help ensure a superior viewing experience for Videotron subscribers.

“Videotron has a well-deserved reputation in the industry for both technical excellence and for its unswerving commitment to quality,” said Eric Conley, VP, Video Network Monitoring, Tektronix. “With the addition of Videotron, we continue to see the same rapid shift toward the Mixed Signals family of products from Tektronix in Canada that we have seen in the US, where nine of the 10 largest operators extensively use Tektronix monitoring solutions.”

After conducting an extensive evaluation of competing solutions, Videotron chose the Tektronix Sentry solution because of its ability to monitor their video quality and application carousels flawlessly, identifying and diagnosing service-affecting errors before they reach the subscriber.

Sentry utilizes innovative technology, like its advanced deep packet inspection, to continually dive deep into all the video programs flowing through a network to spot problems at the IP and MPEG layers, leaving no video or audio error undetected. Another key factor in Videotron selecting Sentry is its unique tru2way™ monitoring capabilities which dramatically simplify data delivery to set-top boxes via tru2way and other carousels.

“We chose the Tektronix Sentry offering to ensure continued delivery of programming with the exceptional picture and sound quality our subscribers have come to expect from Videotron,” said Alain Boissonnault, Senior Director of Digital Video Development for Videotron.

“As we expand our offerings with more HD programming and other advanced services, the chances for video and audio errors to occur grows, but with Sentry, we will be able to comprehensively monitor our content to catch and rectify errors quickly and with minimum fuss.”

With its testing complete, Videotron will begin its initial deployments of Sentry in its master headend in Montreal this summer. Sentry will be used to monitor programs as they are aggregated at the headend and prior to distribution to markets served by the master headend.

In this manner, Videotron will be able to identify video and audio errors that are already within the programming as it is received at the headend, as well as errors that are introduced when the programming is groomed, multiplexed, rate shaped and otherwise processed before being delivered to subscribers.

iSuppli hikes iPad forecast

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Amid indications that Apple Inc. is ratcheting up its iPad production targets to meet booming demand, iSuppli Corp. is ratcheting up its shipment forecast as well.

iSuppli now predicts Apple will ship 12.9 million iPads in 2010, an increase from the previous forecast issued April 2nd of 7.1 million units. Shipments will rise to 36.5 million in 2011 and 50.4 million in 2012, as presented in the figure.Source: iSuppli, USA.

“The iPad is shaping up to be the ‘Tickle Me Elmo’ of the 2010 holiday season, with product demand expected to vastly exceed available supply,” said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research for iSuppli.

“Apple has hiked its iPad manufacturing goals to suppliers across Asia. As iSuppli stated in its initial forecast, the key to continuing success will be how quickly Apple responds to issues as they arise and whether the company can align suppliers to meet demand needs. Apple’s acceleration of its component demand indicates that the company has raised its iPad production target for 2010. Our latest research indicates there is much higher production than previously expected for two key components: LCD panels and NAND flash.”

iSuppli’s original iPad forecast was by far the most aggressive outlook for the product among industry analysis and market research firms issuing outlooks at the time. iSuppli in April characterized its forecast as conservative, and noted that Apple could easily ship higher volumes. Subsequent events have shown iSuppli’s characterization to be correct.

iPad ad infinitum
“iSuppli believes that the only limitation on iPad sales now is production—and not demand,” Alexander said. “Apple has taken a very controlled approach introducing this product to new markets, with manufacturing limitations likely being the major inhibitor on how quickly iPad sales expand.”

iSuppli’s believes that Apple can hit the new unit sales figure within the 19 countries it has already announced for 2010 distribution.

Production injunction
Production capacity for the iPad’s projective capacitive screen is increasing daily with new vendors entering the market, expanding production at existing sites and improvements in yield rates at the established producers. While yields on the finished screens reportedly remain well below a desirable level of 90 percent, the expansion in capacity should provide sufficient touch panels to meet iSuppli’s iPad shipment target.

Arguably, Apple could further increase its 2010 production goals, but it risks sacrificing some quality control in that effort. At present, iSuppli estimates Apple will stay close to the existing production targets, leaving room for further expansion in 2011.

iPad on top
To drive continued sales growth, Apple undoubtedly will refresh the iPad’s features in April 2011. Likely additional changes will embrace an internal camera and expansion of the product line, potentially including additional screen sizes.

Nonetheless, with nearly 84 percent share in 2010, Apple’s iPad virtually owns the market, and the device is expected to dominate at least through 2012.

In comparison, much of the competition delayed launching rival offerings following the iPad debut to allow time to reconfigure products.

For their part, Asus and Acer are expected to release consumption tablets in the fourth quarter of 2010—joining the likes of Dell, JooJoo, and Germany’s WePad—but competition from Apple competitors is not expected to be significant before 2011, when Hewlett-Packard and others are expected to enter the fray.

To be sure, the major challenge for Apple competitors will revolve less around hardware but relate more to the suite of applications that can be paired with the hardware. Just like the iPhone, the rest of the market is feverishly playing catch-up to the iPad at this point.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Bandwidth caps a barrier to emerging Internet TV competition

EL SEGUNDO, USA: AT&T Inc.’s recent decision to implement broadband caps and charge extra fees for heavy data usage on wireless devices poses grave implications for potential media substitutes hoping to displace traditional TV, according to iSuppli Corp.

By discontinuing at the end of June its old phone plan allowing subscribers unlimited access, AT&T is seeking to limit the intensive data usage of smart phones such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone, as well as the new Apple iPad tablet. Going forward, however, the caps will make it difficult for any high-quality streaming application hoping to become a true TV substitute to get off the ground without the support of wireless operators.

“iSuppli believes that most of the emerging streaming Internet models are mistaken in postulating that they could displace, over time, traditional television and movie delivery mechanisms without paying for related network costs,” said William Kidd, director and principal analyst for financial services at iSuppli.

Meanwhile, new broadband subscribers worldwide are projected to rise in 2010 by 63.5 million, up 8.4 percent compared to total net additional subscribers of 58.5 million in 2009, affirming the ongoing strength of the broadband access market.

The figure shows the projected number of new broadband subscribers every quarter, spanning the first quarter of 2009 to the fourth quarter of 2010.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Last-mile providers still maintain tight grip on media recovery
Although broadband caps help properly price an access service for the small percentage of subscribers that take up a disproportionate share of network traffic—usually through their heavy use of data—streaming media presents unknown risks.
Such risks, Kidd believes, will compel broadband providers to increasingly implement caps in order to mitigate any long-term gambles that providers might have to take to make streaming media available to home and mobile environments.

At present, content can be streamed over TV from online service offerings such as Hulu and Netflix, or accessed through a device such as the PlayStation from Sony Corp. In addition, new-media business models continue to emerge with the introduction of new platforms that circumvent services currently provided by traditional cable or satellite pay-TV providers.

Kidd said that for the vast majority of data subscribers on a broadband network, caps will only become relevant if users viewed low-quality streaming media—say, a 200-kbps stream—on a wireless device for three hours, or if a standard-definition TV signal on a wired network was streamed for approximately 25 hours. By the same token, streaming a high-definition TV signal could put a user in cap trouble in just 7 hours on the wired network of Comcast Corp., the largest US cable operator and Internet service provider for the home.

Kidd also noted that although emerging new-media business models assume the Internet is changing the way people consume content—and in the process, creating an opening for content to be delivered and sold—all the models suffer from one basic weakness.

“These new-media business models imagine that they don’t have to pay the network through which their data traverse,” he said. “However, such a theory is directly at odds with the ambitions of cable and satellite-TV operators, which increasingly are unwilling to provide heavy data access through their networks for free—especially if a way can be found to monetize ongoing data traffic into viable revenue streams.”

In addition, new Internet-born content providers wrongfully take for granted that the way their largely free content has been consumed now also will apply in the future to premium services.

The assumption is a bad one, Kidd observed, because in order for consumers to consider the Internet as a true substitute for their big-screen TV, content would need to be comparable in both technical quality and entertainment value. And to achieve the same level of value, such content necessarily would be extremely bandwidth intensive.

As a result, for any number of these emerging TV-substitute models to work someday, one has to assume that the picture quality being proffered is acceptable for viewing on large-screen TVs.

“By implementing caps now that don’t impinge on the way subscribers use the Internet today, cable and telco operators are able to create for themselves an advantageous situation,” Kidd said. “Under these circumstances, emerging media competitors must work more directly with the network owners before getting their services off the ground—as opposed to around them, as they may have previously hoped.”

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Strong demand for in-home electricity information display

WELLINGBOROUGH, UK: A recent US and UK "Smart Home Energy Management" consumer survey from IMS Research found that over 90 percent of respondents wanted to be able to access and view current household electricity consumption data.

When asked which devices this data should be available on, the most popular options were either via a website, or on a separate in-home display device. Other devices selected by respondents included TVs and cellular handsets. Some wanted this information display to be integrated into in-home devices themselves, to show device-level consumption data.

This presents significant opportunities for companies that already provide in-home services, such as electricity providers, cable operators and ISPs.

Lisa Arrowsmith, Market Analyst for IMS Research, explains: “Satisfying this demand for electricity consumption data can provide a means for companies to differentiate themselves from competitors; reduce customer churn; and, in many cases, increase average revenue per user. For example, 60 percent of respondents who wanted electricity consumption data displayed on their TVs would be willing to pay a monthly subscription fee for this service.”

2010 media tablet shipment forecast boosted to 11 million

NEW YORK, USA: When ABI Research first examined the media tablet market, neither Apple’s iPad nor any other multinational-branded tablet had been released. Six months later, the firm has revisited its forecasts, almost tripling the original estimate to reach about 11 million tablets expected to ship by the end of 2010. Its long-term estimates, however, remain basically unchanged.

“Our forecast of 11 million media tablet shipments in 2010 is based both on the broader availability of the iPad and on the delayed introduction of competing products,” says ABI Research principal analyst Jeff Orr.

“Assuming that competing tablets from other vendors do arrive in the second half of the year as expected, we believe that the iPad will account for a significant portion – but not all – of the projected 11 million units. To capitalize on the usual fourth quarter sales boom, other tablets need to reach retailers’ shelves by early September.”

Orr suggests that the media tablet segment is still far short of a “mass market” and that a market size justifying that term probably won’t be reached before 2013. Much depends on Apple’s distribution reach, which is still quite limited, and the relative success of its eventual competitors.

A number of competing tablets were to have been launched by now, but the global recession, implementation of the most suitable operating system, and the challenge of matching the iPad’s user experience have all caused delays.

“The buzz around tablets has implications for other parts of the consumer electronics market,” Orr continues. “In particular, the surge in interest in media tablets is impacting the MID (Mobile Internet Device) category. Most of the volume that we’ve projected for the MID category since 2007 is now being taken over by other device form factors: media tablets, but also smartphones, which are assuming more and more of the functionality that was envisioned for these ‘non-voice handsets’.”

Dynasil acquires Hilger Crystal subsidiary of Newport

WEST BERLIN, USA: Dynasil Corp. of America announced the acquisition of Hilger Crystals Ltd, a leading manufacturer of synthetic crystals applicable to a wide range of industrial, medical, and homeland security applications.

Hilger’s parent company, Newport Corp., is a leading global supplier of lasers, photonics instrumentation, sub-micron positioning systems, vibration isolation, and optical components to customers in the scientific research, microelectronics, aerospace & defense and life & health sciences markets.

Hilger Crystals, located in Kent, England, has a long history of supplying reliable and high-quality synthetic crystals for infrared spectroscopy, X-ray and gamma ray detection. Applications for synthetic crystals include homeland security, medical imaging, oil exploration, chemical analysis and military.

Craig Dunham, CEO of Dynasil, commented: “By combining our technical depth in synthetic crystals with Hilger’s highly specialized expertise in the growth and manufacturing of crystals, we can accelerate the commercialization and distribution of our extensive technology portfolio. The acquisition of Hilger puts Dynasil in a strong position as a high quality manufacturer and supplier.

“The transaction exemplifies our growth strategy to acquire companies with strengths in complementary areas, which enables us to more quickly commercialize our new technology while expanding the scale and scope of our product line and distribution channels. We expect the acquisition to have a very positive impact on our Company’s revenue growth, profitability and earnings per share.”

The purchase price for Hilger is $4 million at closing with an additional payment of $0.75 million after 18 months which may be reduced or eliminated, contingent upon revenues for the first 18 months.

The entire $4 million purchase price at closing was funded using the existing acquisition line of credit with Sovereign/Santander Bank. Additional details regarding the acquisition will be outlined in Dynasil’s 8-K filing with the SEC.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

VESA launches DisplayPort cable adaptor certification program

NEWARK, USA: The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) announced the availability of certification testing and DisplayPort Certified Logo for Dual-mode DisplayPort cable adaptors.

Dual-mode cable adaptors allow a Dual-mode DisplayPort PC or graphics card to interoperate with DVI monitors and HDMI TVs. By launching the certification program, VESA enables consumers to easily identify cable adaptor products that have been tested and certified for proper operation via the DisplayPort Certified Logo on adaptor product packaging.

Certification testing is available for both DisplayPort-to-DVI and DisplayPort-to-HDMI Dual-mode cable adaptors. Certification testing is offered at no cost for VESA member companies through a contracted test lab. Certification testing is also available from Allion Test Labs in Taipei, Taiwan, and CESI Technology in Beijing, China for both member and non-member companies at a nominal fee.

The VESA DisplayPort standard was developed by the PC industry as the next generation display interface, eventually replacing DVI and VGA. To aid in the transition, the DisplayPort standard provides for interoperability with VGA, DVI, and HDMI displays via the use of simple adaptors.

Almost all DisplayPort PCs with integrated graphics or discrete GPUs (Graphics Processing Units), offer this Dual-mode DisplayPort capability that is indicated on product packaging via the DisplayPort++ icon. When a Dual-mode DisplayPort cable adaptor is plugged into a Dual-mode DisplayPort PC or graphics card, the PC outputs either Single Link DVI or HDMI signaling to the adaptor.

Certification testing assures that these cable adapters function as intended, providing interoperability between Dual-mode DisplayPort PCs, DVI monitors, and HDMI HDTVs. Testing of Dual-mode DisplayPort cable adaptors follow the DisplayPort Interoperability Guideline Adaptor Checklist, under VESA DisplayPort Related Standards.

It is recommended that developers of such cable adaptors review the checklist to assure both display interoperability and the ability to achieve adaptor certification. The Checklist verifies that the cable adaptor is implemented as per the current VESA DisplayPort Interoperability Guideline, also available on the VESA web site.

Cable adaptors that pass the certification test will be listed on the web site in the Consumer Site under the Products section.

10 European silicon photonics research teams to co-ordinate technology transfer, training and education

GRENOBLE, FRANCE: 10 European R&D project consortia focusing on silicon photonics will coordinate their efforts to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and technology and strengthen the European electronics industry’s ability to compete globally.

Under the umbrella of the European Silicon Photonics Cluster, the 10 main projects will coordinate efforts to:

* Raise awareness of the potential of silicon photonics among chip foundries, end-users, start-ups and other companies.
* Broadly disseminate the results of their projects.
* Train young scientists, engineers and researchers in this emerging field.
* Silicon photonics, which uses CMOS techniques to integrate optics technology onto chips, can substantially lower the cost, size and power consumption compared to existing photonics technologies, while improving device performance.

CMOS photonics may lead to low-cost solutions for a number of applications, including optical communications, optical interconnects between semiconductor chips and circuit boards, optical signal processing, optical sensing, and biological applications. It is considered to be the only viable technology to meet the cost and volume demand of such markets.

In addition to submitting articles to industry publications, cluster members will organize a silicon photonics workshop for the industry in 2011 and cooperate on training programs.

The European Silicon Photonics Cluster represents more than 30M€ (36M$) in investment by the EU and European countries. In establishing the cluster, the members agree that it is of strategic importance to maintain photonic chip-design and chip-integration functions in Europe to improve Europe’s ability to compete globally. Silicon photonics also provides new opportunities and opens new markets for European microelectronics companies.

The research projects and their focuses are:

Boom, terabit-on-chip: micro- and nano-scale silicon photonic integrated components and sub-systems enabling Tb/s capacity, scalable and fully integrated photonic routers.

Historic, heterogeneous InP on silicon technology for optical routing and logic.

Helios, photonics electronics functional integration on CMOS.

Intopsens, a highly integrated optical sensor for point-of-care, label-free identification of pathogenic bacteria strains and their antibiotic resistance.

PhotonFAB: lowering the barriers for access to silicon photonics IC technology by enhancing the silicon photonics platform ePIXfab.

Platon, Tb/s optical-routing fabrics for optical interconnects adopting plasmonics.

SOFI, New low cost active optical waveguides and ultra low power integrated optoelectronics circuits based on novel silicon-organic hybrid technology.

UK Silicon Photonics.

Wadimos, wavelength division multi-plexed photonic layer on CMOS.

Sabio. This completed project focused on ultrahigh sensitivity slot-waveguide biosensor on a highly integrated chip for simultaneous diagnosis of multiple diseases.

Samsung launches first terabyte Spinpoint MT2 2.5" mobile hard drive

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd has started shipping its new Spinpoint MT2 1 terabyte (TB) 2.5” internal mobile hard disk drive.

It is ideally suited for use in portable storage solutions, such as the newly released Samsung S2 Portable 1TB USB Drives. Other applications include digital TVs, home media systems and set-top boxes, where quiet and cool operations are important.

Employing industry-leading 333GB per-platter technology, the new Spinpoint MT2 drive offers up to an enormous 1TB for personal digital collections such as photos, music, video and work files. Running at 5400rpm speed, the MT2 has a 12.5mm form factor and utilizes Samsung’s proprietary SilentSeek and NoiseGuard technologies to minimize noise levels during drive operation.

“The new Spinpoint MT2 drive offers the largest capacity in what has previously been offered as an option for portable digital devices,” said I.C. Park vice president, storage marketing, Samsung Electronics. “As the total storage solution provider, Samsung is committed to offering products that features exceptional performance and value across a wide range of computing and consumer electronics markets.”

The performance and reliability features of the Spinpoint MT2 have been enhanced with an optimized design and improved suspension for multidisc. The new MT2 drive delivers about 20 percent increased read/write performance and 4% lower power consumption compared with competitive drives, and it features shock resistance levels of 400G (2ms) in operation mode and 800G (1ms) when the power is off.

Equipped with Samsung’s exclusive dynamic balancing technology, the drive’s overall stability and reliability is optimized as a high-performing solution.

The halogen-free drive complies with the European Union’s Directive on the Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS).

The Spinpoint MT2 features 5400rpm speed rotation, SATA 3.0 Gbps interface and Native Command Queuing functions for advanced performance.

The Spinpoint MT2 drive has an 8MB buffer memory and is available in 750GB and 1TB capacity. Initial shipments are available now.

CRT-TV's last bastion falling as India embraces LCDs

EL SEGUNDO, USA: With Liquid Crystal Display-Television (LCD-TV) sales in India gaining momentum quickly, 2010 will be the last year that Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) can lay claim as the leading television display type in the country on a revenue basis, according to iSuppli Corp.

“India represents one of the last strongholds for CRT-TVs, with consumers in other major economies having transitioned the majority or nearly all of their television purchasing to LCD display technology in recent years,” said Riddhi Patel, director of TV systems and retail services for iSuppli.

“However, the allure and declining prices of LCD-TVs, along with increased consumer awareness, have spurred sales of the flat-panel televisions—and eroded the dominance of CRT TVs. As a result, LCD-TV revenue in India will exceed that of CRT-TV starting in 2011. LCD-TV shipments will catch up the year after, exceeding those of CRT TVs starting in 2012.”

CRT-TV revenue in India in 2011 will decline to $1.6 billion, down 32.3 percent $2.3 billion in 2010. In contrast, LCD-TV revenue will rise to $3.5 billion in 2011, up a stunning 94.3 percent from $1.8 billion in 2010.

Meanwhile, CRT-TV unit shipments will decline to 9.4 million in 2012, down from 11.1 million in 2011 and from 15.7 million in 2010. At the same time, LCD TV shipments will increase to 9.7 million units in 2012, up from 6.6 million in 2011 and from 3.3 million in 2010.

The figures present iSuppli’s forecasts for unit shipments and revenue for CRT-TVs and LCD-TVs in India for the period of 2009 through 2014.Source: iSuppli, USA.

No local production
While demand for LCD-TVs in India will increase rapidly over the next five years, LCD-TV growth still will not be enough to compel TV manufacturers to open up local production plants for LCD panels or modules in the country.

Samsung, LG and Dixon are increasing their presence in the country with final assembly plants, but unless demand in India increases significantly, localized LCD-TV production does not appear to be feasible, especially as Korean and Chinese LCD-TV OEMs prefer to manufacture their products in their own plants.

Assembly plants, on the other hand, are catching up in the country, with key players either already possessing facilities or announcing plans to invest in final-assembly plants in India. The Indian government is also involved by reducing customs duties on important LCD panels.

Retail expansion
While localized plants may not be a reality in the near future, the increasing demand for LCD-TVs is putting increased pressure on retailers in India to launch exclusive durable-only retail outlets.

Meanwhile, several players in the market—such as LG Display, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Whirlpool Corp. and India-based Videocon—are busy forming relationships with retailers and other large-format retail chains in order to develop the appropriate sales channels to accommodate incoming demand for LCD-TVs.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Smart Guard Systems launches smart surveillance system

AHMEDABAD, INDIA: In a first for the Indian market, Smart Guard Systems has launched an innovative and smart surveillance solution especially designed for IP surveillance market. The Smart Micro NVR (Network Video Recorder) is designed and developed to be utilized at different places, which require IP surveillance.

This historic breakthrough innovation is light and portable. The ‘Smart Micro NVR’, has unobtrusive looks and packs 1.2 gigahertz of processing power with 512 megabytes of flash memory and DDR2 memory.

It is quite small in size compared to its gigantic processing abilities with a length of just 110mm, width of 69.5mm, and height of 48.5 mm. Additionally, the Smart Micro NVR is bundled with a Gigabit Ethernet for networking purposes and an attached USB 2.0 socket.

It is usually found that IP surveillance cameras, especially IP Megapixel cube cameras, demand a good amount of processing power and storage on the part of the computer systems. Add to that, the bulky exterior of high processing systems makes it very difficult for consumers, security personnel and technicians to install them in different locations with strategic advantages and maximum coverage for the areas like Homes and small offices.

“This unique combination of IP Cube Camera and Smart Micro NVR is highly useful for various market segments like ATMs not having internal cameras, warehouses, banks, home surveillance and storage, logistics, medical facilities and clinics, retail counters monitoring, malls, etc. At SGS, our main goal is to satisfy the needs of end users by providing convenient surveillance solutions that deliver, having an astounding performance,” says Gurudas Parwani, CEO, Smart Guard Systems.

Smart Surveillance Solutions is an affordable and compact product for Indian households. “With anytime anywhere viewing from distant locations, the Smart Surveillance Solution makes it simple for all of us to care for our families and assets. NRI sons and daughters can keep in view their ageing parents or their unattended houses. This will enable working parents to keep track of children as they come back from schools,” conveys Parwani.

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

“Smart Surveillance Solution” won the Award for Best Innovation by Gujarat Electronics and Software Industries Association (GESIA) on its annual awards — GESIA AWARDS 2010 — at a ceremony in Ahmedabad recently. Smart Guard targets home users with “Smart Surveillance Solutions” and will retail it through electronic retail chains also. Both Smart Micro NVR and the SmartHawk IP Cube Camera are bundled as a unique combination by Smart Guard Systems and aptly termed as “Smart Surveillance Solution.”

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

3D, connected TV, LED backlighting and design covered at upcoming DisplaySearch TV ecosystem conference

SANTA CLARA, USA: DisplaySearch has announced the preliminary agenda for its upcoming TV Ecosystems Conference: Managing the Innovation Cycle, taking place on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 in San Jose, California.

"Product transitions happen every year in the TV business, but new technologies are being introduced and rushed to broad market acceptance at an increasing pace. This is done so that manufacturers and retailers can offset low- to no-margin commodity sales with more richly featured mid- to high-end products,” noted Paul Gagnon, Director of North America TV Market Research at DisplaySearch.

Gagnon added: “Despite this, there is some concern about whether consumers are ready to step up after several recession-plagued years. This year’s TV Ecosystem Conference will provide a forum for attendees to learn firsthand the plans and strategies in the TV supply chain for 2010 and beyond.”

Conference Sessions:
Setting the Stage: TV Market Overview and Innovation
As the TV industry moves into 2010 and leaves recession-plagued 2009 behind, innovation and optimism abound. What is the outlook for the TV market in 2010 and what can the industry expect in terms of product innovation and consumer response? The opening session of the day will bring views from various members of the supply chain on the state of the TV business and what they expect from the rapidly changing TV innovation cycle going forward.

3D TVs
3D TVs are hot. But are expectations overblown? The 3D TV session will analyze the various strategies for bringing 3D TV to market, successfully and profitably. Not only does the hardware have to work well out of the gate for an enjoyable consumer experience, but the surrounding 3D ecosystem has to mature at a similar rate, including content, sources, distribution and accessories.

LED Backlights and TV Design
The trend towards LED backlights in LCD TVs was design initiated movement towards making thin flat panel TVs even thinner, and improving the eco-friendliness at the same time, along with a bit of a boost in performance. Now the trend has become a full blown surge away from CCFL technology to slim, elegant LED backlights and manufacturers have bet big that consumers will rush to adopt, even at high premiums.

But the supply chain for LED backlights has had trouble keeping pace, and there are signals that consumers are still a little uneasy about spending for big premiums just yet. We’ll go over ways manufacturers and supply chain partners are approaching the LED backlight market and look for other innovations in TV design that could be the next big trend.

The Connected TV
Connected TVs are an intriguing TV innovation, one that could revolutionize the way consumers acquire and view content from an increasing variety of sources. Initially, Internet connected TVs were meant to display simple web-derived information, but have evolved into very capable alternative content delivery platforms for everything from basic short-form content like YouTube to feature length 1080p movies from Netflix.

The recent announcement that Hulu Plus would be available on Internet-connected TVs means some consumers could cut the cable or satellite set top box cord altogether.

But, will it work and how will pay TV service providers react? What about the recent acquisition of connected TV providers by retailers? How will the business model look?

We’ll try to look at all the possibilities and potential hurdles facing the connected TV movement.