Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Electronics contract manufacturers face supply chain pile-up

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Component shortages have led to a traffic pileup in the global electronics supply chain, with major contract manufacturers facing a challenging supply imbalance characterized by tight inventories of parts and finished products and a glut of raw materials, according to the market research firm iSuppli Corp.

A quick snapshot of inventory at five of the larger Electronic Manufacturing Service (EMS) providers showed that components and raw materials accounted for nearly 70 percent of total inventories during the first quarter of 2010, the latest date for which quarterly data is available.

In comparison, work-in-process goods made up about 17 percent of inventories, while finished goods comprised less than 15 percent, industry analysis from iSuppli shows.

All told, finished goods were at their lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2008—and the imbalance is likely to persist, according to Thomas Dinges, iSuppli EMS and ODM analyst.

“iSuppli believes that the current trend—in which electronics inventories are being weighed down by an overwhelmingly large percentage of raw materials—will continue for some time to come, given that more product in kits are waiting to be finished,” he said.

The figure shows inventory levels for EMS providers for raw materials, work in process and finished goods from 2004 to the first quarter of 2010.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Biggest near-term issue: extended lead times for components
Judging from various earnings calls as well as numerous conversations taking place in the industry, semiconductor companies are citing extended lead times and parts shortages as a major problem, Dinges said.

A quick look at many component samples reveals that lead times have worsened for a wide range of semiconductor discrete devices, with lead times running as much as 100 percent longer than for the same period last year.

The shortest lead times—at 10 weeks as of July—are for connectors, up from 5 weeks in July 2009. The longest lead times are for rectifiers and small signal discretes, now running at 20 weeks—a full five months compared to 10 weeks last year at this time.

Dinges said that many supply chain industry contacts to whom iSuppli has spoken do not believe the situation is likely to improve until later in the year—even if demand softens in the near term. The difficulties, he said, arise from a combination of seasonality factors and the slow pace in bringing about increased production capacity.

“Given that many suppliers were shuttered during the last years because of financial distress, the shortages have resulted in supply bottlenecks in industries,” Dinges said. “Such shortages—in both parts and raw materials—will only add to the strain of EMS and ODM providers, even if they were to train their efforts at simply maintaining current levels of inventory velocity.”

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Lucid intros UNITY graphics board architecture

KFAR NETTER, ISRAEL & SANTA CLARA, USA: LucidLogix Technologies (Lucid) announced its arming video card manufacturers with the new Unity graphics board architecture for the HYDRALOGIX engine (previously known as HYDRA).

Now graphics board vendors for the first time can combine a single HYDRALOGIX 200 real time distributed processor with any single NVIDIA or ATI GPU, creating an affordable, flexible multi-GPU-ready graphics card that can make any motherboard a high performance gaming system.

Gamers and high performance PC enthusiasts will have even more options to configure multi-GPU systems, which until recently were limited to vendor-exclusive architectures or HYDRALOGIX equipped motherboards. And mainstream graphics users can now buy even a $99 graphics card and upgrade their system in the future with the brand graphics card of their choice.

“The Unity architecture provides a win-win situation for the market and for consumers,” said Offir Remez, Lucid's president. “Graphics board vendors can increase the total market for multi-GPU computing from the low end to the high end. And as a consumer, why wouldn’t you choose to buy a graphics card with HYDRALOGIX on board? You only get more!”

OmniVision launches 1/6.5-inch HD video camera for home entertainment and portable media markets

SANTA CLARA, USA: OmniVision Technologies Inc., a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, has introduced the OV9740, a 1/6.5-inch system-on-a-chip (SOC) CMOS image sensor designed for highly demanding video applications in portable media players (PMP), home entertainment devices and notebooks.

Because all image quality tuning and processing is done on-chip, the OV9740 enables customers to simplify product development and accelerate time-to-market. These capabilities make the OV9740 a cost effective, one-stop-shop solution for emerging consumer applications in the home entertainment and PMP markets.

Combining OmniVision’s 1.75-micron OmniBSI backside illumination pixel architecture and OmniVision’s high-end image signal processor (ISP), the OV9740 delivers 720p native high-definition (HD) video at 30 frames per second, meeting the premium video quality criteria for Microsoft Office Communicator and the high quality video specifications for Skype.

The OV9740’s small size and premium feature set make it ideal for a wide range of applications including notebooks, netbooks, webcams, gaming consoles, portable media players, mobile phones, smartphones, TVs and set-top boxes (STBs).

“There are a number of important trends driving the market for high-quality, feature-rich, ultra-compact camera solutions which all require high-performance, small form factor image sensors,” said Nicholas Nam, director of product marketing at OmniVision.

“Driven by the strong increase in consumer video content on social media websites such as YouTube and Facebook and the advent of sophisticated mobile entertainment platforms, the market is rapidly shifting to HD video in devices ranging from notebooks, PMPs and smart phones to home entertainment devices like TVs and set-top boxes. With the OV9740, OmniVision delivers a compact, cost efficient HD imaging solution on a single chip, offering optimal performance and excellent low-light sensitivity across the entire spectrum of product platforms.”

OmniVision’s proprietary OmniBSI technology enables the OV9740 to deliver best-in-class low-light sensitivity at 1300 mV/lux-sec in ultra-thin camera modules of less than 3.2 mm. A native HD sensor, the OV9740 does not suffer from degradation or image artifacts due to scaling or cropping, which is typically used to achieve HD resolution from larger array sensors.

OmniVision’s ISP features high-end image processing functions such as advanced automatic white balance and color noise reduction in the YUV domain while maintaining high frequency details and delivering clear, sharp still image and video capture.

Additional advanced image processing functions include automatic exposure control, automatic gain control, auto black level calibration, gamma correction, defect pixel correction, edge enhancement, and lens correction. All of these functions are programmable through a standard serial camera control bus interface. A dual-lane, high speed MIPI interface supports RAW RGB and YUV422 output formats.

The OV9740 is sampling now and is expected to enter mass production in September 2010.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tektronix expands instrument service offerings to keep customers up and testing

BANGALORE, INDIA: Tektronix Inc., the world's leading manufacturer of oscilloscopes, announced Gold Care Plans designed to give customers a worry-free ownership experience across mid-range and high-performance test instruments such as oscilloscopes and spectrum analyzers.

An enhancement to Tektronix’ current support offerings, Gold Care Plans deliver such benefits as equivalent loaner products, scheduled factory-certified calibration, and priority access to technical support resources.

In the face of a slow economic recovery, companies are cutting spare products to trim capital expenses. Yet, increased competition and short market windows reduce tolerance for downtime. Similarly, responsive technical support is vital to maximizing productivity as design teams are asked to do more with less. Tektronix Gold Care Plans are the industry’s first to meet these evolving requirements.

“We’ve heard from many of our large customers that downtime is simply not an option, especially with today’s tight development schedules,” said Paul Caragher, president, Service Solutions, Tektronix. “The Gold Care Plans provide a fixed cost of ownership and ensure that in the unlikely event of an instrument failure, the customer is able to get back to work with minimal interruption. These plans take instrument failure and incremental ownership costs off the table.”

Tektronix is the first test and measurement instrument provider to offer a “gold care” support option of this magnitude.

Transcend announces 4GB aXeRam DDR3-2400 memory kits for dual channel Core i7 platforms

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Transcend Information Inc. (Transcend), a global leader in memory and storage products, has launched 4GB aXeRam DDR3-2400 dual-channel memory kits designed for use with Intel`s LGA 1156 Core i7 systems.

With the ability to operate at a blazing-fast clock frequency of 2400MHz at 1.65V, these new XMP-ready DDR3 kits outperform standard reference modules by approximately 60 percent.

Transcend`s top-of-the-line 2400MHz dual-channel kit boosts system performance with a perfect combination of low voltage, high clock speed, and low latency. Each 4GB DDR3 kit contains two identically matched modules rated at 2400MHz with timings of 9-11-9-28 and an operating voltage of a mere 1.65V, offering theoretical memory bandwidth up to an incredible 38.4GB/s.

Gordon Wu, Regional Head – South Asia, Transcend, said, “In practice, the 2400MHz clock speed shows a 60 percent performance increase in real world applications compared to standard 1333MHz memory, allowing overclocking enthusiasts and hardcore gamers to take their Intel Core i7 platform to the next level.”

The aXeRam DDR3-2400 dual-channel memory kit has been tested for use on Intel P55-based motherboards, including ASUS P7P55D Premium and ASUS P7P55D Deluxe. Thanks to its use of high thermal efficiency aluminum heat sinks with cooling fins, the kit delivers amazing overclocking performance while maintaining cool temperatures.

To ensure extra stability and signal integrity at high clock speeds, all aXeRam modules are comprised of 128Mx8 high-quality DDR3 FBGA chips and use robust PCBs that fully comply with rigorous JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) standards.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Video content and syndication: Long-form content on the rise

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of eMarketer's new report "Video Content and Syndication: Long-Form Content on the Rise" to its offering.

Online video viewership has increased steadily in the US in the past several years, and eMarketers forecasts call for continued growth through at least 2014. A growing portion of the video audience is watching TV shows and movies online, reflecting a shift in the content mix from short user-generated clips to full-length professional content.

This shift is the result of a confluence of factors, including the greater availability of long-form content, the popularity of venues such as Hulu and broadcast TV sites, technology developments and Internet users growing comfort with online video. Sports programming is also moving swiftly into this realm, with mega-events such as the Olympics, March Madness and the World Cup reaching tens of millions of viewers through live streaming.

As online video strengthens its hold, content owners are getting more sophisticated about how they syndicate their content online, whether by building social network interaction into their players, populating clips across sites such as YouTube and Hulu, or employing the services of ad networks and content specialists to maximize exposure to media.

Technology companies are also seizing an opportunity to market devices that take advantage of the consumers desire to merge the online and TV viewing experiences. These trends are creating an environment in which online video will continue to thrive well into the future.

Global number of consumer telematics users to reach 211 million by 2015

LONDON, UK: OEM and aftermarket consumer telematics systems continue to gain momentum in both developed and developing regions due to growing popular awareness of their many benefits related to safety, security, maintenance, convenience, infotainment, and cost savings. These benefits will drive growth from 37 million telematics users in 2010 to more than 211 million in 2015.

ABI Research practice director Dominique Bonte comments: “Telematics drivers are diverse, ranging from regulation in Europe (eCall) and legislation in Brazil (SVT) to cheaper telematics connectivity, hardware, software, and services. However, barriers remain: privacy concerns have slowed down the legislation process in Brazil, and industry fragmentation and confusion about business models and service architectures continue to haunt the automotive ecosystem.”

While the number of telematics subscribers will see very strong growth in the coming years, direct revenue growth will be slower due to an increasingly large number of free non-embedded, hybrid and phone-based solutions such as Ford SYNC.

Many automotive OEMs such as General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and BMW are eager to embrace the smartphone as a connected vehicle remote control for door unlock and engine start, remote diagnostics such as electrical vehicle battery status, or for eCall and bCall services.

Solutions such as Continental’s Android-based AutoLinQ take this approach one step further by turning embedded systems into open platforms accessible to third party software developers hoping to break the automotive paradigms of long development cycles, high costs and lagging innovation.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Panasonic brings next generation 3D technology to India

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Panasonic, the worldwide leader in technology and innovation, brings to India the entire spectrum of the latest 3D technology that affords the viewer to experience, as against mere watching, the film or broadcast.

3D technology reproduces on screen action as we see in real life, making the images more real and hence allowing for greater viewer engagement and enjoyment. 3D is considered the next technology evolution after color replaced black & white and high-definition came to 2D.

As part of its series, Dimensions, Panasonic has organized a two day conclave which includes experiential zone and live demonstration/presentations at Yash Raj Films Studios to have the film fraternity, including the students, gain first hand knowledge of 3D movie making, post production, exhibition and what the audience will experience.

Daizo Ito, president, Panasonic India said: “Panasonic has been the harbinger of new technology for several decades now. With the Indian creativity getting applauded across the world, it becomes imperative for Panasonic to make available the latest movie making and broadcast technology in India.”

Manish Sharma, director Marketing, Panasonic India, added: “Given the increasing success of 3D internationally, we are happy to bring this technology to the movie-makers and broadcasters, and the audiences in India. We take pride in our association with the Indian film fraternity, and this latest technology innovation will serve to further strengthen the relationship.”

Dimensions will travel across India and entail a 3D movie-making contest for students of leading film & television institutes all over India. Dimensions endeavours to free the imagination of film-makers and allow their creativity to be showcased in more compelling ways. Dimensions will culminate in November with a jury comprising eminent film-makers choosing the winners of the movie-making contest.

Dia Mirza, Panasonic Brand Ambassador for Eco Ideas, said: "I am supporting Panasonic to spread awareness on how technology can support the environmental cause. The 3D products are not only high on technology, but are eco friendly also."

Previously, if one were to shoot in 3D, with the entire attendant skills required in maintaining parallax, vertical gap and the like. With the Panasonic 3D camera recorder (Panasonic AG-3DA1), the entire complexity has been packaged into an easy to handle body that contains two lenses and automatic correction for horizontal and
vertical displacement, and image convergence.

It has been found that with a traditional 3D rig, one is able to shoot in a few locations in one day, while with the Panasonic 3D camera recorder, one could shoot at over 15 separate locations and covered 100 miles in the same amount of time.

As a result, the film production fraternity can now create a wide range of programs in 3D, including nature documentaries, live events, concerts or sports, to not only showcase their creativity in more fascinating ways but also allow viewers a choice of a wide variety of 3D programs.

Speaking at Dimensions, Karan Johar, the noted filmmaker said: “I am so excited that the 3D technology is now available to film makers like myself. It will literally add a new dimension to our storey telling and creative expression. We all acknowledge the influence of this medium and with 3D captivating the audience so much more, there is going to be a new revolution in movie making. And am sure the next 3D blockbuster movie like Avatar is going to come from India.”

A number of viewers in India have experienced 3D, through ‘Avatar’ or ‘Clash of the Titans’. 3D movies are increasingly proving popular across the world, and some of the successes of Hollywood movies are an indication of the popularity.

It is estimated that Avatar grossed $2,740 million on a budget of $300 million, Clash of the Titans $492 million on a budget of $125 million, Shark Tale $492 million on a budget of $125 million, Shrek 2 $916 million on a budget of $70 million, to name a few.

Broadcasters are also conscious of this growing trend: ESPN, Discovery, Sony and IMAX in the US, British Sky Broadcasting in the UK, France Orange and France Canal Plus in France, and Japan Sky Perfect and Japan BS 11 in Japan, have announced or have begun broadcast of 3D programs.

US Direc TV is broadcasting 3D programs and currently has a viewership of 11 million households in the US. For home viewing the global market for 3D TV is estimated at 3.8 million units currently, which will reach 13 million units in 2011 and 83 million units by 2014.

Manmohan Shetty, president, The Film & Television Producers Guild of India, said: “I am thankful and congratulate Panasonic on this initiative. Dimensions will serve to broaden the knowledge on 3D movie making of the entire film fraternity, including among the training institutes and the students.”

In its endeavour to create 3D solutions, “camera to couch”, Panasonic provides an entire 3D infrastructure that allows program creators to make the best 3D content, and consumers to see it on the best 3D displays.

Panasonic systems are available for movie making and home viewing, and for everything in-between: Panasonic Integrated Twin-lens 3D Camera for recording; Blu-ray 3D authoring system; 3D compatible digital AV mixer and 3D LCD Video Monitor for editing; 3D Plasma Displays and projection systems for viewers; and 3D camcorder for home videos.

A 3D film is a motion picture which enhances the illusion of depth perception. A picture camera recorder to make 3D movie is designed with two lenses to shoot images as if the images are seen from two perspectives. Seen through 3D glasses, which have shutters that are timed to open and close alternately for each visual frame to separate left and right eye images, the “effect” of depth is interpreted by the brain just as we see objects around us, allowing the viewer to perceive reproduced images in 3D.

Standalone PNDs still preferred choice for automobile use

SINGAPORE: Personal navigation devices (PNDs) have been popular in recent years, and remain so. According to ABI Research market data, approximately 42.3 million personal navigation devices will be shipped in 2010.

New devices offer more features attractive to customers. “New features such as multimedia functions, voice commands, and digital camera and Bluetooth connections are being added to both handheld and automotive-friendly devices,” notes telematics and navigation practice director Dominique Bonte.

Device manufacturers such as Navigon, Pioneer, and Garmin all launched new PNDs in the first half of 2010. Among the new products launched this year, Garmin nüvi 3700 series devices are less than 9mm thick, which is ultra-thin compared to the other devices on the market. It also has a dual-orientation capability which is very suitable for portable use. New products from Garmin and Navigon come with Bluetooth connections.

Personal navigation devices come with screens sizes ranging from 3 to 5 inches. In-vehicle dashboard devices have larger screens, up to 7 inches. More than 80 percent of the portable and in-dash navigation devices come with touch screens which give a more intuitive user experience.

Recently, PND manufacturers are facing increased competition from GPS-equipped smartphones, and some manufacturers have found their sales of PNDs declining. Free map access from Google and Nokia on mobile phones has also caused a fall in sales and average selling prices.

However, “Stand-alone PNDs still have an advantage over smartphones,” says research associate Khin Sandi Lynn. “Their larger screens provide users with a clearer view that is also easier to use while driving. Although volumes are dropping, for automotive use standalone PNDs will remain the preferred choice for many users.”

MPEG LA’s AVC license will not charge royalties for Internet video that is free to end users through life of license

DENVER, USA: MPEG LA announced that its AVC Patent Portfolio License will continue not to charge royalties for Internet Video that is free to end users (known as “Internet Broadcast AVC Video”) during the entire life of this License.

MPEG LA previously announced it would not charge royalties for such video through December 31, 2015. This announcement makes clear that royalties will continue not to be charged for such video beyond that time. Products and services other than Internet Broadcast AVC Video continue to be royalty-bearing.

MPEG LA's AVC Patent Portfolio License provides access to essential patent rights for the AVC/H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10) digital video coding standard. In addition to Internet Broadcast AVC Video, MPEG LA’s AVC Patent Portfolio License provides coverage for devices that decode and encode AVC video, AVC video sold to end users for a fee on a title or subscription basis and free television video services.

AVC video is used in set-top boxes, media player and other personal computer software, mobile devices including telephones and mobile television receivers, Blu-ray Disc™ players and recorders, Blu-ray video optical discs, game machines, personal media player devices and still and video cameras.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Apple set to dominate tablet market through 2012

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Even with a flood of rival products in the works, Apple Inc.’s iPad is unlikely to face a viable competitor until 2011, allowing the company to maintain a dominant share in the tablet market at least through 2012, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp.

The iPad will account for an overwhelming 74.1 percent of global tablet shipments in 2010 , with the remaining 25.9 percent consisting of a mix of older PC-type tablet products and competitive slates. Despite the arrival of the first real iPad competitors in 2011, Apple still will maintain a prevailing 70.4 percent share of shipments, iPad research from iSuppli bears out.

Even in 2012, the iPad will continue to control nearly two-thirds of shipments, at 61.7 percent, as the competition strives to develop ecosystems of tablet apps and content that can match up with those of Apple.

The figure presents iSuppli’s forecast of tablet market share of the iPad and the competition.Source: iSuppli, USA.

“Although the iPad has been on the market for only a few months, powerful interests throughout the technology business are devoting enormous resources to challenge and topple Apple’s domination in this fast-growing marketplace,” said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research at iSuppli.

“However, if recent history is any lesson, it will take some time for these companies to get their products to market, longer for them to offer necessary software support and infrastructure, and an even lengthier period to begin to rival the overall user experience Apple is able to deliver.”

Remember the iPhone
iSuppli’s forecast of the competitive landscape for the iPad is based on the short history of the iPhone market.

The iPad is in a similar situation as the iPhone when it first arrived. Launched in June 2007, the iPhone was followed by a range of competing products during the next five months to two years, such as the Samsung F700, the UTStarcom XV6800, the Google G1 and the Palm Pre.

However, it took almost three years for the competition to offer phones that were not just in the ballpark of being comparable to the iPhone, but also were truly differentiated and superior in some respects, iSuppli’s mobile market research indicates. These phones today include the Motorola Droid, coming 29 months after the iPhone introduction; and the HTC Evo 4G, released 36 months later.

The whole package
There presently are numerous products identified by iSuppli as iPad competitors, such as Android- and Windows 7-based tablets from Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and Lenovo. However, none of these is a serious competitor to the iPad from a solution perspective, iSuppli believes.

“Companies are quickly developing products that match or exceed some of the
surface hardware specifications of the Apple iPad,” Alexander said. “But it’s still unlikely that any of the competitors will be able to equal the overall performance experience of the iPad. Apple’s complete integration of hardware, software, operating system and applications is a major piece of what makes the device a standout. And on that basis—an integrated hardware/software design—we don’t see anything in the marketplace at present that seems likely to rival what Apple is offering in tablets today.”

Time-release tablets
A number of new tablet devices are expected, in addition to the ones in the market today.

Leaked images of a Samsung tablet, similar to its Galaxy phone, are now in wide circulation. This is probably the best example to date of a competitor trying to link the smart phone/tablet experience similar to what Apple has done with its iPhone/iPad.

Rumors are also prevalent regarding Research in Motion Ltd. after its recent purchase of the BlackPad domain name.

That said, Alexander believes that the most interesting near-term iPad competition is likely to come from HP, which has the requisite experience in building PC-level devices, as well as access to a proprietary WebOS through the company’s Palm acquisition.

Nonetheless, HP’s iPad challenger is unlikely to appear before 2011 and probably will include multiple products—including a tablet with significant creation capabilities targeted at the enterprise market, in addition to one or more consumption-style devices targeted at consumers.

Likewise, rumors have surfaced claiming that Google will release a Chrome OS tablet on this year’s Black Friday, Nov. 26. However, that seems unlikely, given that iSuppli sources indicate the initial Chrome OS does not have touch screen display support.

Any touch-enabled Chrome-based device would be more likely to appear in 2011 or beyond. Even then, Google faces some significant challenges in premiering a new operating system and migrating directly from smart phones to tablets, Alexander said. More than likely, Google will take an interim step up to the smart book market before jumping into the tablet fray with the Chrome OS.

Apps obstacles
Even with their hardware ducks in a row, the iPad competitors will encounter other problems in competing with Apple.

“Competitors face some serious obstacles in their efforts to match the total iPad package, most notably competing with the growing suite of iPad-specific applications,” Alexander said.

“Apple’s interface and many of its applications are geared to the pixels per inch (ppi) and screen configuration of the iPad, optimizing their appearance on that device. Developers designing applications to work across the broader base of new offerings from the various competitors are facing a mix of pixel densities, screen sizes, and touch technologies.”

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Global server market revenues increase 11 percent in Q2 as market recovery accelerates

FRAMINGHAM, USA: According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, factory revenue in the worldwide server market increased 11 percent year over year to $10.9 billion in the second quarter of 2010 (2Q10).

This is the second consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth and the fastest quarterly revenue growth since 2003, as market demand continued to improve around the world.

Server unit shipments increased 23.8 percent year over year in 2Q10, improving slightly over the strong 23 percent year-over-year shipment growth reported in 1Q10 and representing the fastest year-over-year quarterly server shipment growth in more than five years.

Volume systems experienced the sharpest improvement with year-over-year revenue increasing 32 percent, the third consecutive quarter of positive growth for the segment. Midrange server demand improved significantly with year-over-year growth of 6.9 percent, the segment's first positive growth in nine quarters and another sign of improving server market conditions.

Demand for high-end enterprise systems continued to be soft, as revenue declined 23.6 percent when compared to 2Q09. This is the seventh consecutive quarter of contraction in the high-end enterprise server segment of the server market, most of which occurred during the economic downturn.

"The server market is at a crossroads. This is the fourth consecutive quarter of improving server market demand and the fastest quarterly server revenue growth IDC has reported in more than 5 years," said Matt Eastwood, group vice president, Enterprise Platforms at IDC.

"IDC continues to see widespread infrastructure refresh occurring across all geographies. While much of this refresh is occurring first in x86-based servers, IDC expects the recovery to extend to Unix and mainframe platforms in the second half of 2010. That said, it is clear that a wave of migration is also occurring as customers broaden their deployment of x86-based servers to a wider range of workloads."

Overall server market standings, by vendor
HP assumed the number 1 position in the worldwide server market with 32.5 percent factory revenue share for 2Q10; HP increased revenue 26 percent year over year and gained 3.9 points of share from a year ago. HP's growth was led by strong demand for its x86 ProLiant servers during the quarter.

IBM held the number 2 spot with 29.8 percent share for the quarter as factory revenue decreased 3.2 percent compared to 2Q09. Although IBM experienced weakness in its Power Systems and System z servers as customers waited for the completion of a product refresh cycle for both product sets, demand for x86-based System x servers remained strong in the quarter.

Dell maintained third place with 15.6 percent factory revenue market share in 2Q10. Dell gained 3.2 points of share year-to-year on strong 39.1 percent revenue growth driven by demand from enterprise customers.

Oracle maintained the number 4 position in the worldwide server market, with 5.9 percent a year-over-year revenue decline in 2Q10 to 8.6 percent market share. Fujitsu, which rounded out the top 5 vendors, experienced a 7.9 percent increase in factory revenue, holding 3.4 percent revenue share in 2Q10.

Top server market findings
* Microsoft Windows server demand was positively impacted by the accelerating x86 server market, as hardware revenue increased 36.6 percent and unit shipments increased 28.2 percent year over year. Quarterly revenue of $5.0 billion for Windows servers represented 46.5 percent of overall quarterly factory revenue.

* Linux server demand also improved in 2Q10, with revenue growing 30 percent to $1.8 billion when compared with the second quarter of 2009. Linux servers now represent 16.8 percent of all server revenue, up 2.5 points over 2Q09.

* Unix servers experienced 7.2 percent revenue decline when compared to 2Q09. Worldwide Unix server revenues were $2.9 billion for the quarter, representing 26.3 percent of quarterly server spending (down 5.2 points over 2Q09, but up 3.9 points from 1Q10).

* The market for non-x86 servers, including servers based on RISC, EPIC, and CISC processors, declined 16 percent year over year to $3.9 billion in 2Q10. This is the fifth consecutive quarter that non-x86 servers have been outperformed in the market by x86 servers. IDC believes that demand for non-x86 systems will improve in the second half of the year now that leading server vendors have completed important product refresh cycles, which will help drive server demand in the midrange and high-end of the market.

"The uptick in the midrange server market shows there was pent-up demand for more scalable servers, through replacement for aging servers and workload consolidation," said Jean S. Bozman, research vice president, Enterprise Servers at IDC.

"This segment was hard-hit in 2009, during the deepest part of the economic downturn to date, but IDC expects this decline to moderate in the second half of 2010, with shipments of new midrange enterprise server products in the Unix server market, and continued demand for more scalable x86 servers in the midrange segment (servers priced from $25,000 to $250,000)."

x86 industry standard server market dynamics
x86 server revenues continued to accelerate in 2Q10, growing 35.3 percent in the quarter to $7 billion worldwide as unit shipments increased 25.8 percent to 1.8 million servers. IDC notes that each of the top five server vendors experienced positive x86 server revenue growth in the quarter.

HP experienced strong revenue growth and led the market with 39.2 percent revenue share. Dell retained second place, securing 24.3 percent revenue share, while IBM now holds 16.7 percent revenue share. Overall, this was the fastest year-over-year factory revenue growth for x86 servers in more than 10 years.

"Within the x86 server market, enterprise spending has had a strong return through server refreshes," said Reuben Miller, senior analyst, Enterprise Servers at IDC. "As the economy begins to show signs of recovery, large enterprise businesses are gaining a better view of spending capabilities for the remainder of the fiscal year and beginning to increase their investments."

Bladed server market results
The blade market accelerated in the second quarter with factory revenue increasing 30.9 percent year over year and shipment growth increasing by 13.6 percent compared to 2Q09. Overall, bladed servers, including x86, EPIC (Itanium-based), and RISC blades, accounted for $1.5 billion in revenues, representing 14 percent of quarterly server market revenue.

More than 80 percent of all blade revenue is driven by x86 systems, a segment in which blades now represent 18.9 percent of all x86 server revenue. HP maintained the number 1 spot in the server blade market in 2Q10, with 55.8 percent revenue share, and IBM finished with 24.2 percent revenue share.

"Blade adoption continued to gain momentum in the second quarter of 2010, as blades accounted for its largest portion of total server revenue since the form-factor came to market," said Jed Scaramella, research manager, Enterprise Servers at IDC. "Vendors continue to build out their blade offerings through enhanced virtualization, management, and I/O capabilities; customers are leveraging these technologies as part of converged systems that are a building block to future internal cloud infrastructures."

Top 5 Corporate Family, Worldwide Server Systems Factory Revenue, Second Quarter of 2010 (Revenues are in Millions)Source: IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, August 2010.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Transcend launches 16GB glossy high-on-fashion flash drive with Swarovski sapphire crystal

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Transcend Information Inc. has launched a new 16GB edition of its JetFlash V95C USB flash drives.

The new JetFlash V95C features a retractable USB connector, a huge capacity, and an expressive deep-gloss lacquer accent panel complemented by a genuine Swarovski sapphire crystal. The new JetFlash V95C represents a tasteful combination of luxury and modern technology.

According to Gordon Wu, Regional Head – South Asia, Transcend: “Although the 16GB JetFlash V95C is ultra compact, the USB flash drive is capable of storing up to 6552 still images (based on 5 megapixel JPEG compression format) or 240 minutes of high-definition 1080p video. Each JetFlash V95C comes with a refined leather strap, making it a convenient yet fashionable way to backup, store and carry digital files.”

For added value, users can take advantage of Transcend`s free download of the useful JetFlash Elite data management tools to enhance their mobile productivity and get the most out of their JetFlash drive. As with its predecessors, the 16GB JetFlash V95C USB flash drive is backed by Transcend’s industry-leading lifetime warranty. The JetFlash V95C offers up to 15MB/s transfer speeds and is now available in four capacities: 2GB, 4GB, 8GB and 16GB.

It is priced at Rs. 3,650 (16GB) and comes with a three-year warranty.

IIT Bombay selected for annual HP Labs Innovation Research Program

NEW DELHI, INDIA: HP has announced that the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) has been selected to participate in the prestigious HP Labs Innovation Research Program (IRP). The program is designed to provide colleges, universities and research institutes around the world with opportunities to conduct breakthrough collaborative research with HP.

Associate Prof. Soumen Chakrabarti, from IIT Bombay will collaborate with HP Labs on a research initiative focused on ‘Semantic Linkage between the Web, Intranet and Wikipedia: Discovery and Exploitation in Search and Aggregation’. The work is being conducted in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay.

The project explores how connections between diverse sets of information can be made using semantic (meaning-based) relationships. Search systems today are isolated in data silos. A blog may review a tablet PC, providing valuable user input on wireless signal strength and battery life but, there may be no explicit link to manufacturer or vendor pages.

Chakrabarti and his team are exploring means to annotate unstructured text and Web sources with semantic links to semi-structured databases of types, entities and attributes, such as Wikipedia and product catalogs. This will enable structured aggregsative queries across the continuum of catalogs and unstructured text.

Prof. Chakrabarti said: “Put simply, our project will - for example - enable search engines to build a scatter plot of battery life against retail price or weight, automatically aggregated over millions of pages related tablet PCs. The project will also address accompanying challenges of scale; for example, the index will span billions of pages, each with hundreds of links to structured catalogs that may have tens of millions of entities and types. Processing queries over these novel indices also present significant challenges in the areas of machine learning and information retrieval.”

"Our goal with the HP Labs Innovation Research Program is to inspire the brightest minds from around the world to conduct high-impact scientific research, addressing the most important challenges and opportunities facing society in the next decade," said Sudhir Dixit, Director, HP Labs, India. "IIT Bombay has demonstrated outstanding achievement and we look forward to collaborating with it on this dynamic area of research.”

HP reviewed more than 375 proposals from 202 universities across 36 countries. Indian Institute of Technology Bombay is one of only 62 universities in the world to receive a 2010 Innovation Research award. The HP Labs Innovation Research Program is designed to encourage open collaboration between HP and the academic community on mutually beneficial, high-impact research.

This year's proposals were solicited on a range of topics within the eight broad research themes at HP Labs – analytics, cloud, content transformation, digital commercial print, immersive interaction, information management, intelligent infrastructure and sustainability.

Demand for cable STBs softens, but some regional markets still offer growth opportunities

SCOTTSDALE, USA: The cable set top box market grew again in 2009, once again setting a record for global unit shipments. However, growth slowed significantly last year and 2010 is on track to be the first year of negative growth since 2002, according to In-Stat.

Despite the overall market slow-down, some regional markets are poised for growth. Examples of these regional markets are Europe, where the demand for high-definition (HD) cable set top boxes is fueling growth, and Latin America, where the shift from analog cable TV to digital cable TV is spurring unit shipment growth.

"Even in a soft year, the cable set top box market continues to offer solid growth opportunities for cable set top box manufacturers," says Mike Paxton, Principal Analyst. "This is particularly true if manufacturers target emerging regional markets or if they focus on high-margin product categories like HD or PVR-enabled cable set top boxes."

New research by In-Stat reveals the following:

* Worldwide digital cable set top box unit shipments are forecasted to decrease to 44.1 million in 2010, down 8 percent from 2009.

* Low-cost, digital terminal adapter (DTA) devices are having a big impact on the US cable market. In-Stat is forecasting that over 7 million DTA devices will ship in 2010.

* The value of semiconductor components used in cable set top box products was $2.8 billion in 2009, only fractionally higher than in 2008.

* In 2009, the top three digital cable set top box manufacturers in total unit shipments were (in rank order) Motorola, Cisco Systems, and Technicolor (formerly Thomson). However, the combined market share of the top three manufacturers decreased to 41 percent of total worldwide unit shipments, down from 50 percent in 2008.

Pace climbs ahead in STB market

RENO, USA: Just four years ago, Pace, a little known maker of digital set-top boxes (STBs), was facing the prospect of bankruptcy for the second time in four years. Since that time however, the UK-based firm has exploded from being the eighth largest set-top box maker in 2006, to third place in 2008, and rose to the leading vendor of digital set-top-boxes shipped to pay-TV customers worldwide as of 2009.

It captured this spot from Motorola, with Technicolor (formerly Thomson) in third place, Scientific Atlanta/Cisco in fourth, and Humax rounding out the top five suppliers.

Most recently Pace has agreed to acquire enterprise networking technology firm 2Wire for $475 million which will give it access to IPTV providers and help round out its ability to provide IP-based video services, while further extending Pace's presence in the US market.

Also, other recent partnership announcements of HD roll outs for Benelux satellite operator M7 Group and Malaysian satellite operator Astro are added to Pace's more than 100 partnerships with pay-TV operators around the globe. These include regional leaders such as BSkyB and BT Vision in the UK, DirecTV in the US, Viasat, the largest commercial TV operator in Northern Europe, and Cablevisión; the largest cable operator in Latin America.

In a time frame of less than a couple years, Pace has managed to further increase its revenues and profitability, move into new markets, expand its global customer base, develop new technologies, and drive efficiencies.

It was able to achieve this amazing growth by betting that the future of TV would be HD in late 2007 when it first purchased the revenue losing STB division of Philips. This bet on HD has paid off for Pace, and for the STB market as a whole, as customers continue to move rapidly from analog to digital television and, in the process, upgrade to high definition and PVR services.

Top vendors such as DirecTV sell an average of 2.8 set-top boxes per US household to consumers used to the HD in the living room demand the same experience in other parts of the home. In fact, across all regions, except in Asia Pacific, high-definition STBs are growing as standard definition STBs gradually decline.

However, Asia Pacific, thanks to its very low penetration and booming HD TV market, will experience a surge in HD STB growth over the next few years, in conjunction with strong IP-TV STB growth. While the highest growth in unit volume may come from these emerging markets, additional value is being added across all markets, driven by a shift towards high-end HD and PVR boxes.

2009 and 2008 Worldwide Set-Top-Box Revenue Share by SupplierSource: Databeans Estimates, Company Reports.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Telestream brings major new products to IBC2010

NEVADA CITY, USA: Telestream, the leading provider of digital media tools and workflow solutions, will feature several major new software products at IBC2010 in stand 7.D16. Vantage, Episode 6, Wirecast Pro, Agility and Avalon address major challenges and opportunities in the video industry.

These software solutions improve operational efficiency, help facilitate the migration to IT, and open doors to new business opportunities, including those in the live streaming space. They also help solve real business challenges that companies face, including declining revenues from traditional distribution channels, cost reductions and the need to support a growing number of new channels.

“Telestream continues to aggressively expand our product offerings to address the growing need for automated video transcoding and live encoding workflow solutions,” said Barbara DeHart, VP of Marketing at Telestream.

“We set the stage earlier this year with the introduction of Vantage, Episode 6 and Wirecast 4. The pace has not slowed as we aggressively bring new capabilities to market.”

Fourth-generation auto infotainment architectures put consumer in charge

EL SEGUNDO, USA: The adoption of fourth-generation design architectures starting this year is shifting the supply and consumption paradigm in the automotive infotainment business, with consumers having a greater influence than ever before on car electronics, according to the automotive market research firm iSuppli Corp.

Fourth-generation design represents the first industry wide platform with no limit to the features and functions that can be added by the consumer after the purchase of a vehicle. It is also the first automotive architecture implemented in vehicles that does not have a pre-defined set of features on the production line.

As a result, the role and responsibility of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and the consumer has changed dramatically.

“For the first time, automotive manufacturers have admitted that they cannot keep up with the demands of consumer devices,” said Egil Juliussen, principal analyst and fellow for automotive research at iSuppli.

“As a result, automotive infotainment has shifted from in-vehicle features to off-board services. Such a move, occurring mostly at the software and operating system level, will open up a number of new frontiers on what can be included in a vehicle with regard to content and wireless-and-receiver choices.

“This means that not only will consumers have the ability to add functions to vehicles through a variety of measures, but also a vast array of new opportunities will also open up for new and current players across the automotive electronics value chain.”

Leading car electronics suppliers in peril
In the first three generations of automotive infotainment architectures, top-tier car electronics suppliers found it difficult to differentiate themselves given the limited range of features that was available.

In the fourth-generation architecture, however, designers in the automotive value chain may be substantially or entirely replaced if they do not meet a number of basic challenges.

Tier 1 suppliers need to meet three key criteria when developing systems for vehicles. First, they must support visual display and feedback, ensuring that drivers and passengers have clear access to displayed data. Second, there should be audio input/output flexibility, giving drivers and passengers good audible feedback and voice control of their music, phone and navigation systems.

Finally, the interface design must make sure that drivers and passengers are provided with intuitive interfaces for the control of all visual and audio input/output systems.

One feature becoming increasingly important in infotainment in vehicles is voice control. With drivers looking for better command and control of the vast libraries of available music, phone contacts, maps, directions and more, voice is now the most efficient method for reducing driver distraction, and has become a top priority in fourth-generation design.

It’s cheaper
The good news for infotainment manufacturers is that fourth-generation architecture is software based, bringing about a reduction in the cost base for infotainment and savings in design, development, deployment and after-sales support.

But, by the same measure, this also makes it harder for vehicle manufacturers to attain differentiation from the competition. With consumers more in control of what they want and how they get it, a battle on the horizon to achieve profitability in infotainment is quite feasible.

Enter the MyFord system
Ford, once again, is pioneering the way in automotive infotainment. The company is set to release its MyFord touch system, which will be built on a reference design—the preferred design philosophy used for manufacturing handsets, Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs) and notebooks.

The MyFord architecture puts Ford in a very strong position, given that the company has a clear vision on what external, consumer device control signifies. Ford’s philosophy is not to bring the iPod, iPhone or BlackBerry into the vehicle’s system.

Instead, it seeks to create a client/server environment in which the client is the car and the server is the external/portable device—an element that could take the form of a mobile handset, media player or tablet PC.

This is this same design philosophy that began in the handset space with the launch of Apple’s Apps Store in 2008, and more recently, of Nokia Corp.’s Ovi and Google Corp.’s Android environment.

MyFord also allows the driver or passenger to send commands to any consumer device using voice, steering-wheel controls or the touch screen. Such commands include next track, play, pause, search or phone contacts.

With MyFord, Ford once more has become the clear leader in the infotainment space, much like when it first introduced the Sync. iSuppli believes other automotive manufacturers will be scrambling to catch up to Ford in order to secure their spot in the infotainment value chain.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Panasonic showcases LUMIX digital cameras and camcorders

MUMBAI, INDIA: Panasonic India recently organized a business development meet for its channel partners in Mumbai to share the new product line-up of Panasonic LUMIX digital cameras and camcorders.

Prominent distributors and dealers from the city and adjoining areas participated in the event, and were excited with the new product offerings which they feel address a latent consumer demand. The partners were also acquainted with the ongoing schemes, business plans and other new offerings.

Manish Sharma director Marketing, Panasonic India, said: “Panasonic has been one of the fastest growing companies in India and Panasonic brand has become synonymous with the highest standards of reliability, performance and consistency. As we are actively poised to strengthen and widen our sales and distribution network in India, this event is a fantastic platform to showcase our new range of Lumix cameras to our trusted channel partners and industry experts."

The dealers and retailers have been an integral part of the company and have partnered Panasonic over the years in bringing to the consumer the latest technology and world-class products the Indian consumers.

Harris opens new broadcast manufacturing facility for digital TV transmitters in Brazil

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL: Harris Corp. has opened a new factory in Brazil to manufacture low- and mid-power UHF television transmitter products to support the region's transition to digital TV.

The facility will enable Harris customers in the region to benefit from competitive pricing, improved lead-time and immediate access to post-sales support.

Located in Campinas, a region 80 miles northwest of Sao Paulo, the plant will produce Harris Maxiva UAX air-cooled solid-state transmitters for distribution to broadcasters across Brazil, as well as throughout Mercosur (the Common Market of the South) and other Latin American countries.

The strong growth potential of the Brazilian broadcast market was one reason Harris decided to invest in a local manufacturing presence. In preparation for an analog shut-off date in 2016, Brazilian broadcasters are in the process of migrating to the ISDB-Tb digital format that has been adopted in the country. To date, only 120 channels out of the approximately 10,000 television licenses that currently exist in Brazil have made the transition from analog to digital.

"With the DTV rollout just beginning to gain momentum, and with the world's highest-profile sporting events coming to Brazil in 2014 and 2016, the timing of this initiative could not be better for Harris or our customers," says Nahuel Villegas, vice president, CALA Sales and Services, Harris Broadcast Communications.

"We are pleased to support this exciting time in Brazil's broadcast history with a local manufacturing presence that will enable us to maximize value for our loyal customers in the region."

The new Brazil operation will allow Harris to leverage several advantages of the region, such as Mercosur trade agreements and the Basic Productive Process (PPB), which provides tax incentives for products produced in the country. Harris has also registered its Maxiva UAX transmitters with the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), which will enable its customers to obtain financing from BNDES — further increasing the company's competitiveness in the Brazilian market.

The Campinas factory is designed to scale to meet demands as they increase and track market trends. The new plant will produce transmitters available in the low-to-medium digital power levels, as Harris expects that transmitters in this power range will comprise approximately 90 percent of the local market demand over the next five years.

Harris has been adapting its broadcast products to ISDB-Tb since Brazil adopted the standard, and now offers a complete, cost-effective ISDB-Tb solution that includes transmitters, SD and HD encoders, multiplexers, single- and multi-frequency networking adapters, closed caption generators and gap fillers. Harris is the market leader in ISDB-Tb systems in Brazil, with more than 60 transmitters sold throughout the region to date.

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

PLX Device passes SuperSpeed USB compliance testing

SUNNYVALE, USA: PLX Technology Inc., a leader in connectivity solutions for the data center and the home, announced that the newest member of its next-generation DAS consumer storage devices, the PLX OXU3101 USB 3.0-to-SATA controller, has passed the rigorous interoperability testing required to be included on the USB 3.0 integrators list managed by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF).

The USB-IF’s Compliance and Certification Program was developed for manufacturers such as PLX to certify their USB 3.0, or SuperSpeed USB, products through a series of demanding interoperability tests administered by the organization.

This process helps ensure products’ compliance to the USB 3.0 specification, qualify them to use the SuperSpeed USB name and logo, and earn a place on the exclusive USB-IF Integrators List. Engineers and procurement managers are often required to use the list to find compliant devices for their designs.

“SuperSpeed USB has built up tremendous momentum across virtually all market segments -- from consumer products to enterprise systems -- and PLX has been at the forefront by both working with organizations such as the USB-IF to define standards and leveraging our considerable success in USB into the next generation of products,” said David Raun, vice president of marketing and business development at PLX.

“Passing this compliance testing and adding the OXU3101 to the USB-IF Integrators List stands as testimony to PLX’s commitment to developing and marketing the industry’s most advanced USB products.”

The OXU3101 delivers the fastest USB connection to direct attached storage (DAS) products using the rapidly emerging USB 3.0 standard. Optimized for portable and desktop computing, the controller features SuperSpeed USB throughput of up to 5Gb/s, a high-speed SATA II port and integrated AES-256 encryption/decryption capabilities that provide the highest level of data security.

Its high level of integration helps designers create extremely fast, feature-rich and highly secure storage systems with a minimal number of components and, therefore a lower overall cost. As with all PLX DAS products, the OXU3101 is supported by comprehensive development tools: evaluation boards, reference designs and PLX’s exclusive ISIS software kit.

Monday, August 23, 2010

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

HSINCHU, TAIWAN: AU Optronics Corp. recently held a meeting of the Board of Directors on Aug. 20, 2010, at which the Board approved a resolution establishing a joint venture of TFT-LCD TV panel module production with Wistron Corp. at "Wistron Optical Campus" of the Zhongshan Torch Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone in Guangdong, China.

The new business model of allying with one of the world's leading ODM manufacturers will hopefully help not only broaden our customer base, but also provide in-time and value-added services for customers by joining the strengths from both sides. Total solutions for design integration are included to bring about long-term benefits for AUO and Wistron, seizing global business opportunities together.

The Board of Directors of AUO and Wistron approved establishing the joint venture with a registered capital of no more than US$ 10 million. AUO and Wistron will own 51 percent and 49 percent of the shareholding of the joint venture respectively. The joint venture will tentatively be named Zhongshan BriVision Optronics Corp.

If the investment plan is approved by the relevant authority, AUO's presence of module plants in the China market will be more complete. With services covering East China, South China, North China and Southwest China, AUO will be able to more closely respond to customer requirements and strengthen its quality of services.

Panasonic to strengthen PDP production in China

OSAKA, JAPAN: Panasonic Corp. announced that it will move a part of plasma display panel production facilities at its third domestic PDP plant in Amagasaki City, near Osaka, to Panasonic Plasma Display (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. (PPDS) in Shanghai, China, to better respond to robust demand for flat-panel TVs in China.

PPDS, established in January 2001 as a joint venture between Panasonic, then called Matsushita Electric Indl. Co. Ltd, and Shanghai City, commenced operations in December of the same year and has been engaged in production of plasma display panels and assembling TV sets.

The company is producing the equivalent of 25,000 42-inch plasma display panels per month at its plant in Pudong New Area. To accommodate the additional production facility and maximize production efficiencies, PPDS plans to relocate to the nearby Pudong Jinqiao Development Zone.

The new production facility plans to commence production with a monthly capacity equivalent to approximately 120,000 42-inch panels in April 2012. Panasonic intends to maximize production efficiency by further utilizing the integrated production system from plasma display panels to assembling TV sets.

The flat-panel TV market is expected to continue growing globally, exceeding 240 million sets in 2012. China's flat-panel TV market is likely to surpass 50 million units by that time, becoming the world's largest. The demand for plasma TVs with large-screen and high picture quality is also expected to grow in China driven by digital TV broadcasting and increased consumer interest in full HD 3D plasma TVs.

The build-up of PPDS will give Panasonic a stronger structure to meet the growing demand in China as well as enable Panasonic to improve the group-wide cost competitiveness, thereby Panasonic continues to push ahead with its growth strategy in the global flat-panel TV market.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Electronics sector accounted for 41 percent (SG $4.9 Billion) of Singapore's investment commitment in manufacturing and services in 2009

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the Singapore Electronics Industry 1H10 report to its offering.

"Singapore: Electronics" covers the sector overview, manufacturing, electronics' exports, IPI indicators, industry diagnostics, investments, purchasing manager index, and electronics sector dividend history.

It also covers the market trends and outlook for the industry, semiconductors, electronic components, electronic systems, consumer electronics and Infocomms products, plus comparative matrix and SWOT for the industry local and foreign leading players: Venture Corp, Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd, STATS ChipPAC Ltd, Excelpoint Technology Ltd and Creative Technology.

SG Electronics provides an overview of the Singapore's electronics Industry and its exports performance. In 2009, Singapore electronics sector exports amounted over SGD52 billion, representing 37% of Singapore's non-oil domestic exports. The largest categories of electronics exports were integrated circuits, parts of PCs and other electronic equipments.

This report also provides the market trends and outlook. The electronics sector accounted for 41 percent (SG $4.9 billion) of Singapore's investment commitment in manufacturing and services in 2009, followed by chemicals clusters (26 percent or SG $3 billion) and service clusters (14 percent or SG $1.6 billion).

Also, this report provides a ranking of the leading players in the electronics industry as well as their respective financial highlights. In 2009, the top players in the country's agriculture industry were Venture Corp, Singapore Technologies Engineering, STATS ChipPAC Ltd, Excelpoint Technology Ltd and Creative Technology.

Friday, August 20, 2010

STOIK Imaging releases all-in-one video converter, editor, and effect processor

MOSCOW, RUSSIA: STOIK Imaging announced the release of STOIK Video Converter, a dedicated video conversion, processing and enhancement suite. Available in Free and Pro editions, STOIK Video Converter Pro can convert between AVI, DV, MKV, MOV, MPEG 1, 2 and 4, and WMV formats in all possible combinations.

Supporting all possible codecs and video formats, the tool allows users playing back virtually any type of media on most portable video players. The ability to trim, cut, split, merge and resize video streams enables easy upload to popular video hosting services.

The Pro edition includes more than 25 filters, allowing for one-click video enhancements. Including 295 one-click presets, STOIK Video Converter Pro allows users to forget about the video hell, taking care of exact resolution, format, and file size requirements imposed by the many different video players and online video upload services.

STOIK Video Converter
While being a video format converter, STOIK Video Converter Pro offers much more than that in a single package. Packaging a wide range of codecs, STOIK Video Converter Pro does not require searching for and installing cumbersome codecs in order to read or write a certain format, and offers a true all-in-one solution for accessing videos produced by most modern and legacy cameras and recording devices.

STOIK Video Converter Pro makes it easy to produce videos matching any specifications. The tool can produce files playable on almost any dedicated or portable video player, and makes video clips compatible with most online video upload services.

On the output size, STOIK Video Converter Pro offers 295 ready-made and easily customizable profiles. The profiles allow users producing videos that perfectly match specifications (screen resolution, bitrate, file size and format) supported by their video player or online upload service without having to know or remember the correct parameters.

The Pro edition adds more than 25 video effects and filters to process and enhance video streams on the fly. To name a few, the filters include: Smart Deinterlace, Hue, Saturation, Brightness & Contrast adjustments, Despeckle, Noise Removal, Crop, Local Contrast adjustment, Film Grain, Motion Blur, Mosaic, Flip/Rotate, and Auto Adjustment.

STOIK Video Converter is available in two editions: Free and Pro. While the majority of competitors only offer video conversion - for a fee, the Free edition of STOIK Video Converter offers a variety of conversion options, one-click device-specific profiles for popular video players, and DV file output.

The Pro edition is available for $29, adding a host of video processing effects, filters, and adjustments such as automatic scene splitting. The Pro edition offers 295 one-click profiles for most video players and online publishing services. In addition, the Pro edition supports MP4, MPEG 1 and 2, MKV, MPEG TS, 3GPP, and 3GPP2 output formats.

Cable VOD now possible on Blu-ray!

ATLANTA & SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Clearleap, a web based TV technology platform, and Related Content Database Inc. (RCDb) have announced a joint solution that will give pay TV operators the ability to deliver their full VOD libraries to any subscriber with an internet connected Blu-ray player.

The joint solution highlights how a new revenue opportunity can be added by expanding an existing service to a second or third TV screen, without new hardware capital expenditure investment or complicated integrations.

The offering enables pay TV operators to extend the reach of their service offering beyond the traditional set-top box and offer consumers access to on demand libraries on devices that already exist in many homes today. The technology offering leverages Clearleap’s cloud based content management and delivery platform coupled with RCDb’s Blu-ray disc software, enterprise server and data services.

The solution leverages the standard in-home Internet connection, and does not require the deployment of a new set-top box. To launch the on demand application directly from a cable operator’s servers, consumers simply insert the cable operator's Blu-ray disc into a BD-Live player and press start. The Blu-ray disc and service are powered by the RCDb software and the content is then streamed by Clearleap’s TV technology platform, operated on behalf of the cable operator, to the consumer's home.

“This new development exponentially increases the number of network end points which an operator can bring to multiple locations within the home,” said Zane Vella, CEO of Related Content Database. “Integration of our software platform, which today powers millions of Blu-ray consumer experiences, with the Clearleap VOD back-end, leverages a fast growing product category that consumers understand; the Blu-ray player.”

The RCDb end to end system delivers the operator application front-end, as well as service integration and management, to the Blu-ray environment. Clearleap will power the content asset ingestion, management, and delivery through its cloud based platform.

Braxton Jarratt, CEO of Clearleap, said, “With very little upfront costs or investment of time, the pay TV industry can now easily create new revenue streams, offer new package plans and reduce the cost of delivering VOD to the home.”

Content providers want higher 3D TV set penetration

AUSTIN, USA: As the dust settles from the hype around the World Cup in 3D, production companies and service providers around the world continue to explore the opportunities of 3D video in the home.

In a recently published study on 3D, IMS Research identifies that by the end of 2010, over 50 broadcasters and pay-TV operators will be offering 3D services to the home.

Similar to theatrical 3D film releases, production of 3D content specifically for home consumption will see a significant increase over the next few years.

Anna Hunt, report author and principal analyst at IMS Research, states, “Although right now there are only a few select operators and networks that have the resources to create and deliver a compelling 3D offering, most leading service providers and broadcasters around the world are considering how to enhance their premium offerings by incorporating 3D.”

A survey of broadcasters and operators published in the study 3D Video & Gaming in the Home revealed that 75 percent of the companies surveyed plan to test or offer 3D over the next 18 months, out of which 20 percent have already launched 3D in some capacity.

Hunt adds: “Increased adoption of 3D TV sets into homes will further propel investment in 3D content production. Currently, low penetration of 3D-capable displays in consumers’ homes is a leading concern of surveyed service providers, followed by lack of standardized 3D formats.”

IMS Research forecasts that by the end of 2014, 9 percent of worldwide TV households will have a 3D TV set. Penetration is expected to be much higher in the US, where 40 percent of TV homes at the end of 2014 are forecast to have a 3D TV.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to campus with a projector in your pocket

USA: Will pico projectors be the next “must-have” gadget that students take to college this September, along with their notebook computers, cell phones and music players?

Pico projectors – compact, handheld devices that can beam video, movies, photos and presentations onto nearly any surface – will likely make their way into university dorm rooms and classrooms in 2010-11, says Robin Raskin, former tech journalist and founder of the HigherEd Tech Summit held in January at the Consumer Electronics Show.

“College students, while avid users of digital devices, have serious space and budget constraints. They’re always on the lookout for a single solution for all their viewing needs. Pico projectors fit the bill.”

Pocket-sized pico projectors can connect to – and pull images and video from – cell phones, laptops, digital cameras and other mobile devices so users can more easily share media with one another. Pico projectors usually consist of a miniature projection “engine” that includes a light source, optics and electronics.

Indeed, pico projectors have gone from futuristic prototypes to available products seemingly overnight. According to a recent report from analyst firm DisplaySearch, pico projector shipment revenue totaled $117 million in 2009 and is expected to reach $13.9 billion in 2018.

Among college students, these little projectors may be particularly convenient and compelling as learning tools, as video in the form of YouTube, podcasts, webcams, conferencing, webinars, Flipcam and iPhone clips, web chat, and telepresence become commonplace in higher education.

“The introduction of video into almost every aspect of our learning and work tasks is profound and ‘disrupting,’ the educational futurist and researcher Elliott Masie wrote recently. “Rising bandwidth, lowered equipment costs, ease of editing and growing expectations of learners will make video a profound component of our learning efforts going forward.”

Video certainly adds a new dimension to education, especially for students who are visual learners. But big-screen TVs and accessory monitors take up much precious space in cramped dorm rooms or student apartments, and typically cost upwards of $1,000. By comparison, pico projectors are tiny and relatively affordable.

Take, for example, the SHOWWX laser pico projector, from Microvision of Redmond, Washington. Only the size of a deck of cards, the SHOWWX (pronounced “SHOW,” “W,” “X”) easily plugs into any device with video out such as an iPod, iPhone, iPad or notebook computer. In a dark environment, the SHOWWX can project a large WVGA, 16:9, high-quality image at up to 100” diagonal.

By design, SHOWWX is not as bright as a big traditional stationary projector but it’s completely mobile, and when room lights are low, the SHOWWX is positively brilliant. SHOWWX works well on nearly any projection surface: a wall, a bed sheet, a piece of poster board, or even the ceiling of a dimly lit dorm room.

Having trouble with Shakespeare’s masterwork Othello? It’s a lot easier to remember after watching the Reduced Shakespeare Company abridged and humorous version, while sharing it with a few classmates on a study room wall. What about projecting historical maps on a white-board or flip chart and drawing over the image with a standard marker?

Watching virtual reality tours of Egyptian burial cities, animated complex mathematical surfaces, and surveys of art history? The vivid, laser-driven color and large image size of the SHOWWX adds to the richness of shared video learning.

When it’s time for a study break, the SHOWWX plus a Netflix movie playing on your laptop, or downloaded videos on your iPod or iPhone, can make a dorm room feel more like a home theater. And no matter where you shine the SHOWWX laser pico projector, the image is always in focus.

At least one college student has gone beyond the expected with Microvision’s enabling technology: a pico projector laser display engine. Natan Linder, a master’s degree candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Laboratory, is getting $15,000 in development funds from Audi for his LuminAR invention, an Internet-accessing digital light bulb and desk lamp combo that uses Microvision’s display engine to project web content as it follows hand gestures toward a table, floor, wall or ceiling.

Inventors notwithstanding, most students who bring a pico projector to campus this Fall will be taking advantage of a cool, new gadget that lets them play a movie or make a presentation anywhere.

For her part, HigherEd Tech Summit’s Raskin enthusiastically recommends Microvision’s SHOWWX, one of 10 products chosen to represent the top trends at her CES 2010 showcase earlier this year. “We’ve all seen portable projectors,” she wrote recently, “but this one takes the cake.”

EC Media launches eBook reader Wink, brings India's first eBook ecosystem to consumers

MUMBAI, INDIA: EC Media International announced the launch of its e-book reader Wink XTS, the first of its devices, which brings with itself India’s first multi-functional e-reader that supports upto 15 Indian languages.

Wink will offer consumers a one-stop e-store to access the e-reading content of choice through thewinkstore.com which would enable readers to access e-books, journals, newspapers, magazines (through subscriptions) and selected articles, all easily available on the Wink portal.

With this launch, EC Media also announced a partnership with Croma, the electronics megastore as its retail partner. With the Wink brand, EC Media aims to build an ecosystem of players that fosters e-reading market by leveraging the best of technology to the consumers.

Users can enjoy reading a wide range of content from EC Media’s soon to-be-launched service WINKWIRE. WINKWIRE is another feather in EC’s cap, being the world’s first e-newspaper. Wink encompasses both International and regional e-book titles, e-newspapers, e-magazines and journals, across 15 languages. thewinkstore.com allows users to access the online store from the web portal or the device portal (through the catalogue present on the device) – intuitively designed for preview of content, easy downloads and secure payment transactions.

Wink also aims at helping publishers and authors in leveraging this new platform, simplifying the process of publishing from the draft of a book to its publication and also helping them reaching out to a larger audience. Wink's ever increasing eco-system has enrolled leading publishers like Penguin, Roli, Oxford University, Harper Collins and Permanent Black and many other publishers for content so far. Wink will provide access to about 200,000 tiles to readers along with some newspapers and magazines as well. Wink has also tied up with Redington as its distribution partner.

Ravi DeeCee, founder and CEO, DC Group, said: “With the launch of Wink, we aim to revolutionize the way people read. Wink would allow readers to access their favourite content anytime and anywhere, in the language of their choice."

Ajit Joshi, CEO, Croma Electronics Megastore, added: “With experts predicting huge growth for e-reading market, we believe that Wink is going to be a great success in the market owing to its product value and kind of demand that awaits it. From a consumer perspective it’s going to be a resourceful investment and would enhance their reading experience with it’s variety of offerings”.

Pradeep Palazhi, COO, EC Media said: “With the launch of Wink, we want to enable the growth of content provisioning through the electronic medium by leveraging its existing eco-system of global partnerships with publishers and aggregators. We hope to succeed towards attaining this vision”.

WINK from EC Media International is supported by the DC Books Group headquartered at Kottayam, Kerala, which was India’s first ISO certified publishing house.

I checked the winkstore, which lists the Wink XTS at Rs. 11,490, and the Wink X3G at Rs. 14,990, respectively. Both will start shipping from Sept. 1, 2010. The Wink X3G+ and the Wink XTR are said to be coming soon.

Contactless smart cards to find widespread acceptance in Asia-Pac from 2012

MALAYSIA: Contactless smart cards, already having found user appeal for their freedom of form, are expected to see wider adoption in Asia-Pacific once key implementation projects are fully operational in two years.

Frost & Sullivan research analyst Reuben Foong expects growth in unit shipments to peak from 2012 to 2016 at rates between 20 and 25 percent year-on-year, and averaging at a CAGR of 16.4 percent (2009-2016). By end-2016, an estimated 1.9 billion contactless smart cards will be shipped in Asia-Pac, up from 590 million last year.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Asia-Pacific Smart Card Integrated Circuit on Different Form Factors, forecasts the region’s contactless smart cards sector to gross estimated revenues of just over $2 billion by the close of 2016, at a CAGR of 13 percent (2009-2016).

The contactless cards market was worth $775 million in 2009, against a total smart cards market (contact and contactless) of $1.94 billion. By units shipped, contactless cards accounted for 23 percent of the 2009 total card shipment. Foong expects this to grow to half of all smart cards shipped in 2016.

According to Foong, demand for contactless cards will be driven mainly by NFC (Near Field Communication), e-Passport and mass transit projects being implemented around the globe and across Asia-Pacific.

“The world is already prepared to roll-out NFC commercial projects with a small number of commercial projects having already begun and more than 200 pilot projects already completed across the globe,” he says. “In Asia-Pacific, we can expect large-scale mobile NFC deployments in the next one to two years.”

He adds that NFC on mobile devices will also prompt renewed interest in contactless bank credit and debit cards, with security issues having been ironed out.

The use of the contactless interface in e-Passports has long been a well-accepted standard worldwide sanctioned by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), United States and European Union, and more than 80 countries having already adopted that standard.

Foong expects demand for contactless cards for e-Passport and similar government identification (ID) applications in Asia to continue. “Government ID projects are by far the largest user of contactless cards currently (66 percent of contactless card shipment, 2009), and will likely remain so for the next five years as more nations migrate to the contactless interface,” he explains. “Bearing in mind also that e-Passports have to be renewed, typically, every five to ten years.”

India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam are all slated to implement e-Passports within the next five years.

One of the earliest applications of smart card technology was transportation such as mass transit services, which has, arguably, been the platform on which new form factors were introduced and espoused, motivated by user convenience. Mass transit ticketing is the second biggest application for contactless cards - 28 percent of contactless card shipment in 2009 - after government ID, and Foong believes uptake will continue with the rise of mass transit projects across Asia-Pacific.

Other forms of contactless card applications other than standard plastic cards include minicards and USB devices - both also available in contact form - tokens and wristbands and watches.

While some of these forms have been around for some time, they have yet to find commonplace purpose, Foong says. “As with any new technology, it will take time to find a proper niche as well as a concerted effort amongst all stakeholders to bring about a competitive value proposition to end users and gain market acceptance,” he concludes.

Samsung maintains lead, but Vizio closes gap in Q2 US LCD-TV market

El SEGUNDO, USA: The battle for the top spot in the US LCD-TV market heated up in the second quarter as the gap in market share between No. 1 Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and No. 2 Vizio Inc. dwindled to less than 1 percentage point, according to the electronic display research firm iSuppli Corp.

Samsung in the second quarter held a 0.7 percentage point lead over Vizio in terms of US LCD-TV shipments, compared to 1.3 points in the first quarter. Both companies in the second quarter dramatically outperformed the overall market by offering sets with advanced features desired by U.S. consumers.

“Leadership in the world’s largest television market—the United States—represents the marquee position for global LCD-TV brands,” said Riddhi Patel. “Because of this, companies are competing intensely to secure every point of market share—with the most closely fought battle occurring between South Korea’s Samsung and US-based Vizio. The two companies have swapped quarterly leadership multiple times during the past few years, and now are virtually tied in the race for market leadership.”

Super-charged growth
US LCD-TV shipments rose by 12.8 percent in the second quarter to 7.36 million units, up from 6.53 million in the first quarter.

Samsung’s shipments grew at more than twice the pace of the overall market, rising by 26 percent to 1.45 million units, up from 1.15 million in the first quarter. Vizio grew even faster, with its shipments rising by an industry-leading 30.8 percent to 1.39 million units, up from 1.07 million in the first quarter.

The table presents iSuppli’s ranking of the Top 8 LCD-TV brands in the second quarter of 2010.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Battle for value
In the past, the two companies pursued very different strategies to attain LCD-TV market leadership, with Samsung focusing on premium products and Vizio stressing low-cost value-oriented LCD-TVs. However, as US consumer preferences have shifted to higher-end LCD TVs, Vizio has realigned its product line to offer more advanced features.

“Most LCD-TVs purchased in the United States in 2010 are replacements of first-generation flat panels,” Patel said. “Because of this, US consumers are more informed and demand larger LCD-TVs with better picture quality and more premium features, including 3-D, LED backlighting and built-in Internet connectivity. While Samsung continues to lead these technological trends, including the nascent 3-D TV segment, Vizio has significantly closed the feature gap.”

Featured features
Television research from iSuppli’s US TV Consumer Preference Analysis service, which surveys Americans on their attitudes regarding television purchases, illustrates the rising importance of advanced features when buying a television.

Of consumers surveyed in the second quarter, 17.2 percent said the LCD-TV sets they had purchased used LED backlighting, an increase of 5 percentage points from the first quarter. Furthermore, 60.8 percent of the consumers purchased a 40-inch or larger set in the second quarter of 2010, up from 51 percent during the same period in 2009. Finally, about 32 percent consumers say they connected their new televisions to the Internet.

Inventory story
While LCD-TV sales continued to rise in the second quarter, some concerns have arisen regarding the third quarter, iSuppli’s electronic display market research indicates.
“Given the rising average prices for LCD-TVs, consumers have become more cautious in their spending,” Patel said. “As a result, higher-than-acceptable levels of inventory have built up in the channel, which could lead to a slower-than-expected third quarter.”

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Samsung maintains lead, but Vizio closes gap in Q2 US LCD-TV market

El SEGUNDO, USA: The battle for the top spot in the US LCD-TV market heated up in the second quarter as the gap in market share between No. 1 Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and No. 2 Vizio Inc. dwindled to less than 1 percentage point, according to the electronic display research firm iSuppli Corp.

Samsung in the second quarter held a 0.7 percentage point lead over Vizio in terms of US LCD-TV shipments, compared to 1.3 points in the first quarter. Both companies in the second quarter dramatically outperformed the overall market by offering sets with advanced features desired by U.S. consumers.

“Leadership in the world’s largest television market—the United States—represents the marquee position for global LCD-TV brands,” said Riddhi Patel. “Because of this, companies are competing intensely to secure every point of market share—with the most closely fought battle occurring between South Korea’s Samsung and US-based Vizio. The two companies have swapped quarterly leadership multiple times during the past few years, and now are virtually tied in the race for market leadership.”

Super-charged growth
US LCD-TV shipments rose by 12.8 percent in the second quarter to 7.36 million units, up from 6.53 million in the first quarter.

Samsung’s shipments grew at more than twice the pace of the overall market, rising by 26 percent to 1.45 million units, up from 1.15 million in the first quarter. Vizio grew even faster, with its shipments rising by an industry-leading 30.8 percent to 1.39 million units, up from 1.07 million in the first quarter.

The table presents iSuppli’s ranking of the Top 8 LCD-TV brands in the second quarter of 2010.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Battle for value
In the past, the two companies pursued very different strategies to attain LCD-TV market leadership, with Samsung focusing on premium products and Vizio stressing low-cost value-oriented LCD-TVs. However, as US consumer preferences have shifted to higher-end LCD TVs, Vizio has realigned its product line to offer more advanced features.

“Most LCD-TVs purchased in the United States in 2010 are replacements of first-generation flat panels,” Patel said. “Because of this, US consumers are more informed and demand larger LCD-TVs with better picture quality and more premium features, including 3-D, LED backlighting and built-in Internet connectivity. While Samsung continues to lead these technological trends, including the nascent 3-D TV segment, Vizio has significantly closed the feature gap.”

Featured features
Television research from iSuppli’s US TV Consumer Preference Analysis service, which surveys Americans on their attitudes regarding television purchases, illustrates the rising importance of advanced features when buying a television.

Of consumers surveyed in the second quarter, 17.2 percent said the LCD-TV sets they had purchased used LED backlighting, an increase of 5 percentage points from the first quarter. Furthermore, 60.8 percent of the consumers purchased a 40-inch or larger set in the second quarter of 2010, up from 51 percent during the same period in 2009. Finally, about 32 percent consumers say they connected their new televisions to the Internet.

Inventory story
While LCD-TV sales continued to rise in the second quarter, some concerns have arisen regarding the third quarter, iSuppli’s electronic display market research indicates.
“Given the rising average prices for LCD-TVs, consumers have become more cautious in their spending,” Patel said. “As a result, higher-than-acceptable levels of inventory have built up in the channel, which could lead to a slower-than-expected third quarter.”

Source: iSuppli, USA.

US risks losing global leadership in nanotech

BOSTON, USA: In terms of sheer volume, the US dominated the rest of the world in nanotech funding and new patents last year, as US government funding, corporate spending, and VC investment in nanotech collectively reached $6.4 billion in 2009.

But according to a new report from Lux Research, countries such as China and Russia launched new challenges to US. dominance in 2009, while smaller players such as Japan, Germany and South Korea surpassed the United States in terms of commercializing nanotechnology and products.

The report, titled “Ranking the Nations on Nanotech: Hidden Havens and False Threats,” compares nanotech innovation and technology development in 19 countries in order to provide government policymakers, corporate leaders and investors a detailed map of the nanotech’s international development landscape.

Overall, the report found global investment in nanotech held steady through the recent financial crisis, drawing $17.6 billion from governments, corporations and investors in 2009, a 1 percent increase over 2008’s $17.5 billion. Only venture capitalists dialed back their support, cutting investments by 43 percent relative to 2008.

“Part of what motivated our research was the emerging possibility that ambitious new government funding in Russia and China represented a threat to US dominance in nanotech innovation,” said David Hwang, an Analyst at Lux Research, and the report’s lead author. “But while the field certainly gained momentum in both countries as a result of the increased funding, both countries have economic and intellectual property protection issues that prevent them from being real threats just yet.”

To uncover the most fertile environments for technology developers, buyers, and investors, Lux Research mapped the nanotech ecosystems of select nations, building on earlier reports published from 2005 through 2008. In addition to tracking fundamentals, such as the number of nanotech publications and patents issued, the report also inventoried direct and indirect spending on nanotech from government, corporate and venture sources.

Among its key observations:
The US continues to dominate in nanotech development, for now. Last year saw the US lead all other countries in terms of government funding, corporate spending, VC investment, and patent issuances. But its capacity to commercialize those technologies and leverage them to grow the economy is comparatively mediocre.

US competitiveness in long-term innovation is also at risk, as the relative number of science and engineering graduates in its population is significantly lower than it is in other countries.

Other countries stand to get more bang for their nanotech buck. Japan, Germany, and South Korea continued their impressive trajectories from 2008, earning top spots in publications, patents, government funding, and corporate spending.

Compared to the US, all three also remain more focused on nanotech and appear more adept at commercializing new technology. The relative magnitude of the technology manufacturing sectors in these three countries are the world’s highest, meaning their economies stand to benefit the most from nanotech commercialization.

Russian and Chinese investment in nanotech yields slow progress. While both governments launched generous nanotech investment programs last year, the technology hasn’t gained momentum in either country’s private sector, both of which have a history of skimping on R&D. The relative lack of momentum was further underscored by the abysmal number of new nanotech patents for either country last year.

“Ranking the Nations on Nanotech: Hidden Havens and False Threats,” is part of the Lux Nanomaterials Intelligence service. Clients subscribing to this service receive ongoing research on market and technology trends, continuous technology scouting reports and proprietary data points in the weekly Lux Research Nanomaterials Journal, and on-demand inquiry with Lux Research analysts.

Pay TV service revenue increased 7 percent in 2Q 2010 to approach $58 billion

SINGAPORE: Global pay-TV service revenue approached $58 billion at the end of 2Q 2010. This was approximately a 9% increase over the same period in 2009. “The increase in ARPU and service revenue in 2Q 2010 was largely due to the programming packages on offer, with higher prices and more advanced services such as High Definition programming,” says ABI Research’s digital home practice director Jason Blackwell.

The majority of pay-TV service revenue comes from cable TV. It represents approximately 52 percent of the overall pay TV market, followed by satellite TV and IPTV. The year-over-year growth of cable TV service revenue is quite low compared to other pay-TV platforms. This is due to slower subscriber growth in many of the mature cable TV markets. In addition, cable ARPU is declining in some markets due to high competition from IPTV operators.

At the end of 2Q 2010, satellite TV service revenue increased to $24 billion. This is about a 12% increase from the second quarter of 2009.

Research associate Khin Sandi Lynn notes: “The increase in service revenue is driven by both increases in subscriber additions and average revenue per user. Many of the satellite TV operators saw rises in ARPU due to their offers of HD programming packages. For example Direct TV ARPU increased from $83.16 in 2Q 2009 to $87.91 in 1Q 2010 as the result of the boost from higher-priced High Definition programming.”

The IPTV market continues to grow both in terms of ARPU and aggregate service revenue. IPTV subscriber growth is expected to continue in the coming years. ABI Research estimates that global IPTV service revenue will generate more than $40 billion at the end of 2015, with a CAGR approaching 20% from 2010 to 2015.