Thursday, March 31, 2011

JK Lasers set to showcase latest products at Laser World of Photonics 2011

GERMANY: As a global specialist in the manufacture of industrial laser solutions, JK Lasers (part of the GSI Group) will be participating in the 2011 Laser World of Photonics exhibition in Munich, Germany.

During the event, due to be held at the Neue Messe München from 23-26 May 2011, JK Lasers will showcase a number of their newest products including a 1kW Fiber Laser, 500W Fiber Laser and the JK System 5000.

The JK System 5000 is a flexible workstation that can be integrated with lasers from the JK Fiber and Nd:YAG ranges. With a variety of customisable options including linear and rotary axes, process tools and scan heads, and proprietary software closely coupling motion and laser control, it provides a highly versatile solution for many industrial cutting, welding and drilling applications.

A 400W modulated, air-cooled JK Fiber Laser will be integrated into the system, to demonstrate a combined metal cutting and welding operation on a single part, made from a material that is typically used for industrial applications.

This mid-power, air-cooled Fiber Laser is suited to a wide variety of industrial manufacturing and precision applications. It can be used with a selection of JK processing heads and combines single mode fiber beam delivery, high efficiency and patented processing technologies, without requiring a cooling water supply for operation.

Whilst at the exhibition, JK Lasers also plan to launch a new addition to the JK Fiber Laser range. The new JK500FL will enable manufacturers to process a range of materials with high accuracy, at a quicker rate.

Similarly to the other products in the JK FL range, the 500W Fiber Laser will require minimal maintenance and will be supplied in a rack-mounted format, providing enhanced efficiency in the workplace.

Visitors interested in any of JK Lasers’ Nd:YAG Lasers, Fiber Lasers or associated products are invited to visit the JK Lasers stand to discuss their requirements with the Sales team. JK Lasers can be found at booth # C1.466 from 23-26 May 2011.

Kingston Digital extends speedy Class 10 microSDHC family

MUMBAI, INDIA: Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Co. Inc. announced the launch of its 4GB and 8GB Class 10 microSDHC card, joining the previously released 16GB Class 10 card. Kingston will add a 32GB capacity to the family in Q2. The Class 10 cards have a fast minimum data transfer rate of 10MB/s.

“Kingston’s Class 10 microSDHC cards are compatible with many of the latest mobile phones including Android smartphones and BlackBerry devices, hi-def cameras and the increasingly popular tablet PCs,” said Nathan Su, Flash Memory Sales Director, APAC Region, Kingston.

“The Class 10 speed provides faster data transfer rates and the various capacities help satisfy storage needs for users with both light and heavy memory Kingston takes mobility and versatility a step further when it makes these cards part of the Mobility/Multi-Kit, which includes an SD adapter and a USB card reader. The SD adapter allows users to capture continuous images or videos in digital cameras while the reader provides a simple and fast way to transfer data to a host PC. The Class 10 microSDHC cards will ship as part of the Mobility/Multi-Kit at the end of March."

In addition to the Class 10 cards, Kingston currently ships the microSDHC card in a Class 4 specification as both a standalone and part of the Mobility/Multi-Kit in capacities up to 32GB. The cards are backed by a lifetime warranty and free technical support.

Aster's unique integrated DfT workflow from design to production

CESSON-SEVIGNE, FRANCE: During APEX 2011 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center in Las Vegas, ASTER Technologies, the leading supplier in Board-Level Testability and Test Coverage analysis products, announces the first tool to provide an integrated workflow for DfT and test coverage analysis from design through to mainstream production.

Design-For-Test is becoming crucial to ensure complex board performances. In the traditional Design flow, DfT is a specific step after the layout phase as addressed by tools such as FabMaster-TestExpert. The CAD file is loaded and a mechanical analysis is performed in order to identify the physical access for In-Circuit or Flying probe test.

With the staggering board density we are now facing, we need to consider the DfT as part of the complete workflow (not just for probe placement), verifying the testability at different stages in order to ensure the highest level of test quality for the minimum test cost.

TestWay Express has been developed to meet this vision for a software tool that will allow users to analyze each stage of the design to production workflow within a single tool.

Samsung becomes world’s first in mass production of transparent LCD panel

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. announced that it began mass production of a 22-inch transparent LCD panel in March this year.

The panels come in two types, the black-and-white type and the color type, and they have a contrast ratio of 500:1 with WSXGA+ (1680*1050) resolution.

Compared with the conventional LCD panels that use back light unit (BLU) and have 5% transparency, Samsung’s transparent LCD panel boasts the world’s best transparency rate of over 20 percent for the black-and-white type and over 15 percent for the color type.

The transparent LCD panel has a high transparency rate, which enables a person to look right through the panel like glass, and it consumes 90 percent less electricity compared with a conventional LCD panel using back light unit. It’s because a transparent LCD panel utilizes ambient light such as sun light, which consequently reduces the dependency on electricity for generating power.

Also, Samsung’s transparent LCD panel maximizes convenience for not only manufacturers but also consumers by incorporating the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) and the Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface.

Transparent display panels have endless possibilities as an advertising tool, which can be applied to show windows and outdoor billboards or used in showcase events. Corporations and schools can also adopt the panel as an interactive communication device, which enables information to be displayed more effectively.

Younghwan Park, senior VP of Samsung Electronics LCD Business, said: “Transparent displays will have a wide range of use in all industry areas as an efficient tool for delivering information and communication. With the world’s first mass production of the transparent LCD panel, Samsung Electronics plans to lead the global transparent LCD market by developing various applications.”

Digitally enabled cities and societies will enhance sustainability in the urban century

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: According to a report released by Ovum, the analyst and consulting company, information technology is an important enabler of a more sustainable approach to designing, building, and operating cities. New greenfield cities and major urban renewal projects provide the focus and investment needed to reengineer the way a city and its society works.

The United Nations is predicting that the world's cities will need to house an additional 2.9 billion people by the middle of what is being called "the urban century." Hundreds of cities will be built and expanded to accommodate migration and growth – particularly in China and India. “This is leading to a rise in competition between cities to attract and retain the investment and people needed for urban development and revitalization” said Dr Steve Hodgkinson, Research Director.

The report, titled “Is your city smart enough?”, identifies two broad streams of digital enablers in cities. The first, Digital-City strategies, are the formal, inside-out projects that provide new ways for public authorities, utilities, and developers to architect and build more efficient infrastructure and services. Digital-City strategies include such things as IP network infrastructure, e-government/Government 2.0 services, and the digitization of processes and systems in urban planning, transport, healthcare, education, utilities, and buildings.

The second, Digital-Society initiatives, are more emergent, outside-in initiatives. They stimulate self-help and co-production behaviors in the community, strengthen social capital, and engender digital inclusion. They complement Digital-City strategies but also hold government bodies to account. Digital-Society initiatives are often created using low-cost websites and publically available social networking platforms such as Facebook.

Hodgkinson states, “Together, formal Digital-City strategies and emergent Digital-Society initiatives offer the prospect of making cities more efficient and more livable even as they become more densely populated.”

He also observes that Digital-City strategies offer a breath of fresh air to stale e-government programs – many of which have reached a plateau in recent years. Online services benefits have been realized, but deeper citizen-centric reform has often become stymied by political volatility, structural complexity, and the conflicting agendas of multiple layers of government.

“The timing is right for cities to drive innovation in the next few decades for a number of reasons. Firstly, urbanization trends compel cities to innovate to prosper – sustainably accommodating a further 2.9 billion people in cities during the next 40 years can’t be done unless we change the way they are built and operated. Secondly, cities bring new energy and focus to e-government – cities are decisive, commercially focused, and by necessity citizen-centric. Intra-city competitive pressures on a global stage will only make them more so in the future.

"Finally, the technology building blocks of Digital-City strategies are becoming increasingly globalized and commoditized – available to any city on equal terms. Cloud computing is creating the means for cities to use shared global technology and solution platforms, rather than each city reinventing the wheel by building and owning fixed assets and dedicated solutions,” states Hodgkinson.

Greenfieldcities are the urban laboratories where the next generation of Digital-City technologies is being developed. Songdo in South Korea is a good example. Global technology company Cisco is implementing a Smart+Connected Communities program to implement leading-edge IP networks and IT systems in all aspects of Songdo’s infrastructure and operations – in its utilities, transport, hospital, school, offices, and homes. For example, every Songdo home will have a high-definition TelePresence unit provided as part of its infrastructure – with 20,000 units so far confirmed. The city will feature an integrated control centre for all of its essential and emergency services.

“Solutions developed in places like Songdo and deployed in the cloud by global companies like Cisco will provide the tools for other cities to accelerate their Digital-City visions. Indeed, this approach may be just the competitive advantage a city is seeking,” Hodgkinson adds.

“Mayors and CEOs of municipal authorities should pay attention to leading Digital-City practices emerging around the world and assess the opportunities to leverage new ideas and share proven solutions. They should also note that global platforms are empowering citizens to create vibrant Digital-Society initiatives of their own. Technology is providing new low-cost tools to strengthen communities and new ways for communities to express their voice and to hold governments to account.”

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Impact of Japan earthquake on electronics at Friday webinar event

EL SEGUNDO, USA: More than two weeks after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami devastated the northeast region of Japan, the disaster’s impact on the global electronics supply chain is still being assessed. To help the global technology supply chain understand the repercussions of the disaster, leading experts from IHS iSuppli on Friday, April 1, will host a webinar event, entitled: The Japan Earthquake and the Impact on the Electronics Supply Chain.

“From semiconductors to displays, to automotive and consumer electronics, the effects of the Japan earthquake continue to reverberate throughout the world,” said Dale Ford, senior VP, market intelligence, at IHS.

“Beyond the damage to Japan’s own industrial base, the earthquake has impacted the production of basic electronic raw materials, such as silicon wafers used to make semiconductors, creating a ripple effect throughout the globe. For any participant in the worldwide electronics supply chain, the IHS iSuppli Japan webinar will provide essential information required to manage through the fallout of the Japan crisis across the supply chain during the next three, six and 12 months.”

At the webinar, Ford will discuss issues such as supply chain risk management, the impact of the earthquake on individual original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)—including Apple and its iPad—and the specific issues facing companies in the country as well as multinational operators dependent upon suppliers from Japan.

Other key analysts discussing supply chain issues during the webinar will include:

* Akira Minamikawa, vice president of Japanese research, who will examine the current challenges facing companies inside of Japan as they struggle to get back up and running, including their struggles to overcome power and water issues.
* Len Jelinek, director and chief analyst for semiconductor manufacturing at IHS, who will focus on semiconductor manufacturing. Jelinek will discuss the impact of the quake on integrated device manufacturers (IDM), foundries and raw-wafer suppliers. He will focus specifically on 300mm wafers, whose supplies have been massively impacted by the disaster.
* Mike Howard, principal analyst for DRAM at IHS, who will look at the overall memory market and examine how memory suppliers and pricing will be shaped by the Japan crisis and recovery.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Soligie developing printed sensors

MINNEAPOLIS, USA: Soligie, a market leader in the design and manufacture of printed electronics, announced today that is has been awarded several contracts in the preceding quarters for the development of printed sensors. Prototypes are currently under evaluation by multiple customers and will be considered for volume production in 2011 and 2012.

Printed Electronics offers a unique value proposition for sensor-based products that can benefit from thin and flexible formats, or for arrays of sensors which are matrixed over a wide-area. Soligie is engaged in development programs for printed pressure and temperature sensors as well as strain-gauges, biomedical sensors and electrodes.

"We believe that Printed Electronics can provide significant value to sensor-based products," commented Matt Timm, president of Soligie. "The sensor market continues to see significant growth and the availability of sensors in new form factors creates opportunities for our customers. These new form factors are made possible by Printed Electronics and Soligie is well positioned as a design and manufacturing services provider for those companies who are looking to introduce new products."

Soligie also offers customers the option to integrate other printed components along with the printed sensors, depending on the customer's unique requirements. Multiple, integrated and printed components on a single substrate remains a goal for the printed electronics industry and Soligie is a leader in this regard.

"We are excited about the progress that we have made," commented Timm, "and we continue to meet with new companies that are developing or expanding their portfolio of products which utilize printed sensors."

With continuous, roll to roll production, Soligie manufactures high volumes of sensors in a cost-competitive manner. Further, Soligie is currently expanding its equipment set to better meet the needs of low to mid volume production orders as more and more companies begin to release product to the market but are not yet ready to commit to high volumes.

"These contract wins are indicative of the value that Soligie offers customers looking for a manufacturing partner in printed electronics," concluded Timm.

Micropelt's battery-free wireless sensor system monitors busbars and busways

Hannover Messe 2011, FREIBURG, GERMANY: qNODE is a wireless condition monitoring sensor and Micropelt’s solution to increasing both operating safety and power availability in 24/7 production environments.

The Freiburg, Germany, based leader in thermal energy harvesting has co-developed the self-powered temperature monitoring sensor with Schneider Electric, the French leader in medium and low voltage electrical power distribution. Degraded or loose joins of high current busway elements and likewise connections of current consumers to busbars are subject to improper assembly and they degrade over time. Any loose or corroded joint or connection causes increasing resistive heat before eventually a fatal burnout occurs when the load peaks.

“Such failures can stop entire production processes with millions lost each day it takes to recover,” said Fabrice Huré, head of Installed Base Services of Schneider Electric. “We want to help our customers in mitigating that risk without the drawbacks of common practice: Manual and thermographic inspection often interferes with continuous production, it cannot be applied under full load, and leaves large periods of non-attendance. Fiberoptic temperature sensors are an acceptable method of monitoring critical spots under galvanic insulation in medium voltage applications, but usually too costly in low voltage switchboards. Retrofitting wired sensors in such installations would cause both prohibitive cost and downtime.”

Wireless temperature monitoring was identified as a potential solution allowing for both low cost and practically continuous coverage of all load situations. A wireless sensor would be small and easy to mount in both new and existing installations, targeting any number of monitoring points in a customer facility. Common wireless solutions, however, are powered by batteries whose maintenance would inevitably require regular shutdown of the electrical power system and consequently a production stop. “These reasons were compelling enough for us to look for a self-sustaining energy supply embedded in small, low-cost wireless monitoring sensors," concludes Schneider’s Huré.

Thermal energy harvesting was identified as an ideal match, because any current load causes resistive heat which thermoharvesting can turn back to electric power. Micropelt’s chip-scale thermoelectric technology generates 140 millivolts per Kelvin (K) of temperature differential. This permits highly efficient DC conversion and enough power to sustain ultra-low power (ULP) wireless devices on a duty cycle basis, where sensing and transmitting takes fractions of a second and occurs every minute or so.

TE-qNODE, a thermoharvesting wireless sensor which generates its power from the resitive heat of the device it is monitoring, is the result of the Micropelt and Schneider Electric collaboration. The Qnode in a matter of seconds slips over a busbar in a single-handed operation, being held in place by a solid clamp which can be adjusted to common bar sizes. If the temperature of the surface is 5°C or more above the surrounding air temperature the embedded Micropelt thermoharvester generates the power to transmit the hosting busbar’s temperature every second.

“There is no faster and more cost efficient way to add security and reliability to power distribution systems in both new and retrofit installations,” commented Dr. Joachim Nurnus, Micropelt’s CTO.

“The application case is proven and the demand is obvious,” says Burkhard Habbe, Micropelt’s VP Business Development. “Now we want to commercialize solutions with system vendors, at best with an existing wireless signal infrastructure, based on standard protocols which match the given market requirements.” Presently the qNODE uses Micropelt’s simplified evaluation protocol which was designed for minimal energy consumption in service of thermoharvesting energy budget exploration. Productive solutions, according to Habbe, “will be based on standard or proprietary hardware and protocols with higher energy demand, but the qNODE shows exactly what’s available.”

Pickering Interfaces intros high density PXI RF switches

CLACTON ON SEA, UK: Pickering Interfaces is expanding its range of PXI RF switches with the introduction of the 40-755 multiplexer modules.

The 40-755 supports up to 10 off SP4T RF switches in a single module and is available in two different versions based on a common switch design.

The high density version occupies just one slot of a 3U PXI chassis and uses a high density multi-way connector that is suitable for switching frequencies to 500MHz. The higher frequency version uses SMB connectors and is suited for switching signals to 1.8GHz.

The 40-755 is the highest density SP4T switch available in the standard PXI format and is suitable for use in both commercial and military ATE systems. It is an ideal replacement for use in older VXI-based military ATE applications that are being replaced and/or upgraded by PXI/LXI solutions where great numbers of SP4T are used as standard RF switch sub-assemblies.

The two models use a switch design based around high quality electro-mechanical relays and in addition to being supported in any PXI compliant chassis they can be supported in Pickering Interfaces Modular LXI Chassis.

HID Global intros secure web portal

BANGALORE, INDIA: HID Global has extended the benefits of its HID Identity on Demand services to include a secure web portal that enables customers and channel partners to monitor and manage all aspects of card personalization projects, from design and ordering through data transmission, high-quality multi-color printing, programming and on-time delivery anywhere in the world.

“Implementing a large badging project as part of a technology upgrade or a rebranding effort can be difficult and requires substantial resources, rock-solid security, and IT and logistical support,” said Dennis Caulley, VP of Strategic Initiatives with HID Global.

“The same goes for managing ongoing badge issuance across many locations and multiple access control systems. The HID Identity on Demand card services portal provides a simple and secure way for customers to upload and communicate data, photos and other information to our service bureau, while reducing the cost and complexity associated with maintaining and operating a corporate-wide badging infrastructure. The portal makes it easier to manage and re-order existing formats, simplifies project status tracking, and gives customers the confidence that their data is protected and their issuance needs can be met within budget and on time with consistently high quality.”

HID Global’s Identity on Demand services provide the scale and resources to handle large-volume orders with tight deadlines that would otherwise be difficult for an individual company or integrator to accommodate on its own. With the addition of the new secure web portal, HID Global’s Identity on Demand services further simplify project management while giving customers easier access to HID’s expertise and broad offering of contactless card technologies.

Nintendo 3DS carries $100.71 BoM

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Nintendo’s groundbreaking 3DS handheld gaming system carries a bill of materials (BOM) of $100.71, according to a preliminary physical dissection of the product conducted by the IHS iSuppli Teardown Analysis Service.

When the $2.54 manufacturing cost of the 3DS is added in, the total cost to produce the portable gaming system rises to $103.25. This compares to a retail cost of $249.99 in the United States.

The $100.71 BOM represents a 33 percent increase from $75.58 in materials for the previous member of Nintendo’s handheld gaming line, the Nintendo DSi, based on pricing from the time of its introduction a little more than two years ago. If the current Nintendo 3DS BOM was compared with current market pricing for the Nintendo DSi, the difference would be even greater.

The 3DS cost assessment presented in this release is preliminary in nature, accounting only for hardware expenditures, and does not take into consideration other expenses such as software, licensing and royalties.

Although the 3DS just went on sale in United States yesterday, IHS last week was able to procure one of the devices in Japan, where it has been available for about one month, and commenced a teardown.

Made in Japan
As with most products made by Japanese companies, the 3DS largely uses components from suppliers based in Japan. Because of this, the 3DS has much greater exposure than most electronic products to the supply chain risk presented by the recent earthquake and tsunami.

Although IHS cannot identify any specific supply problems for 3DS components, the same logistical and power challenges plaguing most Japanese industries could impact production and distribution of this game system.

The 3DS display in depth
“The 3DS's most distinguishing feature is its 3-D top screen, which uses a clever feat of engineering to achieve the illusion of depth,” said Andrew Rassweiler, senior director, teardown services for IHS. “When the display module is removed from the 3DS enclosure, it looks like a slightly thicker conventional thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT LCD).

However, upon opening up the device, we observed that on one side of the glass is a conventional color TFT element, while the other side was a monochrome LCD element. The monochrome LCD parallax barrier in the back acts as a gate that allows light to either pass through certain areas of the screen or not. Switching this gate in the right patterns at high frequency helps create the illusion of 3-D depth.”

This 3-D display is from Sharp Corp. and measures 3.5-inches in size with a total 800 by 240 pixel format—or a pixel format of 400 by 240 per eye. It uses an integrated LCD-based parallax barrier panel sandwiched to the back of the color LCD, which rapidly alternates between left and right images.

At $33.80, the main 3-D as well as the secondary display—also from Sharp—together with the touch screen, represent the most expensive group of component costs in the 3DS, accounting for roughly 34 percent of the total cost of materials. The 3DS display also has the biggest cost differential of any major subsystem of the new gaming system compared to the DSi, coming in at $11.85 more than the DSi display.

Apps processor looks Sharp
Another significant subsystem in the 3DS is the applications processing chip. At approximately $10, the apps processor accounts for roughly 10 percent of the 3DS’s total BOM, and is 15 percent more expensive than the equivalent DSi semiconductor around its time of release. At the present time, the old Sharp processor likely would cost less than $7 per unit.

As in the DSi, IHS believes the apps processor in the 3DS is manufactured by Sharp—and is labeled as being produced in Japan. The Sharp assumption comes from the similarity in markings on the silicon die inside the chip, resembling those from the Nintendo DSi. Similar pattern matching on die markings is commonly used to determine chip provenance. It is also likely this apps processor was custom designed for Nintendo by another chip intellectual property and design company. An analysis of this apps processor suggests it delivers significantly higher performance than the apps processor in the DSi.

Memories of Nintendo
The 3DS’s memory subsystem comes in at 8.36, or 8.3 percent of the total BOM. The cost is more than double that found in the Nintendo DSi at the time of its release.
The main reason for the increased cost is that the NAND flash memory content of the 3DS has increased by eight times to 16Gbits (2GBytes), up from 2Gbits (256Mbytes) in the DSi.

The NAND flash memory found in the 3DS torn down by IHS is from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., and is an embedded multimedia card (eMMC) device, which enables easier implementation and shorter design cycles than conventional flash. Such memory is usually available from multiple sources.

More interestingly—and potentially problematic—is the multi-chip memory IC from Fujitsu employed in the 3DS that includes 512Mbits of fast cycle random access memory (FCRAM), which appears to be a proprietary technology of Japan’s Fujitsu.

“As a rule, most electronic system designers employ memory products that are available from multiple sources in order to reduce supply risk and to guarantee the best pricing,” Rassweiler noted. “However, Nintendo’s decision to buy the device from sole-source Fujitsu adds supply chain risk, and limits Nintendo’s capability to drive costs down on a major component.’

User interface adds MEMS
At $6.81, or 6.8 percent of the total BOM, the user interface subsystem of the 3DS is significantly more expensive that of the DSi, with a 71.1 percent premium. The 3DS subsystem adds a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) gyroscope from InvenSense, as well as an accelerometer manufactured by STMicroelectronics, which allows the game system to operate using motion-sensitive control. These devices, plus a more expensive audio codec, were the main sources of additional costs in this functional section of the 3DS.

The wireless local area network (WLAN) subsystem of the 3DS carries a cost $5.00, accounting for 5 percent of the BOM. The WLAN module features a single-chip solution: the Atheros AR6014G-AL1C 802.11b/g device. This represents major design progress for Nintendo, which used a dual-chip approach for the DSi, years after most other designs had adopted more efficient singe-chip solutions.

Three cameras deliver 3-D photography
A major attraction of the 3DS is its use of a camera subsystem that allows users to take 3-D photographs. This stereo vision system employs two parallel VGA cameras in a module, plus a third VGA camera. VGA camera modules are some of the least expensive of their kind now made, so Nintendo was able, with some price erosion over the years, to add a third module, while keeping the costs very similar to the two cameras implemented in the Nintendo DSi.

The camera subsystem costs $4.70, or 4.7 percent of the BOM, and up a scant $0.20 from the DSi.

Battery subsystem takes a page from Apple’s book
The battery subsystem of the 3DS costs $3.50, more than twice as expensive as that of the DSi, at $1.70. It accounts for 3.5 percent of the BOM. The battery’s cost premium is because of its increased capacity.

“Because the 3DS has bigger, more sophisticated displays and a higher-performance apps processor than the DSi—as well as new added features such as a gyroscope and accelerometer—it makes sense the battery would have higher capacity,” Rassweiler said.

The original DSi battery was a mere 840 milliampere-hour (mAh) model, while the device in the 3DS is labeled a 1300mAh device. However, the underlying battery cell, which IHS believes comes from Samsung SDI, appears to be rated even higher at 1470mAh. Between the beefier battery and a more robust set of chips to manage power in the 3DS, it appears Nintendo has taken a multi-faceted approach to improving battery life for consumers.

“It’s worth noting that Apple always spends a significant amount of money on power management circuitry and high-quality custom battery packs in order to differentiate its products in the key area of battery lifetime. With the 3DS, it appears that Nintendo has taken a page from Apple’s lesson book,” Rassweiler also noted.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

More than half of broadcasters to increase technology spend in 2011

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: More than half of pay-TV operators, broadcasters and studios plan to increase their investment in technology in 2011 thanks to strengthening advertising spend and renewed confidence in the outlook for the sector, according to an Ovum survey.

The independent technology analyst interviewed 150 senior IT and production technology executives at major public and private broadcasters in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific to gain insight into investment priorities for 2011.

In Asia-Pacific, 41 percent said they plan to increase their IT, production and distribution technology spend by over 6 percent in 2011. Meanwhile, a further 23 percent plan to grow this expenditure by between 1 percent and 5 percent over the course of the year. The trend is set to continue in 2012, as 26 percent of the respondents indicated they would increase budgets by more than 6 percent, with a further 43 percent saying they would ramp up spending by between 1 percent and 5 percent.

Adrian Drury, Ovum principal analyst and author of a new report unveiling findings from the survey, said: “Globally broadcast media markets are benefitting from a strengthening macroeconomic outlook and increased confidence in the near-term defensibility of broadcast advertising models, and opportunities for multi-screen services. This is giving broadcasters the confidence to signal that they will be increasing their technology budgets sequentially over the next two years.

“According to the results of the survey, the top strategic technology investment priorities in Asia are to achieve further reduction in operational costs through a shift to file-based workflow and automation; exploitation of social media for audience acquisition; the launch of new high-definition (HD) channels; and advanced audience measurement and targeted advertising initiatives."

Drury added: “These investment areas represent the strongest opportunities for earnings growth for both pay-TV operators and channel programmers in the region. It will also enable broadcasters to exploit the growth of smartphone and tablet penetration, social media usage and the availability of return path data. In line with the global trend, the lowest priority for survey respondents across Asia was the production of 3D broadcast content and the launch of 3D channels.”

API Technologies to acquire Spectrum Control

ORLANDO & FAIRVIEW, USA: API Technologies Corp., a provider of secure communications, electronic components and subsystems, and contract manufacturing services to the global defense and aerospace industries, and Spectrum Control Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of high performance, custom solutions for the defense, aerospace, industrial, and medical industries headquartered in Fairview, PA, have entered into a definitive merger agreement providing for the cash acquisition of Spectrum by API. Upon closing of the transaction, Spectrum will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of API.

Pursuant to the terms of the definitive agreement, API will acquire 100 percent of the issued and outstanding equity of Spectrum for $20.00 per share for a total purchase price of approximately $270 million. Spectrum's Board of Directors has unanimously approved the merger and recommends that Spectrum's shareholders vote in favor of the transaction.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval pursuant to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and approval of Spectrum's shareholders. In connection with the transaction, API has been provided with firm commitments for debt financing in a principal amount of $215 million by Morgan Stanley Senior Funding Inc., an affiliate of Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc.

Brian Kahn, chairman and CEO of API, stated, "We are excited about the opportunity to combine with Spectrum to offer our customers an enhanced range of leading products and services to meet their evolving needs."

Richard Southworth, president and CEO of Spectrum, added: "We are pleased to deliver significant, immediate value to our shareholders through this transaction. We look forward to working with API to complete this transaction and build upon our combined strengths and capabilities."

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Spectrum may solicit acquisition proposals from third parties for a period of 40 calendar days continuing through May 7, 2011. It is not anticipated that any developments will be disclosed with regard to this process unless Spectrum's Board of Directors makes a decision with respect to a potential superior proposal. There are no guarantees that this process will result in a superior proposal.

UBS Investment Bank is acting as financial advisor to Spectrum. Raymond James & Associates, Inc. and Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated are acting as financial advisor to API in connection with the transaction.

Arista Networks intros world's most power efficient 10/40Gb Ethernet switch

SANTA CLARA, USA: Arista Networks has introduced the Arista 7050 Series, a 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet switching system that delivers 1.28 Terabits of switching performance at under 2 watts per 10GbE interface – making this the most efficient Ethernet switching system ever.

The Arista 7050 Series also offers double the scale and faster performance than competing platforms while complementing the existing Arista 7100 Series of ultra-low latency switches with new switches purpose-built for broad data center deployments.

With virtualization and the live migration of virtual machines increasing, the Arista 7050 Series supports increased uplink capacity while still meeting the demands for density within the rack. Dynamically allocated deep packet buffers and support for Data Center Bridging make the Arista 7050 Series an ideal choice for interconnecting storage devices and big data applications such as Hadoop. As these applications scale the Arista 7050 can connect up to 18,000 10GbE attached servers through a single Arista Leaf/Spine network architecture.

"The new 7050 Series delivers the lowest power draw per port of any 10GbE switch, uses the latest in silicon technologies, delivering the highest-density with twice the routing scale of competing products, in our one rack unit networking platform," stated Jeff Hirschman vice president of hardware engineering and manufacturing at Arista. "With the 7050, our customers can continue to meet and exceed the demands of 10GbE data centers, dense virtualization, and big data warehousing deployments."

Today's announcement creates more choices for customers and continues to raise the bar on scale, power efficiency, density, simplified management, and automation. Arista's new 7050 Series delivers the highest 10GbE port density in one rack-unit and continues to set new standards for low-latency and multicast efficiency all while reducing capital expenditures by up to 50 percent.

The Arista 7050-64 is the first Arista switch to utilize the latest Broadcom Trident+ switching silicon. In a compact 1RU form factor with reversible cooling options, the Arista 7050-64 supports 48 wirespeed 10GbE SFP+ interfaces while providing increased uplink density with 4x40Gb QSFP connectors that can work as either 40GbE or 4x10GbE providing a total of 64 10GbE ports in one switch. Consistent with the entire Arista portfolio the Arista 7050 Series runs the same Extensible Operating System (EOS) image as all Arista products.

“Virtualization has transformed every part of IT except the network. For companies to maximize the ROI of virtualization technology, the network now must transform to keep up,” commented Zeus Kerravala, senior vice president at Yankee Group. “Using the Broadcom Trident+ ASIC coupled with Arista EOS and VM Tracer, the Arista 7050 Series optimizes the network for virtualization and mainstream 10GbE deployments.”

Orderable immediately the Arista 7050-64 switch starts at $29,995.

Monday, March 28, 2011

GIGABYTE announces 3TB+ unlock utility

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd has officially announced the availability of the 3TB+ Unlock Utility that allows GIGABYTE motherboards without Hybrid EFI Technology to recognize and use unallocated space on new 3TB and larger hard disc drives (HDDs). The utility is freely available from the utilities page of the official GIGABYTE website.

GIGABYTE 3TB+ Unlock optimizes HDD storage space by allowing the user to create a virtual drive with space that exceeds 2048GB, the maximum amount of storage recognized by 32bit versions of operating systems such as Windows XP. The virtual drives are limited to 2048GB, and the user can create up to 128 partitions, as long as there is additional unallocated space on the HDD. 3TB+ Unlock supports both GPT (GUID Partition Table) and MBR (Master Boot Record) partition styles, however with MBR the number of partitions are limited to 8.

3TB+ Unlock currently supports new high-end motherboard models based on the Intel X58, Intel6 series and AMD 8 series chipsets, and is in the process of being ported to older chipset models so that it will support all motherboards that are currently shipping.

China’s IT industry in coming five years

BEIJING, CHINA: The new-generation information technology is recognized as a pillar industry among China’s emerging strategic industries. Meanwhile, it also ranked high among the seven emerging strategic industries in the gazette of the Fifth Plenum of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in Oct. 2010. Thus, the new-generation information technology industry has gained an important position during the period of the 12th Five-Year Plan.

The new-generation information technology industry is closely connected with the IT industry, and they are complementary to each other. It is because the new-generation information technology industry mainly consists of the next generation communications network, Internet of things, cloud computing, tri-networks convergence, new display devices, high-performance IC, high-end software and server, which cover the key technologies and major markets of the IT industry in the fields of computer technology, communications technology and sensor technology.

While new technical breakthroughs continue to meet the increasing market demand, new demand also continues to stimulate innovations of related technologies. It is observed that the new-generation information technology is guiding the development of the IT industry, serving as an important breakthrough point of industrial upgrade and a continuous drive for the prosperity of the IT industry.

Therefore, the new-generation information technology’s high-speed development has brought opportunities to the IT industry. With the launch of supportive government policies and measures, China’s electronic information industry will face a favorable policy environment, and the industry is about to enter another fast-growing five, and even ten years.

In the face of the future leap of the emerging strategic industries, the IT industry is obliged to take the following measures. Firstly, the IT industry should have a sound understanding of the policy trends and comply with the state’s industrial guidance to develop related information technologies in the fields of energy-saving and environmental protection, new energy and new materials.

With regard to the industrial layout, the IT industry should coordinate with the development of the emerging strategic industries, with a focus on meeting its urgent demand. Secondly, enterprises of the IT industry should be able to identify the market demand. New enterprises and new demand are set to arise with the great development of the emerging strategic industries.

Therefore, the IT enterprises will have to pay close attention to the development of the emerging strategic industries in order to provide supporting products and services for their informatization. Thirdly, the IT industry should enhance its independent innovation capabilities and try to achieve breakthroughs in key fields and technologies.

The development of China’s emerging strategic industries is not supposed to heavily depend on the introduction of foreign technologies for informatization supports, so China’s IT industry should have the courage to take on this mission. At present, the independent innovations of the IT industry still faces many problems, such as the enterprises’ weak innovation capabilities, lack of core technologies, an incomplete policy and regulation system to facilitate the market access of new technologies and products, and poor supports for innovative start-ups in terms of investment, financing and fiscal policies and mechanisms.

The IT enterprises should play a dominant role in accelerating the convergence of industrialization and informatization in new emerging industries, helping emerging strategic industrial companies acquire the informatization tools and achieve green and sustainable development. To be specific, the IT enterprises should pay close attention to the development trends of emerging strategic industries, promptly identify the IT application demand of the emerging strategic industries, track the development of cloud computing, Internet of things, other new technology and application fields, and meet the expanding informatization demand of the emerging strategic industries with innovative technologies, products and services.

It should be noted that, the IT enterprises will face more challenges when providing informatization services for the new emerging industries compared to that for the traditional industries. The emerging strategic industries consider significant technology breakthroughs and significant development demand as the fundamentals, which means that the informatization of emerging strategic industries will be bound with new industries, new markets, new enterprises, new technologies and new business processes.

The traditional industries’ experience in informatization may not apply to the emerging industries. The informatization of those emerging strategic industries requires more than IT system integration and industrial software application.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Polycom announces acquisition of Accordent Technologies

BANGALORE, INDIA: Polycom Inc. announced the acquisition of Accordent Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of video content management and delivery solutions, for approximately $50 million in cash. Polycom expects this acquisition to be neutral to earnings in 2011 and slightly accretive to earnings in 2012.

The acquisition positions Polycom to become the leader in the Video Content Management and Delivery market by integrating Polycom’s leading open standards UC Intelligent Core and market leading UC endpoints with Accordent’s innovative open standards video content management solution.

The Accordent solution provides capture solutions for all major video use cases, whether delivering highly scalable live webcasts from the studio,providing automated rich media webcasting from the meeting or classroom, adding a streaming extension to videoconferences or enabling user-generated content from the desktop.

According to data from market research firm Wainhouse Research, this acquisition immediately expands Polycom’s total available marketby $500 millionand, for this video management segment, this market is projected to generate a compounded annual growth rate of 32% through 2014 to $1.2 billion. As a strategic partner with Microsoft, Accordent strengthens and further differentiates Polycom’s deep native integration with Microsoft Lync and Sharepoint.

Accordent grew to $9 million in revenues in 2010 and has over 1,200 customers in the enterprise and public sector, and through select service providers. The staff of 50 employees will remain in Southern California and will report into Polycom’s UC research and development organisation. Accordent’s software-centric solution will become an integral element of the Polycom UC Intelligent Core and will be reported with Polycom’s Network Infrastructure revenues.

Brocade leads OpenFlow adoption to accelerate network virtualization and cloud app development

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Brocade announced it is taking a leadership position to help define standards to enable scalability and manageability in hyper-scale cloud infrastructures. Brocade has become an initial member of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting a new approach to networking called Software-Defined Networking (SDN).

SDN involves several components, one of the most important being standard-based OpenFlow, an emerging standard delivering service providers granular control of their network infrastructures. Brocade will leverage its work in developing OpenFlow across its high-performance service provider portfolio to enable customers to build high-value applications across their networks with greater efficiency and unparalleled simplicity.

Today's service providers and network operators face a number of challenges that require multiple solutions in order to ensure highly efficient and profitable operation. Brocade’s goal in working with the Open Networking Foundation is to alleviate the burden of operational complexity for service providers by leveraging OpenFlow to manage and operate their networks.

Brocade has developed an OpenFlow enabled IP/MPLS router as part of its service provider product portfolio for application verification and interoperability testing with its partners and customers. Brocade plans to make additional OpenFlow strategy and product announcements later this year. Brocade will initially focus its efforts on delivering solutions that enable the scalability and manageability required in hyper-scale cloud infrastructures.

Laser Illuminated Projector Association launched

SAN JOSE, USA: The Laser Illuminated Projector Association (LIPA) has launched with the goals of explaining the benefits of laser illuminated projectors, advocating for a positive regulatory environment, and developing appropriate training guidelines.

The announcement was made by the LIPA Advisory Committee, composed of industry leaders Barco, Christie Digital, Eastman Kodak, IMAX Corp., Laser Light Engines, NEC Display Solutions, Necsel/Ushio Ltd, and Sony.

"LIPA will provide an important and appropriate vehicle for the industry to work cooperatively in fostering a welcoming business and regulatory environment," stated Pete Lude of Sony, a member of the advisory committee. "We are excited about actively participating in accomplishing LIPA's objectives."

In a laser illuminated projector, the light source is a system of red, green and blue (RGB) lasers. Experts have stated that the use of lasers as the illumination source in digital cinema projectors has several important financial and quality benefits over current illumination technology. These benefits include dramatic reduction of operating costs through increased lifetime and reduction of maintenance, uniform image color and intensity, as well as increased 3D brightness.

The use of lasers, however, currently requires obtaining a variance from various regulatory agencies – in the U.S. this is known specifically as a "laser light show variance". This process does not reflect the industry's maturation or its move into theater settings. Even though the emitted projection doesn't have safety issues associated with conventional "laser light", outdated regulations still require this emitted light to be legally treated as a "high powered laser light show" because the light was originally generated with a laser device.

LIPA will develop unified messages in rationalizing laser regulations and in communicating laser benefits to key constituencies. Also, companies will need a venue like LIPA to create and provide evaluation methods. LIPA's founding companies believe that key groups such as theater owners/operators and regulatory officials will be willing to work with the new association.

LIPA's Advisory Committee has set guiding principles that include:
* Fostering a positive and receptive business environment for laser-based projectors.
* Focusing on professionally operated laser illuminated projectors greater than or equal to 5000 lumens.
* Promoting education and best practices throughout the value chain.
* Communicating the benefits of laser illumination.

The development of laser illuminated projectors is progressing. Kodak, for example, demonstrated an 11K lumen digital projector in October 2010. Laser Light Engines and Necsel are producing laser arrays. Other product prototypes and introductions are expected throughout 2011.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Samsung launches new Ultra Slimfit TV models

INDIA: Samsung strengthened its Flat TV range with the launch of new Ultra SlimFit Flat TV (29D650/21D650/14D600) models in the Indian market.

Announcing the launch of the new Ultra SlimFit models, R. Zutshi, Deputy MD, Samsung India Electronics Pvt Ltd said: “As a proven leader in the flat-panel display technology, Samsung is introducing new, advanced technology features in the Samsung Ultra SlimFit models thereby providing consumers with the ultimate combination of innovative design, enhanced performance and superior value."

The Ultra SlimFit TVs come with an innovative design - a piano black glossy outer chassis and a 40 percent slimmer than conventional Flat TVs form that not only lends a touch of class to the living room, but saves a lot of space as well. Furthermore, equipped with Samsung's patented DNIe technology, 100 Hz Natural Scan and Nano Pigment technology, the Ultra SlimFit TVs set new standards in picture quality and natural colour rendition, by giving the clearest and most vivid pictures.

These technologies result in a more natural picture quality with a 100 per cent color reproduction, better contrast ratio of 5000:1 to provide real-to-life like images and better brightness.

Along with visual enhancements, the new Ultra SlimFit TVs provide theatre-quality surround sound experience guaranteed by a 5 Band Graphic Equalizer, Auto Volume Stabilizer and Turbo Sound. The combination of these audio technologies creates a thrilling immersive sound experience with deep rich bass from mono or stereo sound sources. While the 29D650 and 21D650 offers a Sound output of 350 Watts, the 14D600 offers a sound output of 150 Watt PMPO.

Additionally Easy ViewPlus makes TV viewing an absolute pleasure with its unique menu of eight extremely user friendly and convenient features that enable you to enjoy your television just the way you want to. With program manager, channel tracker, channel minimizer, channel scheduler and channel grouping as video features and half mute, juke box and music mode as audio features, the Easy ViewPlus feature makes your viewing experience richer and simpler.

With the introduction of the new models, Samsung has a range of 22 Ultra Slimfit TVs and a total of 14 flat TV models in its product offering for the Indian market. The Ultra Slimfit range with screen sizes ranging from 14” to 29”, is priced between Rs. 4,890 to Rs. 17,490, while the flat TV range with screen sizes between 15” to 29”, is priced in the range between Rs. 5,490 to Rs. 14,990.

Japanese earthquake’s impact on automotive infotainment industry

EL SEGUNDO, USA: The earthquake and subsequent tsunami have impacted the entire automotive industry supply chain in Japan, including the infotainment segment. This will have worldwide repercussions for the car electronics and infotainment businesses.

Japan in 2010 accounted for 35 percent of the $31.5 billion worldwide automotive infotainment electronics market. The country produced $11 billion worth of infotainment electronics during the year.

Japanese manufacturers in 2010 were responsible for 32 percent of the $22.9 billion worldwide market for automotive semiconductors. The country’s automotive chip production amounted to $7.3 billion in 2010.

Key automotive components produced in the affected area of Japan include semiconductors, liquid crystal displays (LCD) and optical sensors.

Chip suppliers are expected to encounter difficulties in obtaining and distributing raw materials and in shipping out products. This is likely to cause some disruption in automotive semiconductor supplies from Japan during the following weeks, if not months, particularly if suppliers rely on single-sourced solutions.

Northeastern Japan, the worst-hit area following the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, is also home to many semiconductor wafer fabrication facilities. Renesas Electronics, Texas Instruments, Freescale Semiconductor and Fujitsu all are important suppliers to the auto industry and have been affected.

Tier 1 automotive infotainment electronics suppliers operating in Japan have reported varying impacts of the earthquake. However, many of these companies also have manufacturing operations in other locations such as Mexico, so the total impact of the production disruption on output is unclear.

Production facilities that depend upon a steady supply of components—especially microelectronics devices—will experience material and/or component shortages of varying degrees. As mentioned above, single source products will have a greater impact than those that rely on multiple sources.

A number of sources said that in many cases inventory can make up for immediate component needs and that most suppliers have a good understanding of how long it will take before they run out of parts. At this point, suppliers also are considering alternative supply sources, but this is not an option in some cases.

The global electronics business has been affected on a large scale and also will have an impact on the automotive industry worldwide in some shape or form and, therefore, could affect non-Japanese car original equipment manufacturers (OEM) as well.

The lengthy process of rebuilding or replacing the power generated by the nuclear reactors could complicate industrial output for months. Japan's automakers have stopped auto production at several plants to conserve the region's power. There has been a 10 percent reduction in electrical capacity, which will have some impact on the country’s capability to make products of any type.

For non-Japanese automotive OEMs, the impact of the earthquake on their supply chains could be delayed, as Tier 1 manufacturers assess their supplier situations. BMW, VW, Continental and Bosch all have removed their expatriate employees from Japan. This has an effect on productivity in Japan, and some ongoing programs are likely to be seriously interrupted—if not canceled altogether.

Legacy Electronics selects new manufacturing site in South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, USA: Following an announcement last month that his firm has moved from San Clemente, California, to establish new sales and administrative offices in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Legacy Electronics’ chief executive officer, Jason Engle, announced that the firm has chosen the site of their new manufacturing facilities.

Near Sioux Falls, the new site will permit Legacy Electronics to make use of a 40,000-square-foot building that provides excellent manufacturing space, layout and utilities for current and future production and expansion.

“This site means we can triple our manufacturing output in the near term,” said Engle. “The standing facility already doubles our space and gives us room to grow. Once we complete some facility modification to fit our exact requirements, we’ll begin move-in. We expect that this will be a 30-to-45-day process, and we hope to occupy the facility in May.”

Fusion powers world’s smallest digital signage player from iBASE

SUNNYVALE, USA: iBASE Technology, a world-leading manufacturer of single board computers and embedded systems is introducing the SI-18 Signature Book – an ultra-compact digital signage player powered by the AMD Embedded G-Series APU.

The AMD Embedded G-Series APU, packs two (2) CPU cores and eighty (80) GPU cores on one piece of silicon. It supports applications DirectX 11, Direct Compute 11, OpenCLTM 1.1 and OpenGL 3.2. Also included is AMD’s UVD3 hardware video decoder which handles full HD playback of MPEG2, MPEG4, H.264, WMV9 and VC-1 video streams.

The SI-18 measures 4.9” x 4.9” x 1.3” and features an industrial grade all metal chassis with integrated mounting brackets. Near universal display compatibility is ensured by the Hybrid-DVI connector supporting DVI, HDMI and VGA displays. SI-18 systems come standard with an AMD Embedded G-Series T56N processor, 2GB of DDR3 memory, 160GB of hard drive storage and gigabit Ethernet Maximum power consumption is an efficient 25 Watts.

“iBASE has been ahead of the game in terms of understanding that graphics quality and multi-display capabilities are key attributes for the maturing digital signage market,” said Buddy Broeker, director, Embedded Solutions, AMD. “As a long-time AMD Embedded Solutions technology partner, we know iBASE is on the cutting-edge for digital signage systems and their adoption of the AMD Embedded G-Series platform will let their customers take advantage of the unique size, power and performance advantages of our APUs.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Japan’s digital compass makers work to maintain supply amid earthquake aftermath

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Despite widespread disruption to Japan’s transportation and utility infrastructure, the country’s digital compass makers report they are working to guarantee that supply of the critical component meets rapidly rising global demand.

IHS iSuppli research indicates that 97 percent of all digital compass manufacturing worldwide in 2010 was conducted in Japan. The world’s top four suppliers of digital compasses are Japanese firms AKM Semiconductor, Yamaha, Aichi Steel and Alps.
Global demand for digital compasses is rising rapidly, increasing to 263 million units in 2010, up 354 percent from 58 million in 2009. By 2015, shipments will rise to 1.28 billion.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

“Digital compass usage is rising rapidly, with the device becoming a standard feature in tablets and in cell phones equipped with the global positioning system (GPS) feature,” said Jérémie Bouchaud, director and principal analyst for MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) and sensors at IHS. “These devices were employed in Apple Inc.’s iPhone 3 and iPhone 4, and can be found in virtually every Android phone. The compass also is a mandatory hardware feature for devices using Microsoft Corp.’s Mobile Windows 7. Likewise, digital compasses are starting to find their way into gaming—for example, in the Move controller and the upcoming Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) 2 from Sony Corp.”

The issue of compass supply gained attention recently on account of Apple’s use of such a device in the iPad 2 that is supplied by Japan’s AKM. Because the calibration of digital compasses regarding electromagnetic interference is specific to the systems in which they are used, the components supplied by one company are not easily replaceable with those from another.

Confirming earlier IHS iSuppli research, AKM said its main fab that produced electronics compasses for the iPad 2 tablet has not been damaged. The fab is located on Kyushu island, far the south of quake’s epicenter.

IHS had indicated the company’s delivery of products potentially could be affected by the same logistical and power supply issues impacting all Japanese industries. AKM said that it uses multiple fabs, including one external source, for the fabrication of its compass, allowing it to mitigate potential logistical challenges.

No. 2 supplier Yamaha said its plant manufacturing digital compasses also was undamaged by the quake and that it is not experiencing the power outages plaguing companies in other parts of the country. Yamaha’s Kagoshima factory is also on Kyushu island. The company said it will work to address logistical problems by changing ports to locations that are not affected by the earthquake and electricity outages.

No. 3 supplier Aichi Steel operates its digital compass fab in Aichi Ken near Nagoya. The company said this facility has suffered no damage and that there has been no delay in shipments.

Fourth-ranked supplier Alps said that although its compass fab is located in Nagaoka, near the quake zone, the facility appears to in good condition and is operating normally.

IHS will continue to monitor the digital compass manufacturing situation in Japan for further developments.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

IPv6 Internet transformation with cloud-optimized application delivery solution

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Brocade announced software release version 12.3 for the Brocade ServerIron ADX Series of application delivery switches, which enables these platforms to act as a seamless gateway between existing IPv4 networks and new ones built on IPv6.

This gateway functionality provides Brocade customers with a pragmatic path to adopt IPv6 technology and support both IPv4 and IPv6 environments simultaneously, offering them a seamless and non-disruptive migration strategy.

The 12.3 software release also delivers investment protection and unmatched simplicity, two of the key customer imperatives of the Brocade One strategy—enabling customers to double the performance of their Brocade ServerIron ADX platforms through a simple software upgrade.

IPv6 technology offers a more robust suite of characteristics and dramatically increases the pool of global IP addresses while simplifying network administration, resolving security and mobility issues and improving Quality of Service (QoS). These benefits help Brocade customers take advantage of emerging IT initiatives, such as cloud computing, through high-performance, highly scalable and secure IP networks.

The Brocade ServerIron ADX enables a dual-protocol network through a simplified, yet feature-rich, standards-based IPv4-to-IPv6 translation technology. Unlike router-based translation solutions that only offer basic Layer 3 translation services, the Brocade solution has the high performance Layer 7 intelligence required to ensure continued operations of real world applications and protocols.

This enables service providers, enterprises, and government agencies to systematically adopt IPv6 capabilities without the costly process of replacing their existing IPv4 application infrastructure. Moreover, organizations with IPv6-only capable clients can now connect them to existing IPv4 resources, providing organizations the ability to service to a new population of IPv6-only based clients.

The addition of millions of new Internet-ready devices has also caused a tremendous surge in bandwidth globally. According to traffic patterns at the world’s largest Internet Exchange Points, bandwidth consumption is doubling approximately every 18 months. Rather than requiring a costly rip-and-replace process to increase network performance, Brocade has taken an innovative software-optimization approach to double the performance of key application delivery metrics on existing ServerIron ADX application delivery switches to provide an industry-leading three million HTTP connections per second. This immediately provides existing customers massive performance capacity and efficiency without incurring additional expenditures or a loss in productivity.

“The Brocade ServerIron ADX application delivery switch is at the heart of our commercial offering as it assures availability to our clients,” said Ryan McCarry, managing director at UK-based hosting company, Sleek Networks. “It enables us to provide a managed service with associated financial margins, rather than simply reselling hardware, so our clients benefit from using high-performance technology at a much lower cost. The ServerIron ADX platform has improved the uptake of new business and ultimately contributed towards increasing our revenue and customer satisfaction.”

To further improve application visibility and gain greater control over application delivery, Brocade has also expanded the capabilities of the Brocade Application Resource Broker and enabled simplified third-party integration through an application programming interface (API). This approach provides a simplified and more manageable network infrastructure with added capabilities to improve application optimization. The Brocade ServerIron ADX coupled with Brocade Application Resource Broker helps bridge traditional communication gaps between fragmented networking and application infrastructures, creating a more streamlined approach to application deployment and business efficiency.

“Adoption of new Internet-enabled devices is outpacing the residual capacity of IPv4 addresses, while at the same time the explosive growth in traffic requires far more scalability than today’s application delivery solutions offer,” said Jason Nolet, vice president, Enterprise and Data Center Products, Brocade. “Our new software enhancements to the Brocade ServerIron ADX application delivery switches provide organizations with greater choice to seamlessly adopt IPv6 while effectively doubling the performance of their existing ServerIron ADX switches immediately and at no cost. This provides a scalable, high-performance application delivery solution that increases business agility and operational efficiency, especially in today’s highly virtualized and emerging cloud-based environments.”

The Brocade ServerIron ADX software release version 12.3, including enhancements to the Brocade Application Resource Broker version 1.5, will be generally available in March 2011. Version 12.3.1 will become generally available in May 2011. This is a no-cost software upgrade for customers with valid service contracts.

Amazon Appstore opens in the US

Ovum principal analyst Tony Cripps:

AUSTRALIA: “What is most interesting to contemplate is the effect Amazon's entry into this space will have on Google and its Android OS, the device software platform Amazon is initially targeting.

“The Amazon Appstore for Android is not yet big on apps – only some 3,500 will be available at launch – but it nonetheless looks ready to offer worthwhile competition to Google's own Android market, both for consumers and potentially Android OEMs. Amazon's buy-once-use-anywhere approach for Android devices is sure to find favour with users who have come to expect multi-screen access to their favourite applications and content via the Web.

“Personalized recommendations and other popular Amazon features, such as 1-Click payment options for Amazon account holders, will also help shake up the status quo, as will the new "test drive" facility.

“However, more critical in the longer term will be Amazon's ability to attract major brands and media organizations to its application store – something Google has to date been conspicuously less successful in doing than Apple. This could prove decisive not only to Amazon's success in this space but could also be the key to Android's ability to compete on equal terms with Apple in the minds of consumers.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Polycom unveils new solutions briefing centre in India

BANGALORE, INDIA: Polycom Inc., a global leader in unified communications solutions, announced the opening of the new state-of-the-art Solutions Briefing Centre (SBC) in Gurgaon, India, furthering its commitment to strengthen innovation in the Asia Pacific region, and target new vertical sectors in the fast-growing India market.

The SBC was inaugurated by Andy Miller, president and CEO of Polycom and Rakesh Bharti Mittal, vice-chairman and MD, Bharti Enterprises and chairman, Beetel Teletech Limited, and officiated by Neeraj Gill, Polycom MD for India and SAARC.

The centre is the newest addition of its kind for Polycom in the Asia Pacific region and features the latest in immersive telepresence technology with the Polycom Open Telepresence Experience High Definition 300 (OTX 300), providing the most stunning high-definition quality for up to 50 percent less bandwidth with industry-leading H.264 High Profile support for the most true-to-life immersive meeting room experience.

The centre is designed to showcase Polycom’s industry-leading voice, video and telepresence solutions and the power of collaboration through the Polycom UC Intelligent Core, the industry's most comprehensive standards-based UC platform, providing customers access to productivity-enhancing UC tools so they can more effectively communicate, solve and create.

“The opening of the Solutions Briefing Centre in Gurgaon India, signifies Polycom’s ongoing commitment to deliver best-of-breed UC solutions to enhance customers’ productivity, and reflects the continued trend towards innovation in the Asia Pacific region,” said Andy Miller.

“Polycom is transforming the way organisations collaborate today by driving innovation in mobility, cloud-based video services, B2B interoperability, next-generation executive desktop products and bundled, affordable SMB solutions, and delivering the most open and flexible solutions that work with the complex technology realities of today's business.”

Rakesh Bharti Mittal, added: “Beetel Teletech has successfully partnered with Polycom to advance the adoption of unified communications in organisations across India. The opening of the SBC is a true testament to Polycom's market leadership position and ongoing commitment to the Indian market.”

GIGABYTE launches 2011 select motherboards

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: GIGABYTE Technology Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards and other computing hardware solutions, has launched “The Right Choice” campaign, which helps users to choose the right motherboard based on their computing needs.

Choosing your next motherboard should never be a complicated process. That is why GIGABYTE has launched "The Right Choice" campaign. While different motherboards offer their own unique feature sets, GIGABYTE believes there are certain features that all motherboards should have, regardless of the price of the motherboard. So, in 2011, GIGABYTE has standardized these features across our entire range of motherboards, enabling our customers to experience a much richer computing experience, and at the same time, getting more value out of their motherboard purchase.

Boards featuring the “2011 Select Motherboard” logo based on the Intel H61, P41 and G41 Express chipsets, as well as NVIDIA M52 and M68 chipsets for the AMD platform come equipped with additional features which help set them apart from other motherboards.

Key GIGABYTE technologies featured on these motherboards include class-leading four phase power design, next generation high quality components including Lower RDS(on) MOSFETs, Ferrite Core Chokes, and Japanese Solid Capacitors, proprietary DualBIOS 3TB+ HDD technology, Realtek ALC889 audio codec which provides 108dB Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) with 7.1 channel sound playback , 3x USB Power, and more.

An extensive range of GIGABYTE 2011 Select motherboards will be available at launch including five Intel and three AMD models to choose from, with additional models being added throughout the second quarter of 2011.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Eurotech launches Zypad WL1500 wearable computers

COLUMBIA, USA: Eurotech, a leading supplier of embedded technologies, products, and systems, announced the launch of the Zypad WL1500 series of wearable computers.

Following in the footsteps of the popular Zypad WL1000 and Zypad WL1100 products, the new Zypad WL1500 delivers the same low power and long battery life and now offers faster performance and more functionality. The Zypad WL1500 is a perfect fit for users who need instant access to information while still maintaining mobility, such as emergency search and rescue, medical, homeland security, law enforcement, logistics, maintenance and transportation professionals.

The Zypad WL1500 series allows the user to maintain connectivity through a full range of communications protocols such as WiFi, Bluetooth and cellular including 3G, CDMA and GPRS. There is also a user-accessible SIM card slot should the user need instant access to data. Built-in GPS tracking capability with an integrated antenna further enables communications capabilities.

Power conservation techniques allow the Zypad WL1500 to run for a typical eight-hour shift. A power monitor with a fuel gauge lets the user determine if and when a battery charge is required. At this point, the user could perform a hot swap of the battery without losing critical data or charge the unit through a USB port, ensuring continuity and reliability for a range of data-critical applications. Additional features include a Micro SD slot, 128 MB of SDRAM Flash memory and a twelve-key keyboard with built-in backlight for easy viewing.

The Zypad comes with a 3.5" TFT display at QVGA resolution with touchscreen and backlight controlled by an ambient light sensor. Also included are an integrated microphone, mono-audio speaker and audio-in capabilities. The Zypad WL1500 supports an optional integrated barcode scanner or the external ring-scanner that is available on previous models.

"Eurotech's newest Zypad wearable computer delivers the great look and feel of the Zypad family with extensive communications and I/O capabilities," says Pete Dombrowski, director of Engineering at Eurotech. "The cloud-ready Zypad WL1500 can be deployed in M2M applications where hands-free operations, reliable communications and high computing performance are required. With Eurotech's Zypad WL1500 wearable computer, individual users have instant access to data in the field and corporations can simultaneously access that vital information through the cloud in real-time."

The Zypad WL1500 series will be generally available in Q2 of 2011. It comes with Windows CE 6.0 support.

TiaLinx announces launch of Phoenix40-A

NEWPORT BEACH, USA: TiaLinx Inc., a developer of remotely controlled mini-unmanned aerial and ground vehicles integrated with mm-wave miniaturized radars, today announced the launch of the Phoenix40-A.

The mini-UAV system is capable of performing dual functions as a motion detector as well as probing for breathing of a hiding person in a compound. The mini-UAV can be remotely controlled at long standoff distances from ground or an airborne asset.

The lightweight and agile mini-UAV with programmability to fly to or land at multiple waypoints has been integrated with TiaLinx's fine beam ultra-wideband (UWB), multi-Gigahertz radio frequency (RF) sensor array. The system provides long standoff surveillance of a premise to track movement as well as to detect motionless live objects. TiaLinx's real-time UWB RF Imaging development was sponsored by a SBIR Phase II from the Army's PEO AMMO, PM-CCS.

Through a software-controlled interface which is integrated into a laptop or joystick controller unit, Phoenix40-A can be remotely guided from long distances to perform mission critical tasks. In addition to the programmed GPS guided multi-waypoint visits, the integrated video cameras allow for day and night landing and monitoring of a premise under surveillance for enhanced situational awareness. Capability to probe a compound at standoff keeps the operator and the Phoenix40-A out of harm's way.

The RF Scanner is mounted on a lightweight mini-UAV and transmits wideband signals that are highly directional and can penetrate reinforced concrete wall at an extended range. In the receiver, a signal detector circuit is employed to capture the reflections from targets. Amplitude and delay information are then processed in an integrated signal processor.

Dr. Fred Mohamadi, founder and CEO of TiaLinx, said: "Phoenix40-A's introduction is intended to provide another breakthrough in miniaturization of advanced life detection sensors that provide the capability to sense-through-the-wall (STTW) remotely. Like its sister product Cougar20-H that was launched last month, Phoenix40-A can also be remotely programmed to survey a compound at multiple way points. It can scan a multi-story building and provide its layout. It is also capable of scanning in-road and off-road horizontally to detect buried unexploded ordnance (UXO).

"TiaLinx is constantly miniaturizing and upscaling its UWB RF imaging core competence to enable standoff sensing of a premise for enhanced situational awareness, to assist rescue operations in hard-to-reach terrains such as collapsed buildings after an earthquake, and to eradicate land mines to save lives."

Barcoding’s Steinmetz and Snyder to present at ProMat 2011

BALTIMORE, USA: Barcoding Inc., a leader in enterprise-wide mobility solutions, announced that president and CEO, Jay Steinmetz, and VP of Sales, Shane Snyder, will speak at ProMat 2011. Sponsored by the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA), ProMat is the material handling and logistics industry’s premier trade show and conference, which showcases the latest supply chain innovations and leaders.

The 2011 expo is slated for March 21-24, at McCormick Place South in Chicago. Throughout the show, Barcoding will exhibit its latest material handling innovations, such as handheld devices, device management solutions, and wireless terminal emulation at Booth #3970.

Presentation facts
“RTLS & RFID: Transforming Indoor Logistics” - Steinmetz, along with Larry Mahan, Chief Operating Officer at Sky-Trax, Inc., a Barcoding partner, will lead the seminar from noon to 12:45 p.m. on day-two of the conference, in Theater C. This seminar will discuss the integration of global positioning systems (GPS) and radio frequency identification devices (RFID) to improve warehouse productivity.

“When Every Second Counts: Removing Roadblocks that Limit Productivity” - Snyder will team up with Bill Roeder, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at LXE, Inc., to present that same day from 3:15 to 4:00 p.m. in Theater C. The seminar will focus on how to gain efficiency and improve return on investment (ROI) by identifying indirect influencers, such as ineffective IT systems, that affect supply chain operations.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Verimatrix and SMiT partner on CI+ CAM hybrid cardless security solutions

SAN DIEGO, USA & SHENZHEN, CHINA: Verimatrix, the specialist in securing and enhancing revenue for multi-screen digital TV services around the globe, announced an extended partnership with Shenzhen State Micro Technology Co., Ltd (SMiT) that integrates ViewRight cardless security with an advanced CI+ CAM design.

The combination of Verimatrix security and the high performance SMiT CI+ CAM platform enables a new range of advanced revenue security solutions for devices that support IP connectivity to their CI+ CAM slots. SMiT, a leading global designer and provider of CAM devices, will be offering the SMiT ViewRight CI+ CAM in a in a low-cost consumer device format that is used in conjunction with set-top boxes (STBs) and connected TVs that support this new standard.

The integrated Verimatrix/SMiT solution will be demonstrated at the IP&TV World Forum, March 22-24 at Verimatrix’s booth #117.

Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) hybrid architectures are becoming an important upgrade strategy for today’s broadcast operators to extend services and enhance revenues. CI+ enabled connected TVs enable such services in a cost-effective manner, and can support advanced robust cardless security solutions with the integrated Verimatrix/SMiT solution.

The IP connection enabled in the CI+ architecture, used in conjunction with a modern connected TV device, supports a fully hardened implementation of the Verimatrix ViewRight cardless security client. The combination of TVs and CI+ CAM enables a full client device implementation for DVB hybrid terrestrial and cable network architectures, offering a highly attractive alternative to a full STB deployment.

The Verimatrix/SMiT CAM products are fully integrated, robust implementations of the ViewRight IP security client used in conjunction with the Verimatrix Video Content Authority System (VCAS™) for DVB Hybrid solution. VCAS for DVB Hybrid offers a best-of-breed, modern cardless security architecture that fully leverages the IP connectivity for authentication, signaling and proactive update cycles.

“Verimatrix is the clear market leader in IP revenue security solutions around the globe and an extended partnership makes sense to enable the next generation of cardless CI+ security options,” said Stephen He, vice president of SMiT. “The development of this ViewRight CI+ CAM from Verimatrix adds another dimension to the range of new security products we can offer.”

VCAS for DVB Hybrid is a component of the VCAS 3 architecture, which addresses the new video marketplace with a proactive revenue security and enhancement approach for DVB broadcast, hybrid, and IPTV networks, including standards-based security for Internet TV delivery on PC, phone, tablet, and STB devices. Whatever network transition challenges are awaiting service operators, VCAS 3 can help optimize operational costs and cast a wider net with their service offerings. Featuring multi-format support, VCAS services to multiple screens and across multiple networks, including both broadcast (linear) and video-on-demand (VoD) delivery modes.

“Developing ViewRight CI+ CAM devices in conjunction with industry leader SMiT enables new class of revenue security solutions, helping operators transition to more modern hybrid and IP network architectures that support connected TVs and other devices,” said Steve Oetegenn, chief sales and marketing officer, Verimatrix. “The product helps existing operators deploy a wider variety of client devices and promises to open up a wide range of new digital TV business models.”

Merger of HP and Samsung to reduce gap between Samsung and Taiwanese cell and pack manufacturers

TAIWAN: Based on the analysis from EnergyTrend, a research division under TrendForce, although the possibility of the merger between HP and Samsung is uncertain in the short run, if it materializes, the impact could be substantial. HP made a public announcement on March 11, stressing that the merger is rather a market rumor than a fact.

In terms of current supply chain, HP has its suppliers of cell and pack from Japan and Korea to diversify the risks of battery cell supply and battery pack supply. In addition, due to HP’s economies of scale, suppliers compete with each others instead of being exclusively monopoly.

Chart 1: Analysis of current HP supply chainSource: EnergyTrend, Taiwan.

HP as the greatest NB brand vendor in the world, whose major battery cell suppliers are SDI. LGC, and Sanyo, and whose main battery pack manufacturers are Simplo, Sanyo, and SDI. However, since HP denies the the rumor about the merger, possible benefits from the merger for SDI might not materialize.

Chart 2: Possible benefits if merger materializesSource: EnergyTrend, Taiwan.

AsteelFlash Group sets standard in manufacturing intelligence

FREMONT, USA: AsteelFlash Group, a leading provider of specialized high-mix, low-volume EMS services and recently named the EMS Company of the Year for 2010 by Circuits Assembly magazine, has partnered with three leading vendors to provide customers with an IT-enabled material and process traceability solution.

This new internal warehouse management system (WMS) and manufacturing execution system (MES) will provide customers with a web-based portal that gives them real-time data and an unparalleled look into the status of their manufacturing projects.

RedPrairie’s Warehouse Management System, Rockwell Automation’s Manufacturing Execution & Operations Management Platform – ProductionCentre and Cogiscan’s Track, Trace and Control System will be integrated with AsteelFlash’s own internal data warehouse software into a seamless customer portal. The new IT system will be implemented across all of AsteelFlash’s manufacturing sites worldwide, enabling customers to switch seamlessly from a new product introduction to a more cost-effective, full production with the same level of systems support.

“This new system, coupled with our own proprietary software, will give our customers a full view into their production runs and be mirrored across all of our sites worldwide,” said Georges Garic, executive VP and CEO, AsteelFlash Group. “We chose each of these vendors for their experience, unique technology and their ability to support all of our sites across the globe. In addition, we have an aggressive timeline to implement this system and each of these vendors has demonstrated their ability to meet our schedule.”

RedPrairie’s Warehouse Management System will provide visibility and inventory control across the global supply chain. “From the moment we started working with AsteelFlash, it was evident they fully embraced their customers’ desire for the highest level of visibility and traceability,” said Joe Juliano, president, Americas for RedPrairie. “AsteelFlash also recognizes that world-class visibility must be accompanied with world-class productivity. RedPrairie shares a similar vision, and looks forward to delivering these benefits.”

Rockwell Automation’s ProductionCentre will manage, control and report on all customer production runs. It will be the system of record for all manufacturing information including raw material, in-line quality as well as machine and operator parameters. This will help optimize their production and provide key, real-time information to the customer portal.

ProductionCentre will assist AsteelFlash improve overall customer experience and satisfaction with improved quality and agility. “ProductionCentre is an execution and operations management platform that will help AsteelFlash enhance quality, minimize the impact of rising manufacturing costs and provide an agile production facility to meet changing customer demands,” said Donald Hart Director, Market Development – Information Software for Rockwell Automation. “We are delighted to work with AsteelFlash as they deliver a higher level of service to their customers.”

Cogiscan’s Track, Trace and Control system provides data acquisition, setup control and real-time material tracking and traceability information to the execution & operations platform ProductionCentre. François Monette, co-president at Cogiscan stated: “We are thrilled about this new collaboration. We believe that AsteelFlash is setting a new standard in the EMS field. This is another demonstration of the growing importance of traceability in the global electronics industry and it confirms our leading position in this field.”

AsteelFlash has begun implementing the new system in its manufacturing facilities and expects to have all sites up and running with the new system by the end of 2011.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wireless sensors push smart machines into green revolution

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, GRENOBLE, FRANCE & FREIBURG, GERMANY: STMicroelectronics (STM), ARaymond and Micropelt announced that they are jointly presenting thermal-energy harvesting-based solutions to power 'smart sensors' and 'smart microsystems' at the Hannover Fair under the common theme of 'Green Solutions.' The three companies are partnering to exhibit the entire value chain of self-sustaining wireless systems in a joint booth (Hall 8, D26).

Wireless sensor and actuator systems are strong future contributors to energy and resource efficiency; the improvement of asset health and uptime; and more efficient condition-based maintenance and operating safety of machines and production equipment. Ubiquitous wireless systems are indispensable to achieving a huge green impact; however, they are a viable option only if local battery maintenance can be circumvented.

Micropelt has developed chip-sized thermogenerators (TEGs) which turn local heat fluxes into electrical energy for ultra-low-power systems. Due to the highest power density in a few square millimeters of footprint, Micropelt's chip-sized thermogenerators have attracted many customers worldwide.

STMicroelectronics, one of the world's biggest chip makers, and ARaymond, a worldwide supplier to the automotive and solar industries, are presenting solutions they have co-developed with Micropelt.

ST focuses on components supporting energy harvesters in their complementary role of an energy generator with energy storage. Consequently, the development efforts between ST and Micropelt focused on an evaluation system featuring ST's new robust and long-life solid-state thin-film rechargeable battery (EnFilm) combined with Micropelt's Thermal Electrical Generator (TEG) chip.

The Perpetual Energy Module (PEM-TE01) system demonstrates how these two technologies can provide uninterrupted power and establish a virtual perpetual-energy solution to a long-life and maintenance-free wireless system.

ARaymond's engineers teamed up with Micropelt to develop a new industrial approach to hermetically packaging Micropelt's energy-harvesting wireless-sensor evaluation platform, TE-Power NODE. The joint effort has resulted in ARaymond's fully energy-autonomous wireless temperature sensor Heat BiTe for use in solar-thermal and similar systems which carry a liquid that is warmer or colder than ambient. Micropelt uses a variation of this liquid harvester solution which features a flat interface for attachment to any warm surface to ruggedize their evaluation kit to IP47- and IP48-level. It is now called TE-Power MOTE.

"Leveraging our expertise in power management and power saving, energy harvesting is a very attractive new opportunity for which we can apply existing ST technologies," said Igor Bimbaud, ST's New Energies BU Director. "Our jointly developed PEM-TE01 demonstrates the concept of a perpetual self-sustained energy supply for low-power systems. Our thin-film cell stores every bit of energy that has been harvested, keeping it for years and working throughout the device's life."

"Many of our customers complain about wiring issues while asking for greater intelligence in the components. Wiring is expensive, resistive to automation and every interface can cause trouble," explained Dr. Hans-Jurgen Lesser, ARaymond's executive director for R&D.

"We found Micropelt's thermoharvesting technology to be a perfect solution to these issues, because we already provide fluid handling solutions to many customers. Now we can integrate our thermoharvesting Heat BiTe into various fluid systems achieving a wireless and fully autonomous condition-monitoring system. This is one of the most versatile intelligent components available on the market and we're proud of it."

"New technologies evolve by evidence," concluded Wladimir Punt, Micropelt's VP Sales and Marketing. "We are very pleased with the results of our cooperations with ST and ARaymond which proves to our current and future customers worldwide that thermoharvesting is a solution to many of today's issues."

Kingston collaborates with 20th Century FOX’s RIO

MUMBAI, INDIA: Kingston Digital Inc. has announced its alliance with Twentieth Century FOX Entertainment, a global leader in Entertainment, to offer special “RIO” themed packaged DataTraveler 101 4GB USB Flash drive and ValueRAM. This is a strategic partnership with the Twentieth Century Fox, who will be releasing the animated feature film RIO, in cinemas worldwide.

This special edition will be available in themed packaging and each package will have graphics, which will represent the lovable characters of RIO. The film, made by the creators of the successful Ice Age franchise, focuses on Blu, a domesticated Macaw living in Minnesota with his owner, Linda.

When Blu and his owner discover that he may be the last of his kind except for one female Macaw in Rio de Janeiro named Jewel, they head down to Rio find her. This 3D creation features voice work from Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg.

Applicable only on Kingston’s DataTraveler 101 4GB USB Flash drive and ValueRAM (single pack), these products will be launched in India, Taiwan and Thailand by end of March’2011.

"We are very happy to be associated with RIO which is state-of-the-art digital animation. Kingston is excited about the launch of the "RIO" Special DataTraveler 010 G2 4GB USB Flash drive and ValueRAM products," said Nidhi Sethi, Sales Director, Flash, Kingston Technology India. “This is a marketing initiative we had successfully applied to our products earlier, we are optimistic on the success of this project” she added.

AutoNavi's MiniMap user base expands to 12.5 million users

BEIJING, CHINA: AutoNavi Holdings Ltd, a leading provider of digital map content and navigation and location-based solutions in China, announced that the user base of its MiniMap application had reached 12.5 million as of March 15, 2011, up over 180 percent from 4.4 million one year ago.

The company's active MiniMap user base consisted of 45 percent Android users, 29 percent Symbian users, 21 percent Java-based feature phone users and 5 percent users of other mobile operating systems as of March 15, 2011. This, compared to 1 percent Android users, 74 percent Symbian users, 15 percent Java-based feature phone users, and 10 percent users of other mobile operating systems one year ago. The company reported over 2.2 million active users in the month of February, 2011 and strong average daily new users with a one day peak of 48,000 new users on March 1, 2011.

AutoNavi's chief executive officer, Congwu Cheng, said: "The rapid expansion of our MiniMap user base is an important step in the execution of our strategy to provide an industry-leading wireless location-based media platform that connects consumers with businesses who advertise on the platform. We were very pleased to see our MiniMap user base reach 12.5 million users across multiple operating systems and we are particularly happy with the tremendous growth in the number of users on the Android platform, which is one of the most popular smart phone operating systems available.

"We will continue to leverage our vast digital map database with over 13 million points of interest while devoting resources to enhance the functionality and service quality of the MiniMap application in an effort to further broaden our user base and increase user stickiness."