Thursday, September 30, 2010

RIM unveils the Blackberry Playbook

BlackBerry DEVCON 2010, SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Research In Motion (RIM) has redefined the possibilities for mobile computing with the unveiling of its new professional-grade BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and BlackBerry Tablet OS on Sept. 27.Perfect for either large organizations or an “army of one”, the BlackBerry PlayBook is designed to give users what they want, including uncompromised web browsing, true multitasking and high performance multimedia, while also providing advanced security features, out-of-the-box enterprise support and a breakthrough development platform for IT departments and developers.

The incredibly powerful and innovative BlackBerry PlayBook is truly a game-changing product in the growing tablet marketplace.

“RIM set out to engineer the best professional-grade tablet in the industry with cutting-edge hardware features and one of the world's most robust and flexible operating systems,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “The BlackBerry PlayBook solidly hits the mark with industry leading power, true multitasking, uncompromised web browsing and high performance multimedia.”

The tablet you'll want to take everywhere
This beautifully designed and incredibly powerful tablet is ultra portable, ultra thin and super convenient for both work and play.

Measuring less than half an inch thick and weighing less than a pound, the BlackBerry PlayBook features a vivid 7” high resolution display that looks and feels great in your hand. With such a unique mix of utility, performance and portability, you’ll want to take it everywhere.

The new benchmark in tablet performance
At its heart, the BlackBerry PlayBook is a multitasking powerhouse. Its groundbreaking performance is jointly fueled by a 1 GHz dual-core processor and the new BlackBerry Tablet OS which supports true symmetric multiprocessing.

Together, the abundant processing power and highly sophisticated OS enable the BlackBerry PlayBook to provide users with true multitasking and a highly-responsive and fluid touch screen experience for apps and content services.

Uncompromised web browsing
With support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR and HTML-5, the BlackBerry PlayBook provides customers with an uncompromised, high-fidelity web experience and offers them the ability to enjoy all of the sites, games and media on the web.

For more than a decade, the mobile industry has worked to bridge the gap between the “real web” and mobile devices through various apps and technologies and, in fact, a significant number of mobile apps today still simply serve as a proxy for web content that already exists on the web. The BlackBerry PlayBook closes that gap and brings the real, full web experience to mobile users while also opening new and more exciting opportunities for developers and content publishers.

High performance multimedia
The BlackBerry PlayBook features premium multimedia features to support high-quality mobile experiences. It includes dual HD cameras for video capture and video conferencing that can both record HD video at the same time, and an HDMI-out port for presenting one's creations on external displays.

The BlackBerry PlayBook also offers rich stereo sound and a media player that rivals the best in the industry.

BlackBerry integration
For those BlackBerry PlayBook users who carry a BlackBerry smartphone*, it will also be possible to pair their tablet and smartphone using a secure Bluetooth connection.

This means they can opt to use the larger tablet display to seamlessly and securely view any of the email, BBM, calendar, tasks, documents and other content that resides on (or is accessible through) their smartphone.

They can also use their tablet and smartphone interchangeably without worrying about syncing or duplicating data. This secure integration of BlackBerry tablets and smartphones is a particularly useful feature for those business users who want to leave their laptop behind.

Enterprise ready
Thanks to the seamless and secure Bluetooth pairing experience and the highly secure underlying OS architecture, the BlackBerry PlayBook is enterprise ready and compatible (out-of-the-box) with BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

When connected over Bluetooth, the smartphone content is viewable on the tablet, but the content actually remains stored on the BlackBerry smartphone and is only temporarily cached on the tablet (and subject to IT policy controls). With this approach to information security, IT departments can deploy the BlackBerry PlayBook to employees out-of-the-box without worrying about all the security and manageability issues that arise when corporate data is stored on yet another device.

QNX Neutrino reliability
The BlackBerry Tablet OS is built upon the QNX Neutrino microkernel architecture, one of the most reliable, secure and robust operating system architectures in the world. Neutrino has been field hardened for years and is being used to support mission-critical applications in everything from planes, trains and automobiles to medical equipment and the largest core routers that run the Internet.

The new BlackBerry Tablet OS leverages and builds upon the many proven strengths of this QNX Neutrino architecture to support a professional grade tablet experience and to redefine the possibilities for mobile computing.

An OS built for developers
The Neutrino based microkernel architecture in the BlackBerry Tablet OS delivers exceptional performance, high scalability, Common Criteria EAL 4+ security, and support for industry standard tools that are already familiar to hundreds of thousands of developers.

The OS is fully POSIX compliant enabling easy portability of C-based code, supports Open GL for 2D and 3D graphics intensive applications like gaming, and will run applications built in Adobe Mobile AIR as well as the new BlackBerry WebWorks app platform (which will allow apps to be written to run on BlackBerry PlayBook tablets as well as BlackBerry smartphones with BlackBerry 6).

The BlackBerry Tablet OS will also support Java enabling developers to easily bring their existing BlackBerry 6 Java applications to the BlackBerry Tablet OS environment.

Key features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook include:

• 7” LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support.
• BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing.
• 1 GHz dual-core processor.
• 1 GB RAM.
• Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording.
• Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV.
• Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA.
• HDMI video output.
• Wi-Fi - 802.11 a/b/g/n.
• Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.
• Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts.
• Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java.
• Ultra thin and portable:
o Measures 5.1”x7.6”x0.4” (130mm x 193mm x 10mm).
o Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g).
• Additional features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook will be shared on or before the date this product is launched in retail outlets.
• RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.

The BlackBerry PlayBook is expected to be available in retail outlets and other channels in the United States in early 2011 with rollouts in other international markets beginning in (calendar) Q2.

RIM will begin working with developers and select corporate customers next month to begin development and early testing efforts.

HID Global launches advanced-generation FARGO direct-to-card printer/encoders

BANGALORE, INDIA: HID Global, a leader in solutions for the delivery of secure identity, has introduced a new line of industry-leading direct-to-card (DTC) FARGO printer/encoders for organizations of all sizes that require personalized identity badges.

The new product line, encompassing three new models designed to meet the needs of small organizations to global enterprises, provides the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of color printers for secure identity cards.

The line consists of the cost-effective DTC1000 entry-level printer for small organizations; the professional-level DTC4000 printer for small- to medium-size organizations with greater security and scalability requirements; and the advanced, DTC4500 professional printer for large corporations and government organizations with high-volume needs.

All three new printers were engineered to be extremely reliable and easy to use, with intuitive graphical interfaces and innovative features such as the industry’s first Swift ID™ embedded badging application and a single-port (USB or Ethernet) connection for advanced inline printing and encoding.

The modular design of the new DTC FARGO line also ensures that organizations can protect their investment by adding functionality as their needs grow. Depending on the printer model, options include technology card encoding (iCLASS, Mifare, DESFire), dual-sided printing, dual-input card hoppers, lamination capability and more.

Danaher to acquire Keithley Instruments

WASHINGTON & SOLON, USA: Danaher Corp. and Keithley Instruments Inc. have entered into a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Danaher will acquire all of the outstanding Common Shares and Class B Common Shares of Keithley at a purchase price of $21.60 per share in cash for an enterprise value of approximately $300 million net of cash to be assumed. The acquisition has been unanimously approved by the Keithley Board of Directors.

Keithley Instruments Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and markets complex electronic instruments and systems geared to the specialized needs of engineers at electronics manufacturers and academic institutions for research, product development, high-performance production testing and process monitoring.

The company currently offers approximately 150 products used to source, measure, connect, control or communicate direct current (DC), and alternating current (AC) signals. Keithley's product offerings include integrated systems solutions, along with instruments and data acquisition modules that can be used as system components or stand-alone solutions. Upon closing Keithley will be part of Danaher's Tektronix business.

"We are excited about the opportunity to acquire a premier brand and technology leader in bench solutions," said Jim Lico, executive VP - Danaher. "Along with Fluke and Tektronix, Keithley further solidifies Danaher's leading position in the Test & Measurement industry and presents an attractive value creation opportunity."

"We believe this transaction creates significant value for Keithley's shareholders and I am excited about the opportunity this transaction represents for Keithley's customers and employees," said Joseph P. Keithley, chairman, president and CEO of Keithley. "Danaher has a great history of nurturing leading brand names within the Test & Measurement industry and we look forward to joining the Danaher team."

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals and adoption of the merger agreement by Keithley's shareholders, and is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of calendar 2010. A partnership affiliated with Joseph P. Keithley has agreed to vote a number of Class B Common Shares representing 19.99 percent of the voting power of the Company in favor of the merger.

Personal robotics market to top $19 billion in 2017

NEW YORK, USA: While many consumers’ current interaction with robots is limited to those that clean their floors, pools or gutters, ABI Research, in its new market study “Personal Robotics,” forecasts that the personal robotics market will grow to more than $19 billion in 2017, driven in large part by sales of telepresence and security robots featuring high-quality cameras, microphones and processors that allow the robots to serve as interactive substitutes for human beings.

The modern robotics market has existed for nearly 30 years, but within the last decade, substantial improvements in overall functionality, levels of control, and cost structures have been achieved.

While many of the advancements in robotics have been achieved in military and industrial markets where higher amounts of spending have allowed the development and commercialization of highly technical, yet costly, robots, many of the lessons learned are quickly trickling down to other market segments, including health care, business and commercial markets, and personal robotic devices.

Larry Fisher, research director of NextGen, ABI Research’s emerging technologies research incubator, notes: “Robotics vendors are beginning to introduce telepresence robots which allow the user to have a virtual presence in another location, saving business users travel time and expenses. For consumers, telepresence robots can help shut-ins join family events, or allow families to monitor and interact with the elderly or infirm in a way that a quick telephone call can’t match.”

AuthenTec to demo smart sensors, software and embedded security solutions

CTIA Enterprise & Applications 2010, SAN FRANCISCO & MELBOURNE, USA: AuthenTec, a leading provider of security, identity management and touch control solutions, will exhibit its newest smart sensors, software and embedded security solutions for mobile systems at the CTIA Enterprise & Applications exhibit and conference at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco, October 6-8.

AuthenTec will highlight its newest smart sensors for mobile phones, TrueSuite® Mobile software, embedded security solutions for DRM and client security, and AuthenTec’s Alliance partner program.

Visitors may stop by AuthenTec’s exhibit, Booth 238, where the AuthenTec team will demonstrate the newest mobile phones and other products that incorporate AuthenTec hardware, software and embedded security.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Inview signs licensing agreements to supply NEELiX platform to key silicon vendors

Hong Kong Consumer Electronics Fair, LONDON, UK: Inview Technology, the world leading supplier of royalty free EPG’s has announced that license agreements have been signed with a number of key global silicon vendors enabling the integration of its revolutionary NEELiX platform across millions of products.

The silicon vendors who have selected Inview to spearhead their IP launches throughout 2011 are Trident, Novatek, Mstar, MediaTek, NXP and SunPlus.

Through these agreements, NEELiX will be available across numerous technology platforms including TV’s, set top box receivers and Blu-ray players on both high and standard definition platforms. Products containing NEELiX will be launched at the Hong Kong Consumer Electronics Fair 13th -16th October.

Specifically engineered for resource constrained environments, NEELiX incorporates a fully integrated EPG, media browser and personal schedule tool designed with convenience in mind. A recommendation engine searches out broadcast and internet content that is relevant to individual user viewing profiles, viewing history, friend recommendations and video ranking.

It also boasts a wide range of TV applications that provide easy access to internet content including video streaming, instant messaging, news and weather reports, online radio and secure On Demand TV without having to use a browser or search engines.

NEELiX has been designed to be an evolving service and content delivery platform and additional applications will become available over time. The NEELiX software development kits will also enable third parties to create their own applications and can be launched into any system, subject to approval.

Keith Wiggins, commercial director, Inview said: “This is a really exciting time for Inview, our approach is totally unique. NEELiX is a revolutionary platform that will enable us to bring IP connected products to the mass market when currently connectivity is only available on high-end, expensive products.”

Gore intros next-gen cable technology that meets SCD21 requirements for high data-rate apps

LANDENBERG, USA: W.L. Gore & Associates has introduced the next generation in cable technology for high data-rate applications. This technology consists of a new differential cable design with lower SCD21 (differential-to-common-mode conversion) and a very high level of signal fidelity.

Additionally, it provides the only cable solution that addresses the degradation in performance caused by SCD21. Engineered for InfiniBand and other high data-rate applications, this new design has yielded SCD21 values that are typically below -40 dB and consistently well below -25 dB across a 20 GHz bandwidth.

SCD21 is a differential s-parameter matrix element that represents the unwanted conversion between differential mode and common mode in a transmission line. This conversion reduces the signal’s energy in differential mode, which causes unpredictable phase delays and skin-effect losses across frequencies.

In coupled differential cables, the conversion results in differential-mode jitter. If these effects are not taken into account, the signal may not be recovered.

Russ Hornung, Gore Cable product manager said: “In the past year, we have seen more applications employing advanced serializer/deserializer (SERDES) technologies and signal recovery processing that should include a specification for SCD21 performance; however, SCD21 currently is not addressed in most manufacturer or industry specifications. This new technology allows for faster digital data rates that can exceed 20 Gbps without signal integrity being compromised.”

Available in cables with smaller gauge sizes (AWG24 to AWG32), Gore’s low SCD21 technology allows for very precise cancellation of signals of equal amplitude and differential polarity, with very little phase difference between the differential legs. Using proprietary materials for the cable jacket and dielectric has enabled Gore to engineer the smallest, most flexible cables for high-speed data rate applications.

Hornung summarized: “At Gore, we continue to assess the challenges of the industry before new developments in computer technology force drastic, immediate changes in cable technology. This new SCD21 cable design is the latest development not only for the more advanced SERDES technologies and the very aggressive firmware being implemented today, but also for the emerging InfiniBand EDR applications of tomorrow.”

Agilent intros highest-performing 67 GHz vector network analyzer

SANTA CLARA, USA: Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) announced the world’s highest performing 67 GHz PNA-X Series vector network analyzer (VNA). The new N5247A 67 GHz PNA-X allows engineers, working up to 67 GHz, to benefit from Agilent’s single-connection, multiple-measurement, PNA-X platform.

This level of performance makes it possible for the N5247A PNA-X to be used in the widest range of microwave applications, including active device characterization and tests; device modeling; high-speed digital; and material research.

Agilent will demonstrate the 67 GHz PNA-X, along with other products and services for wireless communication; radar; RF technologies; high-frequency semiconductors; electromagnetic; commercial and military RF; microwave; and mm-wave electronics and applications, at the European Microwave Week 2010, Sept. 26-Oct. 1, Paris, CNIT La Défense, Booth 62/46.

The N5247A PNA-X delivers +10 dBm output power; 110 dB system dynamic range; and a 0.1 dB receiver compression point of +11 dBm specified at 67 GHz. These specifications are 8 dB more output power and 7 dB more dynamic range than any other VNA in the industry. This unmatched performance enables the N5247A PNA-X to provide the world’s most accurate linear and nonlinear active component characterization in a single instrument.

Like all Agilent PNA-X models, the N5247A features clean internal dual sources, a built-in combiner and path switches. These features enable a unique single-connection solution for S-parameters, noise figure and intermodulation distortion (IMD) measurements. It also makes it possible to perform many other measurements that are required for testing active devices up to 67 GHz. This includes pulse; gain compression; harmonics and spectrum for amplifiers; mixers; and frequency converters.

Traditionally, similar tasks have required multiple test instruments. By integrating the capabilities of a full rack of equipment into a single instrument, the 67 GHz PNA-X reduces equipment count by 50 percent and decreases test time by a factor of four to 20 times. A single contact solution for on-wafer tests eliminates the need for multiple probe contacts and operator intervention, enabling the most accurate characterization and reliable wire-bonding.

A key feature of the N5247A PNA-X is its ability to be expanded from a 10 MHz to a 2- or 4-port 110 GHz single-sweep mm-wave solution. The solution provides power leveling, true differential, and frequency converter measurement capabilities.

As the industry’s first 4-port, 110 GHz single-sweep solution, the N5247A can characterize mixers/converters and differential devices with continuous measurements over the entire operating frequency range. Providing superior performance and reduced cost of ownership, the 110 GHz PNA-X mm-wave solution offers a direct replacement for the industry-standard 8510XF broadband 110 GHz system.

“Agilent is committed to offering the industry’s most integrated, high-performance, high-frequency network analyzer with quality as the top priority,” said Gregg Peters, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s Component Test Division. “The new 67 GHz PNA-X delivers on this goal and enables today’s engineers and engineering managers to meet both their budgetary constraints and measurement needs.”

Agilent also is releasing new features for its award-winning nonlinear vector network analysis (NVNA) software that runs on the PNA-X platform. The NVNA measures X-parameters*, a new category of nonlinear network parameters for deterministic, high-frequency design, that can be used to characterize both a components’ linear and nonlinear behavior.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Up and coming players in hardware space in 2010

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has added the report titled, Emerging Hardware Vendors: Up and Coming Players in the Hardware Space in 2010, to its line up.

The global hardware market is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 4.4 percent over the period 2009-2014 to reach $307.7 billion in the year 2014. Security hardware and appliances is the expected to be the fastest growing segment of the market, estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.7 percent over the period 2009-2014.

Western Europe is the largest hardware market in the world, followed by North America. Latin America is expected to be the fastest growing market, estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.1 percent.

Green IT and virtualization are the two key trends in the global hardware market. Concerns such as global warming, greenhouse effect, power and cooling costs and space constraints are driving these two trends.

The market is dominated by large global players such as IBM, Intel, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, NEC and Fujitsu. However, the market also comprises a large number of small vendors, including emerging hardware vendors, that primarily operate in smaller niche segments of the market. A majority of emerging vendors operate in the high growth areas of VoIP and mobile communication hardware and security hardware.

Key market issues
Focus on green IT and virtualization: Concerns such as global warming, green house effect, power and cooling costs and space constraints are driving the adoption of green technology and virtualization.

Focus on product innovation: Product innovation is one of the key focus areas of the emerging hardware vendors. A majority of vendors spend large amounts of their revenues on research and development.

Intense competition: Some of the key areas, such as the security hardware market and the telecom hardware market, where the emerging vendors operate are marked by intense competition. Intense competition is leading to price cuts and margin pressures.

Growth in security hardware market: The security hardware market is expected to be the fastest growing segment of the global hardware market, estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.7% over the period 2009-2014.

Key findings from this report
* The global hardware market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.4 percent over the period 2009-2014 to reach $307.0bn at the end of 2014.

* Security hardware and appliances is expected to be the fastest growing segment of the hardware market, estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.7 percent over the period 2009-2014 to $15.5 billion.

* Western Europe is the largest hardware market in the world, followed by North America. Latin America is expected to be the fastest growing market, estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.1 percent, followed by Eastern Europe, expected to grow at a CAGR of 5 percent over the period 2009-2014.

MindTree launches MindTest methodology for improved predictability in software testing and quality management

BANGALORE, INDIA: MindTree Ltd, a global IT Solutions Company, today announced the launch of MindTest, an integrated test methodology for quality management.

The methodology integrates all the components of a testing engagement, manages the quality of testing, and delivers measurable and predictable software quality. MindTest encompasses delivery, domain, technologies, tools, training, frameworks, quality, and knowledge management to help customers achieve a higher level of test maturity and improve Return on Investment (ROI).

MindTest offers customers a metric-driven approach that provides a 360-degree view of software quality, quality of testing, test management, testing processes and test automation efficiency. These metrics enable effective quality management of the test effort, which can have substantial impact on the quality and integrity of the information resulting from the test efforts. In addition, the metrics can improve governance, project management, accuracy in estimates and transparency to the client.

“As software products, applications and features become increasingly similar, quality will be the key differentiator,” said Ananda Rao Ladi, Vice President and Head of the Testing Business Unit at MindTree. ”With MindTest, our customers will be better-equipped to assess and predict the quality of products and applications, resulting in improved decision making, reduced risk and savings in time and cost.

“Organizations recognize the importance of software to their competitive position but often struggle with the cost of software quality and testing. This is generally due to a lack of consistency and useful metrics,” said Thomas Murphy, Research Director with Gartner. “The increasing complexity of solutions, pace of change, and need to drive productivity is causing a search for best practices and repeatability to enable business-driven deployment decisions and sustainable agile solution development and delivery.”

Tektronix intros industry’s first test tools for MIPI M-PHY debug and validation

BANGALORE, INDIA: Tektronix Inc. has introduced the industry’s first testing tools for the MIPI Alliance M-PHY standard, allowing customers to immediately get started with performance verification and debug for this important new specification using Tektronix DPO/DSA/MSO70000B Series oscilloscopes.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the MIPI Alliance All-Members meeting taking place this week in Athens, Greece. The M-PHY specification is an essential part of the MIPI Alliance’s vision for more efficient high-speed interfaces on mobile devices.

Compared to the current D-PHY specification, M-PHY supports faster chip-to-chip connections while addressing EMI and power dissipation concerns. By moving quickly to offer M-PHY testing tools, Tektronix is stepping up to help ensure rapid delivery of next-generation mobile devices incorporating M-PHY at the physical layer.

"As an active MIPI contributor, Tektronix brings its test and measurement knowledge to the organization, spurring the adoption of D-PHY and M-PHY specifications,” said Joel Huloux, chairman of the MIPI Alliance. "Tektronix is aiding the adoption of the new M-PHY interface by giving designers the testing tools they need to ensure signal integrity and verify performance of increasingly complex designs."

Based on the newly ratified MIPI Alliance M-PHY specification, the new Tektronix M-PHY test offering includes a setup library for the popular DPOJET jitter analysis software and methods of implementation (MOI) developed in the close cooperation with UNH-IOL. The solution also includes probing and protocol support from Tektronix partner, The Moving Pixel Company, as well as M-PHY DigRF(SM)v4 decode and verification.

"Tektronix has been supportive of UNH-IOL's collaborative efforts within the MIPI industry to foster correlation and consistency of physical layer measurement methodologies,” said Andy Baldman, senior technical staff, R&D, University of New Hampshire Inter Operability Lab (UNH-IOL).

“With data rates up to 6 Gbps and greater versatility and sophistication, M-PHY requires dedicated tools that can help designers verify performance and interoperability and efficiently debug problems,” said Scott Silver, president, The Moving Pixel Company. “Working together with Tektronix, our tool supports the capabilities users need now to acquire M-PHY traffic with 8b-10b decode, form packets and disassemble for analysis on Tektronix Oscilloscopes. Powerful search and filter commands help users zero in on exactly the details desired.”

The Moving Pixel Company also offers the P335 M-PHY probe for PG3A with up to 6 Gbps across four lanes and adjustable voltage on a channel-by-channel basis in real time. The probe is designed for use with Tektronix DPO/DSA/MSO70000B Series oscilloscopes.

“We see M-PHY as an extremely important new high-speed serial interface for the mobile device industry,” said Dave Slack, marketing manager, Technology Solutions Group, Tektronix.

“As demonstrated by our delivery of many other serial standard testing tools for USB3.0 and SATA 6GB, we are confident that by delivering the industry’s first set of M-PHY testing tools and our active involvement with the MIPI Alliance, we will meet the needs of M-PHY designers looking for signal testing guidance at these high speeds. We are committed to maintaining our leadership in this area over the long term.”

State of tech report on electronic manufacturing services (EMS)

PRINCETON, USA: Next Inning Technology Research, an online investment newsletter focused on semiconductor and technology stocks, has published quarterly State of Tech Report covering the EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services) Sector.

Included in this report are updated outlooks for Sanmina-SCI Corp., Benchmark Electronics, Celestica and Flextronics International as well as a preview of what to expect from Jabil's quarterly report that is scheduled for release after the close on September 27.

Editor Paul McWilliams has displayed uncanny accuracy in identifying winners and losers during this challenging and historic period for the markets. After calling the rally that started in March 2009 to the day and providing Next Inning readers with buy recommendations that in some cases returned in excess of 400 percent, he advised readers on May 3, 2010 that the markets were heading for a correction. By the end of the day, the correction started.

In his June 7th Strategy Review, McWilliams advised readers we would see stocks rally in July, but that the rally would be followed by another selloff in August. As we know now, both events materialized as predicted.

On August 30th, Next Inning published McWilliams' Fall Strategy Review that outlines what he expects from the markets during the coming three months and naming five stocks he thinks will hit new highs before the close of the year. Investors are invited to read McWilliams' market insights with no obligation during a 21-day risk-free trial.

Trial subscribers will receive the Next Inning Fall Strategy Review and highly acclaimed State of Tech reports that offer in-depth, sector-by-sector coverage of over 65 leading tech companies and specific guidance on which stocks he thinks investors should own and which should be avoided. These reports, as well as McWilliams' regular commentary and detailed earnings previews, are available for free to trial subscribers.

In addition, subscribers will have access to McWilliams' daily commentary, actionable alerts and his special "Paradigm Paper" that outlines his long-term view for the EMS sector.
McWilliams covers these topics and more in his State of Tech report for the EMS sector:

* On August 31st, when Jabil was trading for only $10.25, McWilliams advised Next Inning readers the price was unrealistically low and it was time to buy. During the four weeks that followed, the price of Jabil has moved up 35 percent. Why does McWilliams think the price of Jabil was unrealistically depressed and what does he expect from the company when it reports results for its August ending quarter? What does he see as a fair valuation for Jabil and how much upside potential does that represent?

* The price of Sanmina is up an astounding 432 percent since McWilliams advised Next Inning readers to buy the stock in March 2009. He reiterated his opinion last December and, since then, Sanmina is the only stock out of the largest EMS sector stocks to post a gain. What led McWilliams to reverse his bearish stance on Sanmina in March and to restate his bullish view last December? What does he see for Sanmina going forward and what does he cite as the major risks that investors should monitor?

* Benchmark is down 14 percent year-to-date. Is this due to the fact Wall Street is factoring too much risk into the equation or are there valid company-specific issues that have caused Wall Street to shy away from the stock? Are there reasons to believe Benchmark will reverse the declines the company has seen from its customers in the medical and computing sectors? Where is Benchmark doing well? Is Wall Street ignoring the value of Benchmark's balance sheet at its own peril? What would be a fair price for Benchmark's stock if its balance sheet was given fair recognition?

* Celestica is up 67 percent since McWilliams suggested that Next Inning readers consider it as a good speculative investment. What caused him to change his tune on Celestica? As opposed to most other companies in the EMS sector, Celestica holds a balance sheet with a positive net cash value. If Wall Street were to take this into consideration and view Celestica as the company it has become under CEO Craig Muhlhauser's leadership, at what price might its stock trade?

* In November 2008 when the price of Flextronics fell to $1.50, McWilliams advised Next Inning readers that Wall Street was applying unrealistic risks to its leveraged balance sheet and noted that it would be no problem for the company to keep pace with its debt obligations. Since then the company has paid off all outstanding debt due through 2010 and the stock has advanced roughly 300 percent. What does McWilliams see ahead for Flextronics and what does he think the company will need to accomplish to push the stock price into double-digits?

Inview to demo revolutionary NEELiX platform at Hong Kong Consumer Fair

LONDON, UK: Inview Technology, the world's leading supplier of royalty free EPG’s has announced that after signing license agreements with a number of key silicon suppliers, it is to demonstrate its revolutionary new NEELiX platform at the Hong Kong Consumer Fair 13-16 Oct.

Inview will be exhibiting with a number of partners and can be found on stand 1D – A18 with Mico Electronics and on stand 1D – D14 with GIEC who are both leading set top box manufacturers and also with prominent manufacturer of TV boards; CVT Electronics in the Broadroom at the Dynasty Club.

Specifically engineered for resource constrained environments, NEELiX incorporates a fully integrated EPG, media browser and personal schedule tool designed with convenience in mind. A recommendation engine searches out broadcast and internet content that is relevant to individual user viewing profiles, viewing history, friend's recommendations and video ranking.

It also boasts a wide range of TV applications that provide easy access to Internet content, including video streaming, instant messaging, news and weather reports, online radio and secure on demand TV without having to use a browser or search engines. The first products complete with the NEELiX platform will be available in the marketplace by the end of 2010 with a full European roll out planned for 2011.

Keith Wiggins, commercial director for Inview, said: "The Inview approach is totally unique; NEELiX is a revolutionary platform that will enable us to bring IP connected products to the mass market when currently connectivity is only available on high-end, expensive products. We are excited to be demonstrating all that NEELiX offers at the show. We know that the draw for consumers will be all the value-add features this enables at no extra cost.”

iSuppli estimates new iPod nano BOM at $43.73

EL SEGUDO, USA: Apple Inc.’s new sixth-generation iPod nano proves the old adage that less is more by delivering a compelling user experience in a product exhibiting remarkable economy in terms of its size, feature set and Bill-of-Materials (BOM), according to iSuppli Corp.

The 8GByte version of the latest iPod carries an estimated BOM of $43.73, iSuppli’s teardown analysis of the product has revealed. This gives the sixth generation product the second-lowest BOM of all members of the iPod line.

Based on iSuppli teardowns of the low-end versions of all six iPod generations, only the fourth generation product had a less expensive BOM at the time of its introduction, at $40.80.

“Instead of piling on features, as so many brands do with their latest products, Apple with the sixth-generation iPod has maintained or even removed some attributes in order to fit the form factor and function desired,” said Andrew Rassweiler, director and principal analyst and teardown services manager, for iSuppli. “This has enabled Apple to offer the smallest iPod including a touch screen, while keeping component costs to a strict budget.”

For example, the latest nano omits the camera found in the previous-generation product. Furthermore, the low-end model still uses just 8Gbyte of NAND flash memory for music storage—the same as the fifth-generation nano. In fact, because NAND flash pricing essentially stopped eroding during 2008, and even went up, Apple’s policy of doubling of NAND Flash memory content seen from 2005 to 2008 has essentially stalled from 2008 to 2010.

With the move to a touch screen interface, the sixth-generation nano also eschews the click wheel used in previous models, instead implementing an advanced, intuitive interface in a product with a near-wristwatch form factor of just 1.48 by 1.61 by 0.35 inches.

Apple’s judicious decisions regarding which features to use and which to withhold also helped endow the sixth-generation nano sufficient battery life to play up to 24 hours of music when fully charged.

nano makes more than nano profits
When manufacturing costs of $1.37 are added to the BOM, the new nano carries a combined material and production cost of $45.10. This adds up to about 30 percent of its retail price.

Since the third generation of the nano line, the average cost to retail price ratio has been 33 percent, or roughly one third of the retail price. However, with its lower BOM cost, the new iPod should command a higher margin than the previous member of the line.

The figure presents a summary of iSuppli’s preliminary BOM and manufacturing cost estimate for the 4Gbyte version of the sixth-generation iPod nano, broken down by subsystem. Please note that iSuppli’s teardown assessment accounts only for hardware and manufacturing costs, and does not take into consideration other expenses such as software, licensing and royalties.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Memories of Toshiba and Samsung
The most expensive subsection of the new nano is the memory system, featuring 8Gbytes of NAND flash from Toshiba and 512Mbits of mobile Double Data Rate (DDR) DRAM from Samsung. At a cost of $14.40, this section represents roughly 33 percent of the total BOM cost of the new nano. While Toshiba and Samsung were the suppliers in the specific nano torn down by iSuppli, Apple may employ other suppliers of these commodity memory parts.

Next most expensive is the display/touch screen module, priced at $11.50, or about 26 percent of the total BOM.

Third on the cost list is the applications/core processor system, featuring a Samsung-manufactured chip, at a cost of $4.95, or 11.3 percent of the BOM. The processor is a shrunken version of the device used in the previous-generation of nano, using a more advanced 45 nanometer semiconductor manufacturing technology.

Touch screen touch down for Cypress
Fourth most pricey is the user interface section, priced at $3.49, or 8 percent of the total BOM.

One noteworthy piece of this subsystem is the touch screen controller chip, supplied by Cypress. Previous Cypress touch controllers in the nano line provided capacitive click wheel support, although iSuppli’s teardown team has seen the Cypress part in Palm’s Pre and Pixi smart phones in the touch screen controller/support role.

This represents a win for Cypress, given that Apple employs other suppliers—Broadcom Corp. and Texas Instruments Inc.—for the controllers in the company’s other touch screen-based products: the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.

Cirrus also supplies the audio codec; Cirrus essentially owns this slot right now in Apple mobile devices.

Another notable win in the user interface section is the Microelectromechanical System (MEMS) accelerometer from STMicroelectronics. This part, which sports the smallest form factor of any accelerometer yet seen in an iSuppli teardown at just 2 by 2 millimeters, supports the nano’s pedometer function.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Smart Guard Systems unveils Smart Monitor Nova video management software

AHMEDABAD, INDIA: Smart Guard Systems, the first and only Indian company to design, develop and manufacture IP surveillance solutions in India has introduced Smart Monitor Nova, a powerful Video Mangement Software.

Smart Monitor Nova accepts High Definition and megapixel video streams from Network Cameras and encoders and hence allows user to build hybrid solutions. The user can progress and build from a single camera to unlimited number of cameras and encoders.

Smart Monitor Nova is a video and security management solution that can integrate with any kind of security and surveillance device such as access control devices, intrusion alarms, and fire alarms, etc.

Gurudas Parwani, president, Smart Guard Systems, said: "This software will address the major restrictive concerns of the end users. It has been designed in such a way that it can support multiple brands of IP Cameras / devices, supports unlimited no. of cameras and clients, multiple access, remote surveillance and many more features.

"Since this software has a very good user interface, it is ideally suitable for Enterprise applications as well as for medium and entry level of installations. It is also ideal for both Analog & Network IP Cameras and Devices. Due to it’s multiple advantages, the software is sure to appeal to customers."

Smart Monitor software contains features such as:
* Supports all major brands of Network (IP) cameras, devices and servers.
* Supports unlimited number of cameras and clients.
* Multiple clients can connect to a single server or vis-a-vis.
* Supports multiple manufacturers (55+), multiple devices (650+).
* Supports digital PTZ.
* Supports multiple codecs JPEG, MJPEG, MPEG4 and H.264.
* Google Map Navigation.
* Supports PSIA and RTSP protocols.
* Network Camera Search.
* Supports video export features: single images and video clips.
* Supports 2-way audio.

Cortus, RivieraWaves to provide complete Bluetooth low energy and classic Bluetooth BR/EDR low power platforms

MONTPELLIER, FRANCE: Cortus and RivieraWaves announced a partnership providing a range of complete, turnkey, easy to integrate, Bluetooth IP solutions.

One of the platforms, coming out of this partnership, is a complete, fully qualified, Bluetooth Low Energy solution, specifically designed for ultra low power systems requiring exceptionally long battery life.

The IP is a complete solution combining RivieraWaves’ RF, modem and baseband hardware and the protocol stack running on the integrated APS3 processor from Cortus. All these elements form a common reference platform including bus system, memory interfaces and peripherals.

This ready-to-use integrated solution, called the RiCoW Platform, ensures first time success and reduces time to market when used as the backbone of an SoC, or as a sub-system in a bigger SoC such as baseband or application processors.

Ange Aznar, president and CEO of RivieraWaves, said: “The APS3 is the perfect CPU Core for our Bluetooth IP! This ultra-low power processor core provides more than enough processing power to not only run our Bluetooth protocol stacks but also demanding customer applications whilst allowing us to achieve an ultra-low power system. The tiny silicon footprint ensures that our customers can integrate Bluetooth into their systems without dramatically increasing their budgets.”

Mike Chapman, CEO of Cortus, added: “This is an ideal partnership, our processor IP perfectly complements RivieraWaves’ advanced wireless technology. Our APS3 offers a perfect platform to robustly and efficiently run the various Bluetooth protocol stacks. Our customers will have an ultra low power Bluetooth platform on which to base their solutions.”

RivieraWaves provides a set of Bluetooth IP blocks composed of basebands, modem, radio and software protocol stack to address Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, Bluetooth 3.0 and Bluetooth 4.0 (aka Bluetooth low energy) standards for integration into System on Chips. RivieraWaves recently announced the world’s first qualified Bluetooth low energy baseband IP.

The Bluetooth IP blocks are flexible to accommodate the requirements of any Bluetooth enabled product such as sport & fitness wireless sensors, medical wireless sensors, watches, remote controllers, home/building control & automation devices, set top boxes, mobile phones, PCs/laptops, audio peripherals (mono/stereo headsets, hands free car kits, stereo speakers).

The Cortus APS3 is a fully 32-bit processor designed specifically for embedded systems. It features a tiny silicon footprint (the same size as an 8051), very low power consumption, high code density and high performance. A full development environment (for C and C++), is available, which is available for customisation and branding for final customer use.

The ecosystem around the APS3 is rich and well developed; it includes tools, peripherals typical of embedded systems, bus bridges to ensure easy interfacing to other IP and system support and functions such as cache and memory management units. For the most demanding designs the APS3 can be used in a multi-core configuration.

The APS3 processor core is currently in production in a range of products from security applications to ultra low power RF designs.

LCD-TV shipment growth accelerates in second half of 2010

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Despite a second-quarter slowdown in global LCD-TV shipment growth, the second half of the year is expected to bring a recovery as price reductions spur another year of double-digit expansion for the market, according to iSuppli Corp.

Global LCD-TV shipments will rise to 173.3 million units in 2010, up 20.9 percent from 143.4 million in 2009. While still a strong rise, growth will be down significantly from the 39.1 percent increase in 2009, primarily due to saturation in the mature markets.

LCD-TV shipments suffered a sequential decline of 20.2 percent in the first quarter because of the normal seasonal slowdown. Shipments in the second quarter then advanced by a tepid 3 percent. However, growth will accelerate to 14.9 percent in the third quarter and to 17.9 percent in the fourth quarter.

“Sequential demand growth for LCD-TVs slowed in the second quarter as rising economic uncertainty, slower price declines and mounting consumer caution took a toll on sales,” said Riddhi Patel, director of television systems at iSuppli.

“In contrast, sales in the second half will strengthen as brands slash prices aggressively on new sets with advanced features like LED backlighting, Internet connectivity, 3-D display and 120/240Hz refresh rates.”

Slow LCD-TV sales in the first half contributed to a buildup of inventories in panels and finished sets. Despite an unusual rise in LCD-TV set pricing in July in the United States, prices worldwide are set to decline in the third and fourth quarters, as the supply chain strives to reduce stockpiles.

Regional accents
LCD-TV shipment growth will vary widely by region in 2010. The mature North American and Western European markets will expand by only 1 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively, in 2010.

In contrast, the large China market will soar by 34.1 percent as government stimulus efforts spur consumer spending. And in Latin America, sales are growing rapidly as LCD-TVs become increasingly affordable for consumers. Led by Brazil, Latin America shipments are projected to soar by 55.1 percent.

Sizing up LCDs
Shipments of 32-inch LCD TVs had been expected to remain stable this year. However, iSuppli is now expecting growth because of increased focus from brands on LED-backlit models as well as multi-format support.

By contrast, the 50-inch and larger sizes have seen a greater slowdown in shipments than initially forecasted, owing to a slowdown in the mature markets as well as to concerns surrounding consumer spending.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Mobile handset sales accounted for around 24 percent of Australian CE spending In 2009

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Australia Consumer Electronics Report Q4 2010" report to its offering.

Australia's consumer electronics devices market, defined as including computing devices, mobile handsets and AV products, is projected to be worth around $13.7 billion in 2010.

In Q110, demand for some consumer electronics products such as LCD TV sets decelerated sharply following strong holiday sales at the end of 2009. However, growth was recorded for 3D, large-screen and LED TV sets as well as smartphones, which were estimated to account for above 40 percent of total handset sales.

Consumer electronics spending is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4 percent to $16.2 billion by 2014. Drivers will include demand for premium TV sets, notebook computers, digital cameras and other key products, as well as rising incomes, product innovation and government programmes for information and communication technology (ICT).

Computer hardware accounted for around 61 percent of Australia's consumer electronics spending in 2009 and will continue to dominate spending.

BMI forecasts that Australian PC sales (including notebooks and accessories) will reach around $6.5 billion in 2010, with the market receiving a boost from phase two of the computers for schools programme. Computer hardware CAGR for the 2010-2014 period is forecast at about 4 percent, driven by sales of notebooks and netbooks.

AV devices
AV spending is projected at US$2.0bn in 2010. AV spending growth is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4 percent to $2.4 billion by 2014. In Q110, sales of LED back-lit TV sets were up while 3D TV sets also surpassed most vendor expectations in the Australian market. Drivers will include demand for premium TV sets and larger screen sizes as well as Internet-enabled TV sets.

Mobile handsets
Mobile handset sales accounted for around 24 percent of Australian consumer electronics spending in 2009.

Australian market handset sales are expected to grow at a CAGR of 5 percent to around $4.5 billion in 2014, as smartphones account for above 50 percent of handset sales. Sales will be dominated by the replacement market, with growing demand for smartphones, PDAs and 3G handsets.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Technology industry launches High Tech Spectrum Coalition (HTSC)

ARLINGTON, USA: Four leading high tech trade associations have joined forces to create the High Tech Spectrum Coalition (HTSC) to advocate for legislation that would give the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authority to hold voluntary incentive auctions, as called for in the FCC’s March 2010 National Broadband Plan (NBP) and President Obama’s June 2010 spectrum memo.

HTSC members include the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).

Spectrum is a top priority for the high tech industry. HTSC members concur with the NBP and President Obama that the United States should make 500 MHz of spectrum available for broadband by 2020, 300 MHz of which the NBP specifies should be made available for mobile use by 2015.

The HTSC further agrees that voluntary incentive auctions are a critical new tool to advance a timely and efficient transition from existing lower value spectrum uses to higher value ones, enabling the United States to achieve its broadband goals.

Accordingly, the HTSC urges Congress to promptly grant the FCC authority to hold voluntary incentive spectrum auctions, as the FCC deems appropriate to advance the public interest. The HTSC continues to support the FCC’s authority and flexibility to allocate spectrum for either licensed or unlicensed wireless broadband uses.

The members of HTSC will work together to seek passage of legislation that would grant the FCC the authority to hold voluntary incentive auctions in order to make additional spectrum available for broadband in the near future.

“Broadband is the engine of growth in our innovation-driven economy, and creating a plan for doubling the amount of available spectrum shows that policy makers are embracing new technology as our best path forward,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. “Now, Congress needs to take the steps necessary to make this plan a reality.”

“Wireless information and communication technologies and services make enterprises more efficient, consumers more productive and our economy more competitive globally,” said Dean Garfield, president and CEO of ITI. “The ever-changing Internet landscape requires that we take a practical 21st Century approach to the spectrum shortfall in the United States. Making additional spectrum available for commercial services as called for in the National Broadband Plan is going to be critical in creating jobs, driving innovation, and cultivating the technologies of the future.”

“The United States is facing a significant spectrum shortfall, and Congress should act to ensure the FCC has the authority and flexibility to support next-generation wireless systems,” said SIA President Brian Toohey. “Semiconductor innovation is a key enabling element of advanced wireless technologies, and we are pleased to be part of the High Tech Spectrum Coalition’s efforts to ensure that government spectrum policy evolves with advances in technology.”

“Spectrum is the life blood of the information and communications technology industry,” said TIA President Grant Seiffert, “and vital for its future, especially when considering that mobile broadband demand already exceeds capacity. TIA is fully engaged with the High Tech Spectrum Coalition and strongly supports its call for legislative action to grant the FCC authority to hold voluntary incentive spectrum auctions. We must give the FCC the tools it needs to reach the goal of the National Broadband Plan and the President’s call to free 500 MHz for mobile broadband.”

Friday, September 24, 2010

electronica India 2010 & productronica India 2010 retain #1 position in the electronics industry exhibitions segment in India

BANGALORE, INDIA: electronica India and productronica India, held from September 7-10, 2010 at the Bangalore International Exhibition Center (BIEC), witnessed an overwhelming response from the Indian and international electronics industry. Once again, the fairs stamped their authority by being the largest trade fairs for electronic components, assemblies, materials and production equipment.

With an increase of 21 percent, electronica India and productronica India welcomed this year 869 exhibitors and represented companies with 331 direct exhibitors. In two halls and on an area of 13,000sqm exhibitors presented their products and applications – a significant 30 percent increase in exhibition space over the previous year. The exhibitors were also satisfied with the quality as well as the numbers of visitors. They saw closures of deals and a raise in the number of quality inquiries. Altogether, the show attracted over 12,245 visitors, an increase of 18 percent.

This year’s exhibitors came from over 25 countries with a strong presence from Japan, Switzerland, USA, Italy, Spain, Korea, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Countries like Germany, UK, China, Singapore and Taiwan were represented with their own country pavilions. The Indian Printed Circuits Association (IPCA), a strategic partner of MMI India, increased its exhibition space by 55 percent.

The exhibition also witnessed a high participation from international key companies. Among others Agilent Technologies, ASYS Group, Bergen Systems, EMST Marketing, EPCOS, iNetest Technologies, Infineon, MAXIM SMT Technologies, NMTronics, NXP, RS Components, TATA Power, TYCO Electronics and SONY displayed their state-of-the-art technology and products.

The show featured a special focus area on LED. There were also two high profile international conferences conducted at electronica India and productronica India. The “Conference on Contract Manufacturing: The Indian Perspective” held on 7th September 2010, saw delegates from companies like National Instruments, Indium Corporation, Atotech, Firan Technology and HCL Technologies, to name a few. They discussed various topics on trends, new technologies, opportunities and requirements of the Indian EMS/Contract Manufacturing Industry.

The second conference on 8th September 2010 the “Symposium on the Trends and Future Requirements in Automotive Electronics” had delegates from Freescale, Infineon, TYCO, First Sensor, Mahindra Satyam, Robert Bosch, AUTOSAR, NXP, Atrisys and TATA Motors speak at the conference. Over 145 delegates attended both conferences.

Already, 42 percent of the exhibitors have rebooked themselves for electronica India and productronica India 2011. A great success on which Norbert H. Bargmann, deputy CEO of Messe München International commented: “Having seen the response to this year’s edition of the exhibition, India is emerging as an important port of call for companies from around the world. This country has one of the fastest growing economies of the world and has made its presence felt in the international trade fairs and exhibition industry.”

Darryl Dasilva, CEO, Messe München International India, stated: “With the high growth that the electronics sector has witnessed as well as the huge opportunity over the past few years, platforms such as electronica India and productronica India will play a vital role in the future of this industry. It is an absolute pleasure to be able to organise one of the biggest events in this sector, and I look forward to many more successful years in the future with the support of our participants.”

The next electronica India and productronica India will take place in New Delhi from September 13-16, 2011 at the Pragati Maidan.

Will TomTom’s China foray succeed?

EL SEGUNDO, USA: After years of sitting on the sidelines, Dutch manufacturer TomTom NV recently entered China’s Portable Navigation Device (PND) market . But with PND sales in the country slowing after three years of explosive growth, has the company missed out on its market opportunity?

“In China—where TomTom lacked an official presence and only black-market PNDs could be found in small volumes—concerns regarding the messy Chinese market as well as issues related to the Amsterdam-based firm’s own marketing strategy made TomTom miss the peak of the Chinese PND market,” said Celina Li, Asian automotive researcher at iSuppli.

“Despite its late entry now, iSuppli believes that TomTom has picked an opportune time to enter China, with its products and strategy likely to receive a warm welcome.”

Second-quarter sales for TomTom, a leading global PND maker, reached 1.5 million units in Europe for a 49 percent market share in that continent, as well as about 800,000 units during the same period in North American sales for a 23 percent market share.

Good timing
For TomTom, the axiom that good things come to those who wait appears to be true.
TomTom bided its time to enter the vast China market until Chinese consumers, having developed more mature tastes, were ready for higher-end PNDs. Furthermore, China now has a more structured PND market.

Consumers today in China possess high recognition of PND products. Pricing is no longer the most critical factor in PND purchase decisions. Today, even very high-end models are in the affordable range of 3,000 yuan ($441), compared to about 5,000 yuan ($765) in the past. The old choices involving cheap, barely functional grey-market PNDs—either pirated or unnamed—are no longer tolerable.

In the meantime, the market also has become more structured and consolidated after years of overcrowding with low-end Shanzhai PNDs—knockoffs that forced branded models to enter pricing wars and invest in resources to build their brands. Pricing now has stabilized, however, and branded PNDs with authorized maps can be found that range between 1,000 yuan to 3,000 yuan.

Such a price range puts TomTom in direct competition with Garmin, Mio, Shinco and Unistrong, to name just a few.

In addition, the shrinking profit from the pricing war continues to flush out many Shanzhai PND makers and dealers—short-term profit seekers that usually must move on quickly to copying the next profitable product in order to survive.

Strength of TomTom
If it treads carefully, TomTom still has a healthy chance of winning significant share in the Chinese market. Poor navigation accuracy ranks as the biggest complaint among Chinese consumers about PNDs, whose accuracy depends on their digital map data and routing engines—otherwise strong areas for TomTom.

TomTom’s three new PND debuts, the Go 750, XXL 540 and XL 255, all come with leading map provider AutoNavi’s latest map data as well as TomTom’s fast positioning by downloading QuickGPSFix data. The TomTom Go750 reportedly receives signals from six satellites in less than 12 seconds when first turned on, which easily puts it ahead of other GPS navigation systems on the market.

TomTom also was a known brand name long PND Line-ups in China—priced at more than 3,000 yuan or $441—before its official entrance into China. The company has supplied its G720 to the Shanghai Volkswagen group since January 2009 and its G430VW to the Volkswagen Lavida since June 2009. Together, these two products have given Chinese users a peek into TomTom’s features.

All told, the company has a ripe opportunity to ride the wave of the biggest automotive market in the world. But as OEM embedded in-vehicle systems, aftermarket navigation systems and smart phone navigation applications gain more traction in China, TomTom is sure to face its share of challenges.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

3D Cinema comes home with Sony's SXRD front projector

ATLANTA, USA: Sony brings the big-screen 3D cinematic experience home with the new the VPL-VW90ES – the company's first 3D front projector.

Designed with the custom and specialty consumer electronics market in mind, the VPL-VW90ES is the first projector to be been branded with Sony's "Elevated Standard" (ES) moniker, signifying an emphasis on high build quality and outstanding video experience. It was also engineered to seamlessly integrate third-party control systems.

"Delivering on Sony's promise of innovation, the VW90ES brings the 3D big screen theater home with another stunning full HD, sub-$10,000 home cinema projector," said Brian Siegel, vice president of Sony's home audio and video business. "Sony understands the 3D ecosystem better than any manufacturer so dealers and installers can count on Sony products to deliver the best possible 3D experience."

"The VW90ES also shares the heritage of previously acclaimed Sony SXRD projectors delivering incredible 2D performance that rivals any competition in its class," he added.

The Silicon X-tal Reflective Display (SXRD) full HD (1920 x 1080) projector delivers film-like performance with Sony's 24p True Cinema. It incorporates frame sequential 3D technology with active-shutter glasses that work together with Sony's proprietary 240Hz high frame rate technology, delivering smooth, full high-definition 3D images.

The new 240Hz high frame rate drive supports to minimize cross talk for minimal image distortion, producing an unrivalled 3D and 2D high definition cinematic experience. Additionally, the projector uses a single Ultra High Performance (UHP) lamp that drives brightness of 1,000 ANSI lumens and delivers a sharp, deep black picture thanks to Sony's Advanced Iris 3 technology that helps to produce a dynamic contrast ratio of 150,000:1.

Sony's ES audio and video products not only deliver outstanding sound and picture quality, they are built to seamlessly integrate with third-party control systems. Sony has worked closely with major custom home theater control companies ensuring that drivers are available and accurate.

The VPL-VW90ES is no different as it joins an elite list of Sony products that integrate easily with leading home automation systems including Control4, Crestron, AMX, Savant, Ultimate Remote Control, RTI, Vantage, and others. The projector is also Control4 Certified and includes an AMX Device Discovery Beacon.

The projector does not require a special screen so it can be easily placed in existing home theaters with minimal revision to the set up making it ideal for retrofit projects. It includes two pairs of Sony active shutter 3D glasses that are also compatible with Sony's 3D capable BRAVIA HDTVs.

The VPL-VW90ES SXRD 3D front projector will be available in November for about $10,000 through Sony authorized installers and specialty dealers around the country. It will come equipped with two pairs of Sony active shutter 3D glasses and a built-in 3D transmitter.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Zygo receives orders for large optics test systems

MIDDLEFIELD, USA: Zygo Corp. announced that its Metrology Solutions Division has received orders for $3.5 million for large aperture laser interferometer systems from leading Chinese optical research and manufacturing organizations.

The large aperture interferometers include systems capable of measuring up to 32 inch (800 millimeter) diameter parts and another capable of 18 inch (450 millimeter) diameter components, along with an upgrade of an existing Zygo 24 inch (600 millimeter) interferometer system.

These instruments will be used for the development and manufacture of very large dimensioned optical components and systems, enabling precision surface shape and glass homogeneity measurements.

"These orders are especially gratifying because selection was based on exhaustive technical evaluations focused on achieving the highest level of performance possible. As a world leader of large aperture laser interferometer systems, Zygo's decades of expertise combined with its unique in-house optical fabrication and metrology portfolio enabled us to package specific solutions required by our customers to help advance their research and manufacturing capabilities," commented Dan Musinski, senior Product Manager.

"In association with Zygo's joint venture in Shanghai, China, the Zygo team, led by Dr. Lifeng Yin, GM of ZygoLamda Metrology Instrument was able to demonstrate Zygo's commitment to the customers' needs by offering advanced technology, as well as local service and support," noted Donald Battistoni, Executive Director of Worldwide Sales. "This order reflects the value of our local presence and validates our strategic plan to grow our business in China as local quality requirements improve."

Zygo is a supplier of optical metrology instruments, precision optics, and electro-optical design and manufacturing services serving customers in the semiconductor capital equipment, bio-medical, scientific and industrial markets.

DiiVA Consortium demos benefits of the next-generation DiiVA home entertainment networking technology

ATLANTA, USA: The Digital Interactive Interface for Video & Audio (DiiVA) Consortium is demonstrating the benefits of the next-generation DiiVA home entertainment networking technology at booth #4616 at CEDIA EXPO 2010, Sept. 22–26 in Atlanta, GA.

DiiVA offers custom home theater and automation installers a robust and easy-to-install pure digital solution for the network-based distribution of premium entertainment content -- both within and across home theater clusters within customers' homes.

Well surpassing the bandwidth of alternative interfaces, DiiVA provides 18Gbps of dedicated bandwidth to deliver uncompressed baseband digital video, digital audio, USB, Ethernet, content protection, remote device command and control and up to five (5) watts of power over a single industry-standard Cat5e/6/7 wire.

Consumer electronics, PC, and mobile devices can be connected together with passive cable runs of up to 25 meters, and up to 100 meters using simple, low-cost active repeaters powered through the DiiVA cable.

What's more, since DiiVA was designed from the ground-up as a network-aware technology with built-in device discovery and addressability, it delivers long-overdue networking capability to uncompressed video -- moving well beyond the limitations of today's point-to-point digital video interface technologies.

With 13.5Gbps of bandwidth for video, there is no need to compress and uncompress video streams, enabling consumers to route the highest quality video with no latency. DiiVA's capabilities, robustness and rich feature set, in tandem with HDCP Rev. 2.0, the next-generation of content protection technology, ensures that devices connected through DiiVA will have access to current and future content formats including 4K x 2K and 3D.

DiiVA Licensing LLC will showcase prototype DiiVA wall plate adapter solutions from Foxconn and Sure-Fire to demonstrate how simple, low-cost adapters can easily bridge devices with existing interface technologies into a DiiVA network. These wall plate solutions integrate HDMI 1.4, USB, Ethernet, RS232, and IR in/out signals into a single DiiVA cable.

Visitors will be treated to a preview of the future of home entertainment networking content management applications that leverage DiiVA's unique combination of unsurpassed raw video bandwidth, data transport capacity, and network awareness to enable consumers to access and manage their entire content library across a home network of heterogeneous devices.

PNDs remains navigation form-factor of choice but regional differences exist

LONDON, UK: ABI Research’s most recent navigation survey revealed significant differences in navigation form factor usage. While Personal Navigation Devices remain most popular in all the surveyed countries (France, Germany, the UK and US), the use of other form factors varies widely:

* 39 percent of German respondents reported the use of built-in in-dash navigation systems.
* 45 percent of respondents in France use mobile phones with navigation software.
* In the US, 85 percent of respondents use PNDs, a significantly higher percent compared to the other three countries.

Telematics practice director Dominique Bonte comments: “French drivers’ preference for phone-based navigation can be explained by French carriers having offered navigation solutions for many years, some of which are available free. The higher preference for in-dash navigation in Germany is due to a higher percentage of luxury cars sold.”

Other notable findings from the survey include:

* Text-to-speech is more commonly used in Germany and the US.
* Traffic information is used by 51 percent of respondents in Germany.
* Garmin is the leading PND brand in the US, used by 57%, followed by TomTom and Magellan.
* In Europe, TomTom is the leader among PND brands.
-- In Germany, Navigon and Medion are the #2 and #3.
-- In France, Garmin and Mio follow TomTom in terms of usage.
-- In the UK, Garmin, followed distantly by Navman are other PND brands.
* About half of all PND users in the US, Germany, and the UK report that they paid between $100 and $200 for their PND.
* Significantly higher percentages of those in the European countries (50%+) have updated their maps, compared to only 42 perceny of those in the US.
* 55 percent of those in the US who plan to replace their devices intend to purchase a PND, while 25 percent are looking to obtain a built-in in-dash navigation system.

Samsung Electronics ranks in top five globally among corporations responding to climate change

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd was selected for the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) for the second consecutive year, moving into a tie for fourth place in the global index after being ranked No. 10 in 2009.

The index highlights the constituent companies within the FTSE Global Equity Index Series (Global 500) which have displayed the most professional approach to corporate governance in respect of climate change disclosure practices.

Samsung was the highest-ranked Asian company on the CDLI and the highest of four selected from the Information Technology category. Samsung was also one of a select group of companies selected both for the CDLI and the CDP’s new Carbon Performance Leadership Index (CPLI), receiving a grade of “A.” The CPLI recognizes companies that are taking action to reduce global emissions and demonstrating strategy, governance and stakeholder communications in their CDP responses.

Samsung’s prominence in both rankings reflects the early success of its PlanetFirst initiative, a companywide commitment announced in July 2009 to become one of the world’s most environmentally friendly companies by 2013.

Under PlanetFirst, Samsung invested 1.01 trillion Korean won (about US$865 million) in environmentally friendly initiatives last year, including eco-friendly product development, greening of manufacturing sites and the development of energy-efficient technologies and environmentally friendly materials.

As of the first half of 2010, Samsung had reduced sales-normalized greenhouse gas emissions at its manufacturing facilities by 31 percent from 2008 levels. This puts Samsung on track to exceed its stated PlanetFirst goal of a 50 percent reduction by 2013.

Samsung also underwent a third-party verification of greenhouse gas emissions for its 39 global manufacturing sites, which was completed in July by Samil-PricewaterhouseCoopers. In addition, new Samsung products are 16 percent more energy efficient compared with 2008 levels, a reduction of 9.6 million tons of indirect carbon emissions from January 2009 through June 2010.

“We are pleased that Samsung commitment to sustainable business operations continues to be recognized in the CDP’s rankings and our improvement this year is a testament to that commitment,” said Park Sangbum, senior vice president and head of the CS & Environment Center. “Our investment and goals for 2013 are among the industry’s most ambitious and we strive every day to move closer to our goal of being one of the world’s most environmentally friendly companies in three years.”

The CDLI index, compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of CDP, provides an evaluation tool for institutional investors. Only the top 10 percent of the 500 corporations selected using the FTSE standard are included in the CDLI, showing they have a significantly higher benchmark and a stronger commitment to preventing climate change. The new CDPL supplements the existing index by assessing companies for the action they are taking to reduce global emissions and mitigate the risks of climate change.

“Companies in this new Carbon Performance Leadership Index are demonstrating leadership in their commitment to manage greenhouse gas emissions,” said Paul Dickinson, chief executive of the Carbon Disclosure Project.

“Companies which manage and reduce their emissions, maximize business resilience and capitalize on opportunities, will be the best placed to succeed as we move towards a low carbon economy.”

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WHDI and WirelessHD establish market; WiGig establishes spec

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Wireless HD Video Technology: WHDI and WirelessHD Establish Market, While WiGig Establishes Specification" report to its offering.

Wireless high-definition (HD) video technologies represent the next frontier in consumer electronic (CE) connectivity, replacing the nest of wires in the living room with high-bandwidth wireless technologies capable of transmitting HD video streams. The primary candidate technologies include: wireless home digital interface (WHDI), WirelessHD, and Wireless Gigabit (WiGig).

WHDI and WirelessHD are new, uncompressed HD video transmission technologies, each of which is primarily promoted by start-up chip companies. Although each has significant potential, both face significant market obstacles. WiGig has broad-based industry participation, but silicon is still a long way from the market.

This report tracks the annual penetration through 2014 of all three technologies into 14 different applications within the following product segments: CE, PCs, mobile phones, and industrial/medical applications. It also includes history and analysis of the three technologies and competing technologies, and annual chip average selling price forecasts of each of the three technologies.

Automotive application users to reach 28 nillion by 2015

LONDON, UK: The global number of automotive application users will grow from just under 1.4 million in 2010 to more than 28 million in 2015, according to a new Research Brief published by ABI Research.

ABI Research practice director Dominique Bonte comments: “Automotive telematics and infotainment applications are quickly gaining momentum, with major automotive players such as Ford and Continental having announced open platforms and application stores. At the same time Nokia’s Terminal Mode and Apple’s iPod Out initiatives aim at integrating smartphones into the car environment. Features include remote control (engine start, door unlock, and alarm), diagnostics, driving behavior monitoring, roadside assistance and multimedia and content streaming.”

The need to monitor, control, and manage the charging of the batteries in electric vehicles is expected to become a strong driver for the uptake of smartphone applications such as the one made available by GM for the Chevrolet Volt.

Solutions based on a connection with the OBD (Onboard Diagnostics)-II vehicle port are also starting to appear, from companies such as Garmin, Devtoaster, Palmer Performance Engineering, Motolingo, and Viper. GPS data are combined with vehicle speed, RPM, fuel consumption, engine coolant temperature, and fuel pressure to simulate dashboards or monitor vehicle performance. A Bluetooth or WLAN OBD-II connector module is required.

HDMI adopter base exceeds 1,000 members

SUNNYVALE, USA: HDMI Licensing LLC, the agent responsible for licensing the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) Specification, announced that it now has over 1,000 licensed HDMI Adopters worldwide, an 11 percent increase compared to 2009.

HDMI technology has become the de-facto worldwide standard for transmitting high-definition (HD) digital content with nearly 500 million HDMI-compliant products expected to ship in 2010 and an installed base of over 1.5 billion HDMI products deployed worldwide.

The consortium is also introducing its new online database tool, branded “HDMI Product Finder”, to help buyers, distributors and resellers find HDMI-compliant products from licensed Adopters based on various criteria such as features, functionality or geographic region.

As the market for digital media continues to grow, later versions of the HDMI Specification have responded to address the changing consumer landscape by introducing key enhancements, such as 3D TV support, resulting in a growing adopter base across all geographical regions. 30 percent of HDMI adopters are now located in China, 22 percent in Taiwan, 17 percent in North America, 13 percent in Europe and the rest of the world, 10 percent in Japan, and 8 percent in Korea.

“The tremendous growth of the HDMI adopter base over the years has been supported by our commitment to enhancing the specification, creating business opportunities and building new tools that allow manufacturers to easily develop and sell products,” said Steve Venuti, president of HDMI Licensing, LLC. “The new HDMI Product Finder is another new way to support our Adopters by promoting and showcasing their HDMI-compliant products.”

Web-to-TV video content revenue to reach $17 billion by 2014

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Web-to-TV Gaining Momentum in the US" report to its offering.

Consumer adoption of Web-to-TV is gaining momentum. Within five years there will be over 200 million web-enabled CE devices operating in the US. Movie rental and purchases are rapidly migrating to electronic sell-through. On-demand TV programming viewing is expanding at an exponential rate. But what is the best method of monetizing OTT video content?

This research report provides an update to In-Stats original 2009 Web-to-TV report. The report uses primary research to quantify current Web-to-TV consumer behavior. Total US web-enabled device shipments and installed base are forecasted.

Three alternative Web-to-TV models are identified in order to assess how OTT video content can be monetized. These include the current overlay model that favors device manufacturers and retailers. The bundled model reflects the emergence of video search engine platforms, such as Google TV, that span both online and pay TV programming. Finally, the integrated model envisions the delivery of third-party online TV via pay TV hybrid set-top boxes.

Five-year forecasts for Web-to-TV adoption are presented, segmented by household, revenue, and device type.

Executive summary
The growth of Web-to-TV video is happening faster than most people expected. By 2014 there will be 57 million US broadband households viewing full-length online video on the TV, says In-Stat. Revenue associated with this web-to-TV video content will grow from $2 billion to over $17 billion over a five-year period.

The over-the-top (OTT) video market represents a new distribution channel for digital entertainment. Content producers want to market premium video content directly to the consumer, says Keith Nissen, principal analyst, In-Stat. However, they have not yet decided the best way to monetize OTT video content and how to manage the OTT opportunity in context with their legacy distribution partners.

Some of the factors affecting this revenue growth include:

* The installed base of web-enabled consumer electronics video devices will grow from 70 million in 2009 to 237 million in 2014.
* The total number of US broadband households that own web-enabled CE video devices will nearly triple to 98 million by 2014.
* Within five years, over 11 million operator-provisioned hybrid STBs will be delivering online video content directly to the TV.

Recent In-Stat research Web-to TV Gaining Momentum in the US, uses primary research to quantify current web-to-TV consumer behavior, as well as forecasting total US web-enabled device shipments and installed bases. Three alternative web-to-TV models (Overlay, Bundled, and Integrated) are examined in order to assess how OTT video content may be monetized in the future. A five-year forecast for each alternative model is presented and compared.

Toshiba’s Canvio Basics portable hard drives offer pure simplicity for digital backup

IRVINE, USA: In an exceptional blend of data protection, portability and simplicity, Toshiba has unveiled the newest addition to its Canvio line of portable hard drive solutions – the Canvio Basics Portable Hard Drive family for the PC.

Developed with ultimate usability in mind for the everyday consumer, the Canvio Basics requires only a single step to start saving and transporting important files: Plug it in. With no necessary software to install and available with 320 gigabytes (GB1), 500GB, or 750GB of storage space, the Canvio Basics offers a hassle-free, high capacity storage solution right out of the box.

“With the Canvio Basics line, we wanted to bring an effortless digital storage solution to the masses,” said Manuel Camarena, product manager for consumer storage at Toshiba Storage Device Division.

“This new drive offers a sleek solution with plenty of storage capacity for the growing amount of digital content, from photos and videos to music and documents. The Canvio Basics is a convenient and versatile choice for anyone who needs the peace of mind that comes with high capacity portable external storage.”

The Canvio Basics’ one plug ease-of-use is complemented by the drive’s stylish design, courtesy of a glossy black finish and soft, rounded edges. Despite its light weight and diminutive size, the Canvio Basics hits above its weight when it comes to keeping files safe.

An Internal Shock Sensor, Ramp Loading Technology, and a three year Limited Warranty combine for added peace of mind whether going from the dorm to the lecture hall, the home office to the conference room, or wherever else the Canvio Basics is needed.

Beyond its technical capabilities, the practicality of the Canvio Basics design is evident in the drive’s pocket-sized form factor, which not only makes it easy to carry, but also conforms to Toshiba’s environmental efforts to reduce the quantity of materials used in production. In addition, the Canvio Basics’ packaging is made from 100 percent recyclable materials.

Automotive sensors to be $18 billion market by 2017

BOSTON, USA: The new Strategy Analytics study, “Automotive Sensor Demand Forecast 2008 to 2017: Global Economic Rebound Sparks Growth,” predicts that the market for automotive sensors will rise from $9.9 billion in 2009 to $11.3 billion in 2010 a year-on year growth of 15 percent.

The global economic recovery has triggered a rebound in demand for vehicles worldwide while planned vehicle safety, emission and fuel economy enhancements will drive automotive sensor shipments to over 4 billion units and be worth $17.6 billion in 2017.

Light vehicle production is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.9 percent from 2009 to 2014. Over the same period, Strategy Analytics expects automotive sensor revenues to grow by 10.3 percent CAGR as carmakers respond to tightening environmental, fuel mileage and safety legislation as well as consumer expectations by introducing electronically controlled innovations for enhanced performance, comfort and convenience.

“Global automotive sales are rebounding from the lows of 2009. This, combined with vehicle manufacturers using sophisticated electronic systems to create vehicles that are more safe, fuel efficient and environmentally friendly, creates demand for a higher number of sensors per vehicle,” says Mark Fitzgerald, associate director, Automotive Practice.

SGI announces high performance storage platform

FREMONT, USA: SGI has released the SGI InfiniteStorage 16000, the next generation of high performance storage platforms aimed at mixed workload environments.

SGI InfiniteStorage 16000 is the newest addition to the SGI InfiniteStorage family, delivering the optimum mixed I/O options in an extremely scalable and dense platform. To date, premium storage systems fall into two categories: those optimized for random Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) or those optimized for bandwidth. The SGI InfiniteStorage 16000 system is the first high performance platform to be optimized for both bandwidth and IOPS, providing a versatile platform for diverse workflows.

“The dramatic growth of unstructured data has brought with it an increase in complexity of usage requirements for both file and block-based storage,” said Jose Reinoso, vice president of storage engineering at SGI. “SGI InfiniteStorage 16000 simplifies the solution by enabling both extreme throughput and IOPS in a scalable, power efficient system.”

Storage systems and servers must now be able to respond to heavily threaded I/O patterns by delivering transaction-optimized extreme storage bandwidth, as well as high throughput. With the fusion of these unsurpassed levels of bandwidth and IOPS, SGI InfiniteStorage 16000 delivers an easy-to-deploy package that meets the needs of the most demanding unstructured and transaction-based environments.

“As technical computing platforms have continued a dramatic increase in density and performance, the I/O requirements are also becoming increasingly randomized between throughput and high IOPS,” said Natalya Yezhkova, research director, worldwide storage systems research at IDC. “With SGI InfiniteStorage 16000, SGI is offering customers the ability to accommodate the high end of both in a very flexible platform.”

SGI InfiniteStorage 16000 delivers up to 10 GB/sec of read and write performance, and up to one million IOPS, with the ability to manage up to 2.4 petabytes of storage in just two data center floor tiles. Other features include file and application hosting, an active/active redundant design, mirrored cache, support for multiple RAID levels and SSD, SAS and SATA disk drives, intelligent block striping, SATAssure data protection, power saving modes, and 8Gb Fibre Channel and 40 Gb InfiniBand host-port options.

SGI InfiniteStorage 16000 is immediately available.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shipments of NAND Flash in tablets to triple in 2011

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Driven by the massive success of Apple Inc.’s iPad and the arrival of a range of competing devices, the use of NAND flash memory in tablets will triple from 2010 to 2011, according to the market research firm iSuppli Corp.

Shipments of NAND flash for tablet devices are projected to reach 1.7 billion Gigabytes (GB) next year, up a phenomenal 296.1 percent from 428 million GB in 2010. The shipments will continue to climb steadily over the next few years, hitting 8.8 billion GB by 2014, as shown in the figure.

“Tablets have stolen some cachet from netbooks,” said Michael Yang, senior analyst for memory and storage at iSuppli. “And while the tablet segment suffers from some of the same weaknesses as netbooks, devices like the iPad have wowed consumers with their responsiveness and media interaction—due in part to the use of NAND flash for data storage, instead of a traditional hard disk drive.”

And more tablets are expected to arrive as the holiday season looms ahead, iSuppli projects. The new devices, to be based on the Android or Chrome operating system from Google Inc., could enable affordability because of increased product selection and apps innovation.

The surge in tablet shipments means that the amount of NAND required will quickly become sizable, memory pricing and forecasts from iSuppli indicate. And as more consumers switch from netbooks to tablets, NAND demand is expected to keep rising.

With the iPad leading the way, tablets will facilitate a new usage model that incorporates newer ways of experiencing media and the Internet, spurring rising NAND usage in each tablet. Average density of NAND flash for tablets will reach 28GB in 2010. By 2014, average NAND flash memory density for the devices will reach 65GB.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Chinese consumer demand for LED-backlit LCD TVs soars in 2010

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Chinese consumers are aggressively adopting LCD-TVs that use Light Emitting Diode (LED) backlighting, causing domestic shipments in 2010 to surge by a factor of nearly 14, according to the display market research firm iSuppli Corp.

Shipments of LED-backlit LCD-TVs in China are set to rise to 5.5 million units in 2010, up from just 406,000 in 2009. The attached figure presents iSuppli’s forecast for China’s LED-TV unit shipments and revenues for the period of 2009 through 2014.

“With sales being driven by a government stimulus plan designed to promote LCD-TVs, demand in China is so robust that availability of LED-backlit sets has become constrained, causing some consumers to delay their purchases until they can get the product they want,” said Riddhi Patel, director for televisions and retail services at iSuppli.

Nonetheless, China’s LED-backlit LCD-TV sales continue to pick up steam as the year progresses. Shipments amounted to 953,000 units in the second quarter of 2010 and then are forecasted to climb to a whopping 1.6 million units in the third quarter. This will mean that LED backlit sets will reach a penetration rate of more than 18 percent of the entire LCD-TV market.

Penetration rates are expected to deepen to 23 percent in the fourth quarter, or even to more than 30 percent for premium brands such as Hisense, Skyworth and Samsung.
And this is only the beginning.

iSuppli predicts 40.1 million LED-TV units will be sold in China in 2014—a figure that translates into a CAGR of 150.6 percent when measured from 2009 to 2014.

Revenue growth likewise will be staggering, jumping to $24.8 billion by 2014, up from a mere $777 million in 2009. With revenue CAGR of 100 percent for the forecast period, it is no mystery why local and foreign OEMs are ramping up support for LED-TVs.

Just the same, given the short supply of LED-TVs in China, and with prices taking longer than expected to fall, consumers have become more cautious in their buying decisions, with some going as far as postponing an LCD-TV purchase until an LED-backlit set becomes available. Consumers, who previously bought whatever TV set could be found on the market regardless of technology trend or features, now have developed decidedly more discriminating tastes in their television purchases.

Other advanced TV features off to a slow start
While LED technology is in high demand in China, other new features, such as Internet capability and 3-D, have met with less enthusiasm.

For its part, the Chinese government’s own policies are serving to inhibit the growth of Internet-Enabled Televisions (IETVs). A government crackdown on what content consumers can view is a bitter pill to swallow for some consumers, who can’t justify paying for an extra feature that cannot be used to full potential.

Still, the volume shipments of LCD IETVs China will continue to rise as local OEMs strive to make Internet connectivity in televisions a standard feature in their high-end products. Without abundant and attractive content support, IETV as a feature will not be one that fuels the China market, iSuppli believes.

In the case of 3-D LCD-TVs, such sets are still far from common, with consumers appearing to evince little interest. As a result, 3-D will do little to help boost overall LCD-TV shipments in this year, even though the feature has good potential and will become more popular when prices decrease and content becomes available.

Plasma infusion
Overall, the slow retreat of LCD-TV prices in China during the second quarter made feature-rich plasma TVs more attractive than similarly sized LCD-TVs in the country, accounting for a rise in the shipments of plasma panel displays during the period.

Plasma’s advantage won’t last long, however: The continuing decline of LCD-TV prices in the third quarter is expected to squeeze shipments of plasma units, which once again will feel the pressure from their more popular rival technology.Source: iSuppli, USA.