Tuesday, May 31, 2011

USB-IF announces latest lineup of certified USB 3.0 host controllers from two Taiwanese manufacturers

COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2011, TAIPEI, TAIWAN: The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) announced that two new host controllers from Taiwanese companies ASMedia Technology Inc. and Etron Technology Inc. have received SuperSpeed USB certification. These new certified solutions will play an integral role in the further development and advancement of the SuperSpeed USB ecosystem.

“The SuperSpeed USB ecosystem has experienced unparalleled growth and advancement in the past year, and we are pleased that the ASMedia and Etron host controllers are among the 236 certified SuperSpeed USB products,” said Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF president and COO. “The addition of these solutions to the SuperSpeed USB market will help spur continued growth and diversity within the ecosystem, providing end-consumers with more product choices.”

The ASM1042 USB 3.0 host controller from ASMedia and the EJ168 USB 3.0 host controller from Etron are both two-port USB 3.0 host controller solutions.

“ASMedia is pleased that the ASM1042 host controller has received USB-IF certification. By gaining certification, we help ensure that our solution upholds the standard, quality and reliability that consumers have come to expect from USB-IF certified products,” said Chewei Lin, CEO, ASMedia Technology.

“The addition of our certified EJ168 host controller to the SuperSpeed USB market signifies our commitment in creating high-quality products and also provides end-consumers with another viable option,” said Dr. Nicky Lu, chairman and CEO, Etron Technology. “Etron is excited to contribute to the robust SuperSpeed USB ecosystem.”

Apple’s App Store market share dropped to 59 percent at end Of Q1 2011

GERMANY: In two years Apple’s market share dropped by 24 percent points to 57 percent (2.HY/2010). With new app stores coming up and Android becoming very strong competition Apple’s app platform lost some of its dominant market position.

But the first quarter of 2011 showed a kind of stabilization, as Apple’s market share stopped its down turn and even increased by 2 percent points to 59 percent (Q1/2011). This is due to download support from iPad users who are “heavy app users”. The iPad support will remain as long as the other app store operators fail to come up with a competitive app store offering which addresses the tablet app users, and non-IOS based tablet shipment numbers are low.

If Apple manages to slow down its market share loss over the next two years it will be difficult for other players to overtake Apple for a long time. Two factors are narrowing down the time for competitors to catch up.

Mass-market effect: Smartphone penetration will reach 50 percent in most of the developed countries by 2014/2015. The more smartphones become a mass-market phenomena the less app downloads a new user will add.

Lock-in effect of downloaded apps: The more apps are downloaded and the more money is spent on apps, the less likely is the switch to another platform and, in the case of Apple, to put aside iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

Despite the market share drop over the last two years Apple defended its position very well against software giants like Google and Microsoft, and all those global MNOs with their existing millions of subscribers and billing relations.

Even though Apple’s competitors might be able to push Apple market share down to less than 40 percent by 2015 (assuming same market share drop as within the last two years), Apple will still keep the “heavy-downloaders” from the early days for a long time.Source: research2guidance, Germany.

Indian consumers turn to social media for customer service

INDIA: Indian consumers are turning to social media as a viable alternative to the phone for customer service, research from Ovum has revealed.

Almost 40 percent of Indian consumers have used social media to attempt to receive customer service from a company – more than three times the number in the UK and US where just 12 percent have used the channel.

Of those Indian consumers that had used social media as a customer service channel, the majority were promoting services they have received. Meanwhile a large number (44 percent) had used it as a channel to complain about bad service or a faulty product.

However, despite the high number of Indian consumers using social media, Ovum’s survey revealed that they still view a telephone call with a customer service representative as the best method when it comes to resolving an issue on the first attempt.

Ian Jacobs, Ovum analyst and author of a new report unveiling the survey findings, commented: “In India, consumers do not have access to as many web-based alternative communication channels to the telephone as their counterparts in the West. Many web-based channels, such as email or web chat, depend on businesses providing a route to a specialist customer service organisation. Social media has no such dependencies; any consumer with an Internet connection can use it.

“In contrast, in places like the US and the UK, companies often support many web-based channels for customer service. Social media, therefore, is just one route to customer service among dozens.

“It isn’t that there is some inherent Indian characteristic that makes that population more amenable to using social media for customer service; however, our survey revealed that among the more tech-savvy sections of the population, social media is seen as a viable alternative to the phone.”

Overall, mobile phones remain the preferred means of communication for contacting customer service in India – no surprise given the proliferation of mobile devices in the country. Only 16 per cent use smartphones, reflecting the slow adoption of the devices in India.

When asked what they found the most frustrating aspect of customer service, the majority (46 percent) cited occasions when the wait time to speak to a customer service representative is too long.

COWIN Marketplace beckons in Helsinki

HELSINKI, FINLAND: From smart phones to smart industrial processes, the trend is set. Miniaturised smart systems are becoming more and more key components in our private and professional lives. They enable better telecommunications, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, fast and reliable medical diagnostics, breakthroughs in healthcare, innovative entertainment.

All industry sectors are willing to integrate them in order to propose new and innovative solutions and get a competitive advantage. Whatever the domain of activity, the market is already asking for miniaturised smart systems.

Come to COWIN Marketplace to know more about available technologies, on-going innovative projects and funding opportunities in smart systems. To optimise your innovation process, join the European network and meet with future key partners. Take the chance to access available resources and most of all to start interactions with the most suitable operational and financial resources related to your needs.

COWIN Marketplace will be composed of three events and participation is free of charge:

• An information session on “Financing major milestones from R&D to market" will gather representatives from the European Commission, from the European Technology Platform EPoSS, from the investors community and from EURIPIDES in order to provide the audience with key elements on support initiatives all along the technology value chain. (14th June 2011 from 15:00 to 17:30, Room FENNIA I).

• Personal contacts are essential for successful co-operations. COWIN is organising a matchmaking event consisting in individual meetings between technology providers, integrators and business partners in order to foster innovation and to discuss on concrete business opportunities. COWIN will give you the chance to optimise your meetings schedule according to your needs. (14th-16th June 2011, Room NORDIA).

• A posters exhibition is the actual core of COWIN Marketplace. In this common Euripides-COWIN area, innovative research results from FP6-FP7 projects but also on-going projects under the EURIPIDES programme will be given the floor to present themselves and to raise interests among the audience for further partnerships. The poster presenters will be available for questions and discussions.

April shipments of LCD monitor significantly affected by low season in Q2

TAIWAN: According to WitsView shipment survey of the world's top ten LCD monitors, the April 2011 shipments of the top ten brands declined 13.3 percent relative to March MoM to 11.19 million units; SI shipments declined 7.7 percent relative to March MoM to a total of 13.23 million units.

The brand vendors declined more severely than the SIs, largely due to the terminal sales in the low season. The previous inventory in the distribution channels needed time to be digested. The strengths to pull inventories slowed, affecting the shipments of the brand vendors.

In April, Dell was the best performing among the top ten brand vendors. Although the shipments of most brands had a decline up to two digits, due to the considerable gains in the small and medium enterprises and the education markets, coupled with the spurt shipments at the end of the accounting quarter, Dell bucked the trendof about 4 percent.

In addition, as the demand in the business markets grows stronger in the second half of the year, with the US presidential election just around the corner, there should be relevant programs to revive the economy to be released in the second half of the year. Therefore, not only Dell, other brands will have an opportunity to replenish their capacity after the third quarter. and saw a growth.

As to the outlook of brand shipments in May, it's difficult for the terminal demand to shake off the influence of the low season. Shipment level will be similar to April's. June is the end of an accounting quarter and the time to prepare for the semi-annual balance sheet for most vendors.Under the dual pressures of earnings reports and performance, the shipments are expected to grow significantly; moreover, with continuous effective control of inventory channels, the high season in the second half of the year shall soon arrive. The strengths of the distributors to pull inventories will grow gradually, and therefore, the growth rate is expected to reach 7-10 percent MoM.

Table 1:LCD Monitor Top10 SIs and Brands shipments from Mar. 11 to Jun. 11Source: WitsView, Taiwan.

ASUS selects SanDisk SSD for ultra-thin notebook

Computex, TAIWAN: SanDisk Corp. announced that ASUS has selected the U100 drive for use in the new UX Series ultra-thin notebook. The drive’s flexible, cost-effective SATA III performance and low power consumption allows ASUS to deliver a sleek,
powerful notebook with a long battery life.

The recently announced U100 drive builds upon the successful SanDisk P4 modular SSD series, which is widely used in ultra-thin notebooks and other mobile computing platforms. The ASUS UX Series notebooks measure 0.3cm to 1.7cm thick and weigh only 1.1kg while providing remarkable performance with a SATA III SSD, Intel core CPU and Instant-On technology.

“SanDisk tailored their SSD to meet our specific needs and then helped us optimize the drive in our new UX Series notebook,” said S. Y. Shian, corporate VP and GM, notebook business unit, ASUS. “SanDisk’s U100 drive allows our notebook to achieve the thin size, fast performance and long battery life needed to produce an enjoyable user experience.”

“The ASUS UX Series notebook combines advanced features with the portability that consumers demand from a mobile computing platform,” said Kevin Conley, senior VP, solid state drives, SanDisk. “Our form factor miniaturization leadership enabled us to customize the U100 drive according to ASUS’ needs while providing high
performance and low power consumption.”

The U100 drive delivers fast SATA III performance with up to 450 megabyte per second (MB/sec)1 sequential read and up to 340MB/sec sequential write speeds. The drive’s low-power architecture allows OEMs to extend battery life while maintaining high performance. The U100 is available in a variety of form factors, including Half-Slim SATA SSD, mSATA, mSATA mini and 2.5” cased, with capacities ranging from 8 gigabytes (GB)2 to 256GB.

Rapid growth in use of social media for customer service

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: The use of social media for customer service by Chinese consumers has almost doubled in the last two years, as more and more turn to it as a viable alternative to the phone, research from Ovum has revealed.

According to a survey by the independent telecoms analyst, 30 percent of Chinese consumers get in touch with customer service via social media to find an answer to their queries, up from just 17 percent two years ago.

In addition, the number of Chinese consumers seeking advice from customer service representatives via web chat and web self-service channels has increased significantly.

Two years ago less than 20 percent of consumers used web chat or web self-service to find information, whereas today more than 60 percent are using these channels. In fact, web chat and web self-service are the second most widely used channels today among Chinese consumers, with the most popular option being a direct call with a customer service representative.

Aphrodite Brinsmead, Ovum analyst and author of a new report, unveiling the research findings, commented: “We expect the use of social media for customer service will quickly catch up with web chat and web self-service channels. The number of Chinese consumers using social media for customer service today is significantly higher compared to the UK and US.

“In emerging contact center markets such as China, consumers are keen to experiment with new forms of media. Contact centers must evolve with their customers, providing information via the web and responding to social queries on forums to ensure that customers receive accurate product and service information.”

Ovum’s survey found that the most popular uses of social media by Chinese consumers for customer service are discussion boards and forums. Out of those respondents using social media for customer service, more than 50 per cent said they had started a discussion about a company in a forum while almost 50 per cent stated they had responded to someone’s question. Meanwhile almost 50 per cent have used social media as a channel to complain about bad service or a faulty product.

However, despite the high number of Chinese consumers using social media and a rapidly evolving web culture, Ovum’s survey revealed that respondents still view a telephone call with a customer service representative as the best method when it comes to resolving an issue on the first attempt.

Brinsmead concluded: “Contact centers need to improve information across social media, blogs and forums so that customers are able to find answers to questions faster and with reduced effort.”

DisplayLink low-cost virtual graphics powers Acer zero-client solution kit

COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2011, TAIPEI, TAIWAN: DisplayLink announced a technology partnership to support Acer’s introduction of a new low-cost computing solution that includes zero-client workstations. The zero-client devices in this ready-to-go shared computing system capitalize on virtual graphics and USB connectivity from DisplayLink, to bring security, easy deployment, and cost efficiencies to education, commercial and SOHO markets.

“Acer is a global leader and well positioned to drive zero-client technology solutions as part of their product portfolio,” said Dennis Crespo, DisplayLink executive vice president of marketing and business development. “We look forward to seeing the impact of the new zero-client computing kit from Acer across the several markets they serve.”

Acer has built a plug & play, highly economical zero-client shared computing solution based on the Acer AC100 Ultra-micro Server and virtual graphics with USB 2.0 connectivity, running Windows MultiPoint Server 2011. The Acer AC100 PC Server has a very small form factor and is optimized for zero-client computing. Environmental conscientious, Acer’s zero-client devices enable users to lower their power consumption and reduce their carbon footprint by reducing energy consumed by up to 80 percent (10 watts per user for both desktop and zero-client devices) and environmental heat and noise by up to 90 percent as compared to traditional PC environments.

Acer’s zero-client offering will be distributed worldwide, with an initial focus on the market for low-cost shared computing in selected countries. For more details see them at the Computex 2011 at TWTC Nangang in booth L1017.

Monday, May 30, 2011

CorelCAD delivers precision and power at an affordable price

MUMBAI, INDIA: Corel announced the expansion of its award-winning graphics and technical illustration portfolio with the introduction of CorelCAD, a powerful and affordable CAD solution that delivers native DWG (industry standard CAD file format) support, and the ability to seamlessly navigate between 2D and 3D environments. Optimized for the Mac and Windows platforms, CorelCAD enables engineers, designers and architects to quickly and easily customize their work environments and work with even greater speed and efficiency.

Competitively priced, CorelCAD offers small-to-medium-sized businesses and larger enterprises an affordable option for site-wide deployments, making it an ideal solution for day-to-day design projects that require a high level of precision and detail.

Improved workflow and compatibility built on leading CAD technology
Corel has partnered with Graebert GmbH, a leading CAD developer with over 25 years of industry experience, to develop and market CorelCAD to a wide audience of users. As a result, existing CAD users will enjoy an intuitive environment with familiar command bars, aliases, menus and toolbars. In addition, CorelCAD provides excellent compatibility, working natively with the AutoCAD DWG file format and eliminating the need for an import/export process to read and write files in the industry standard format.

“The high cost of many CAD solutions makes it a prohibitive expense for small-to-medium-sized businesses. CorelCAD represents a great alternative, particularly for technical designers seeking power and precision at an affordable price,” said Klaus Vossen, Product Manager for Technical Graphics at Corel. “We’re confident that CorelCAD’s combination of price and performance will provide a compelling alternative for architects, engineers, construction firms and any enterprise seeking precision tools for 2D and 3D design.”

Friday, May 27, 2011

HID Global re-inforces leadership in waste management solutions with expanded RFID portfolio

BANGALORE, INDIA: HID Global re-inforced its leadership in radio-frequency identification (RFID) solutions for waste management with the addition of its new Bin Tag UHF and Bin Tag HDX. The products expand the company’s extensive portfolio of tag offerings that enable city governments, waste removal contractors, and their residential and commercial customers to optimize efficiencies in their waste management and recycling processes. The new bin tags are compatible with waste management standards for UHF (US Frequency) or HDX.

“RFID waste management technology is becoming increasingly important as new eco-friendly approaches to waste operations gain momentum, and interest in developing more effective recycling processes is on the rise, said Marie-Françoise Glotz, vice president of Industry and Logistics with HID Global. “HID Global is committed to providing the most robust RFID solutions in the industry, and the addition of the new bin tags to our portfolio offers communities a complete set of solutions to meet the wide range of growing waste management requirements.”

The company’s UHF and HDX Bin Tags, the latest additions to its line of RFID tags for waste management, are highly water, chemical and shock resistant and fit into the standard DIN 30745 tag nest of most plastic bins. Featuring a passive contactless transponder designed to communicate with a reader via RFID technology, the new tags are also easy to insert and hard to remove. They can be pre-installed or used for retrofitting existing bins.

IPM (Intelligent Power Module) – a solution for compact motor drive applications?

GERMANY: Power electronics for application embedded motor drives need to be compact and to have good thermal characteristics. Different IPM (intelligent power module) concepts are competing with different sets of features to be the best solution.

Higher integration and more complex subsystems are some of the current mega trends in power electronics. Very popular are Intelligent Power Modules (IPM) for motor drive applications. They are a combination of power semiconductors like IGBTs, MOSFETs and diodes with peripheral components like driver circuits. If a whole subsystem has a good match to an application, an IPM can bring a lot of unique benefits.

In particular application integrated motor drives have very specific requirements: they need to be extremely compact, are often used in harsh environments and can have ten thousands of operating hours. Vincotech's flowIPM is dedicated to embedded motor drive applications and takes all typical requirements into consideration.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Foxtel acquisition of Austar to have minimal impact on competition

Tim Renowden, analyst - Media & Broadcast Technology, Ovum.

AUSTRALIA: Foxtel’s announcement that it plans to acquire Austar has raised the spectre of reduced competition in the Australian pay-TV market, but in reality the proposed deal would have little impact on competition.

Foxtel and Austar’s customer bases are geographically distinct, meaning pay-TV customers don’t currently get a choice of provider. A merger between the two would therefore make no practical difference to most consumers, and indeed may benefit households in Austar areas who would then be able to access the cheaper Foxtel on Xbox and Foxtel on T-Box services, which are currently off-limits to them.

The sale of Austar’s wireless spectrum in February means that this merger would also have little impact on competition in the Australian telecoms market.

From a commercial and operational perspective, the proposed merger makes a great deal of sense for Foxtel and Austar. Such a move would provide opportunities to streamline subscriber acquisition, marketing and operational costs, and provide a unified national brand and content offering.

Revenue growth for computer hard drives slows in 2011 partly due to tablet demand

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Battered by various factors including rising sales of tablet devices, the market for hard disk drives (HDDs) used in computers will slow in 2011, with revenue growth this year decelerating dramatically compared to 2010, according to new IHS iSuppli research.

Revenue for computer HDDs, a category including drives for PCs and servers, is projected in 2011 to reach $28.1 billion. But while this is 4.1 percent higher than the $27 billion in 2010, the anticipated HDD growth this year almost halves the 7.0 percent expansion posted by the industry last year. And, except for a growth spike in 2013 that will result in a 4.5 percent expansion of the market, HDD revenue will continue to show ever-smaller increments of growth in the years to come—slipping to a 3.9 percent expansion in 2012, to 2.8 percent in 2014 and to 2.1 percent in 2015.
By the end of 2015, global computer HDD revenue is expected to reach $32.1 billion.

“The hegemony of PCs has been usurped as consumers increasingly use tablet devices and smart phones to browse the Internet, download and stream video and share content,” said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at IHS. “Tablets in particular are gobbling up consumer dollars originally intended for notebook and netbook computers. And because tablets use flash memory for data storage, rather than HDDs, this has translated into lost sales for the hard drive industry.”

Hard times for hard drives
In addition to the influence of tablets, HDD sales have been impacted by rival storage such as flash memory and solid state drives eating into traditional hard drive strongholds and showing up in devices like netbook computers.

On another front, HDD revenue growth has slowed as manufacturers introduced lower-priced drives with higher area densities, the result of constantly improving and evolving technology becoming more affordable over time.

A third factor that has slowed HDD growth is more efficient cloud storage. As consumers and corporate entities replace local storage and look to the cloud—where data is stored through networks, either privately or publicly—HDD makers lose another important piece of their market.

Q2 HDD revenue up slightly
HDD revenue for computers in the second quarter of 2011 is projected to reach approximately $6.9 billion, IHS iSuppli research indicates. Depending on economic conditions, revenue during the period could be up 2 percent from the first quarter, unlike last year when the second quarter lost momentum after the first.

Nonetheless, the HDD space continues to suffer cannibalization from tablet devices as well as other market-stifling factors, including excess inventory due to weak demand as well as worries about component shortages stemming from the Japan quake disaster in March.

The one bright spot during this period remains the strong orders from the enterprise segment, driven by increasing demand for corporate PCs, server and storage virtualization and the building of a cloud-based infrastructure by corporations.

Optical disk market is down
Like the HDD space, the optical disk drive (ODD) market for computers will rise by approximately 2 percent in the second quarter this year to $3.0 billion. Although an integral part of standalone consumer appliances such as DVD players and recorders, Blu-ray discs and compact discs, ODDs for computers will suffer a revenue decline to $12.2 billion in 2011, down from $12.7 billion last year. In the wake of tight supplies of components like ODD controllers following the Japan disaster, sales volumes for ODDs are projected to be low for the short term.

Moving forward, the computer ODD market will continue to decline as less content is distributed via compact discs and as content is made available instead for downloading online. Moreover, industrial designs are becoming slimmer and more mobile, hindering the easy integration of ODDs and further dampening the ODD market.

All told, the five-year compound annual growth rate for computer ODDs will be flat at the end of 2015, by which time ODD industry revenue will have reached $12.7 billion, figures show.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Widespread transition to services vexing electronics and high-tech firms

Tim Jellison, Accenture

USA: The rate of change in the electronics and high-tech industry is bordering on frenetic. In this high-speed environment, the industry is entering a critical strategic juncture where transformational changes are needed and will determine which ones achieve high performance--or fall out of the race-- during the next several years.

Until now, many traditional tech companies have risen to great heights making either hardware such as servers and routers, or software including computer operating systems and business applications. For several years the firms have used one business model or occasionally two by perhaps adding professional services to their hardware or software revenue engines along the way. But this limited number of business models is no longer a sustainable competitive strategy.

Many companies will need four or more business models to offer the flexibility customers are increasingly demanding. These business models should be, ideally, running effectively within the next two-to-three years. For a software company, this may mean offering traditional licensed software, software as a service (SaaS), integration of hardware and software into appliances, and, for some, an advertising model for certain customer segments.

Add to these a traditional people-based professional services business model and it’s easy to see the operational complexity a typical software company is either dealing with now or about to cope with to stay relevant and avoid obsolescence. The same is true for hardware companies.

Accenture addresses these issues in a recently released report titled “Where the Cloud Meets Reality: Operationally Enabling the Growth of New Business Models”

SAND announces partnership with Averna

MONTREAL, CANADA: SAND Technology Inc., provider of leading column database software announced a strategic partnership with Averna, a global test engineering company for communications and electronics device makers worldwide.

Averna will be embedding SAND's patented, high-performance analytic database in their test analytics product offering, providing scalability and ensuring optimal use of resources for their users.

"I'm very pleased to have Averna as a partner of SAND," said Mike Pilcher, COO of SAND. "Averna's broad experience, expertise and recognition in the market, combined with SAND's industry leading technology, will deliver high performance and massive scalability to customers."

"Averna's customers are leading world manufacturers of high-tech products. They need to get their products to market as fast as possible and with the highest quality levels possible. The SAND analytic database provides performance and scalability that are second to none and we look forward to partnering with them and leveraging their technology for our customers," said Paul Bach, Vice-President, Worldwide Sales and US General Manager, Proligent.

NeoPhotonics announces PIC-based small form factor DQPSK demodulator volume production for 40Gbps systems

SAN JOSE, USA: NeoPhotonics Corp., a leading designer and manufacturer of photonic integrated circuit, or PIC, based modules and subsystems for bandwidth-intensive, high speed communications networks, announced that its PIC-based small form factor DQPSK demodulator, designed for use in 40Gbps direct detection fiber optic transport systems, is now ramped to volume production.

The small form factor version is less than half the size of the standard form factor DQPSK demodulator and saves precious board space in high capacity systems.

The NeoPhotonics demodulator product is designed for use in 40Gbps direct detection Differential Quaternary Phase Shift Key (DQPSK) data transmission. DQPSK systems utilize Delay-Line Interferometers (DLIs) to coherently mix the incoming signal with a delayed sample, thereby avoiding the need for, and cost of, an external local optical reference laser.

The NeoPhotonics DQPSK demodulator integrates two DLIs on a single photonic chip and provides in-phase and quadrature analysis of the phase-encoded signal. To accommodate the unpredictable and varying nature of the received signals, the NeoPhotonics DQPSK demodulator is designed to exhibit low sensitivity to polarization variations. NeoPhotonics introduced the small form factor version of this product in the fourth quarter of 2010 and achieved general availability in the first quarter of 2011.

“The deployment of 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps transmission technologies on the line side places stringent requirements on the optical performance of the components used. For example, the level of polarization dependence in our 40 Gbps DQPSK demodulator must be much less than that of our typical 10Gbps products,” said Tim Jenks, chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics. “By using our photonic integration technology, we are able to achieve the high levels of optical performance and quality critical for these very high speed systems.”

In addition to the small form factor DQPSK Demodulator announced today, NeoPhotonics currently also offers a PIC-based standard form factor DQPSK Demodulator for 40Gbps transmission systems and PIC-based Intradyne Coherent Receivers (ICR) and 90° Hybrid Coherent Mixers for both 40Gbps and 100 Gbps coherent transmission systems.

Introducing ETO a revolutionary range of portable charging devices

NEW DELHI, INDIA: In today’s connected world, the last thing you’d want is your phone or laptop running out of charge especially when you need it the most. Sensing this need Green Powercell Technology Pvt Ltd, a company committed to increase the use of green technologies, has recently launched ETO, a revolutionary range of portable charging devices.

According to Pavan Puri, MD, Green Powercell Technology: “Over the years usage pattern of mobile devices have changed dramatically. The mobile phone is no longer just a communication device but is an information and entertainment gadget thus guzzling huge amounts of battery power. Being used for web surfing, social networking, instant messaging, camera, media player, etc. and also the introduction of 3G services will make the mobile phone even more of a power guzzler. Users are therefore most anxious about running out of power on their devices and getting disconnected from work and social networking. ETO fills that need to remain connected for longer by providing portable charging, anytime, anywhere.”

ETO portable charging devices come with multiple connectors to charge all major brands of mobile phones, smart phones, iPods & MP3/MP4 players, Bluetooth devices, laptops, portable gaming consoles, etc. and it can also be used with digital cameras, digital camcorders and PSPs.

ETO is now available in four different models – ETO 2000, ETO 3000, ETO 3800 and the more powerful ETO Brute primarily meant for recharging laptops.

ETO 2000, the ultra slim model with rubber finish, provides an additional backup of about 12 hours talk time for mobile phones, 4 hours talk time for smart phones, 68 hours usage time for Bluetooth devices and 50 hours usage time for MP3 players. The ETO 3000, a more powerful version, not only gives 50 percent higher usage time than the ETO 2000 but can also provide backup of about 800 additional photos on digital cameras and 2 hours of usage time for digital camcorders. The aesthetically sleek, glossy finished ETO 3800 model is a power horse providing almost 25 percent more usage to your digital devices even as compared to ETO 3000.

ETO Brute, the most powerful model in the series, can provide backup power to laptops for 8 hours, to net books for 10 hours. It can also be used with your other digital gadgets as above giving a mind boggling 5 times more usage than the ETO 3800.

All models are handheld, light weight with LED charge indicator, auto cut-off feature and overcharging protection circuit. The device automatically cuts off and retains charge for a period of three months when not in use. ETO portable charging devices are CE certified to ensure compliance to international safety standards.

Kingston adds 32GB Class 10 microSDHC card

MUMBAI, INDIA: Kingston, the independent world leader in memory products, announced it is shipping a 32GB Class 10 microSDHC card, adding to its family of 4GB, 8GB and 16GB Class 10 cards. The Kingston 32GB Class 10 microSDHC card is perfect for users with substantial memory needs.

Kingston’s Class 10 microSDHC cards are compatible with many of the latest smartphones, hi-def cameras and popular tablet PCs. The Class 10 cards have a fast minimum data transfer rate of 10MB/s and when combined with an optional adapter, can be used as a full-size SDHC card.

The cards come as a standalone, with an SD adapter or as a Mobility/Multi-Kit which includes the card, SD adapter and USB card reader.

Kingston microSDHC cards are backed by a lifetime warranty and free technical support.

NI to acquire AWR, a leader in RF design tools

INDIA: National Instruments announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement under which NI will acquire AWR Corp. (AWR).

AWR is a leading supplier of electronic design automation (EDA) software for designing RF and high-frequency components and systems for the semiconductor, aerospace and defense, communications and test equipment industries. Upon the closing of the transaction, AWR will continue to operate as a wholly owned NI subsidiary under the leadership of the existing management team.

The fast design cycles and increasing complexity of RF and wireless systems demand better integration between design and test. RF system designers need to validate their simulations with actual measurements, while RF test engineers need to increase test reuse and decrease test time through more design integration.

By increasing the effectiveness of the integration between AWR design tools and NI software and hardware, NI and AWR together can significantly improve customer productivity through increased connectivity between design, validation and production test functions.

“AWR has an exceptional team with strong RF talent and technologies that expand the NI platform into RF design, which is complementary to our capability to make measurements across the RF design flow,” said Dr. James Truchard, president, CEO and cofounder of National Instruments. “We believe this combination will accelerate the deployment of RF and wireless technologies and offers a significant benefit to the customers of both companies.”

Both NI and AWR deliver unique strengths that together will enable customers to more productively design and test their RF systems. The acquisition will strengthen both companies’ core software brands, NI LabVIEW, AWR Microwave Office and Visual System Simulator, as well as the NI RF testing hardware platform. The full suite of AWR design tools in combination with a complete RF testing platform from NI will give customers a platform to decrease the time to market of their RF designs.

NI will also augment its current academic and university RF and communications initiatives to include AWR software tools, so educators and students can benefit from the improved teaching and learning experience for the rapid design and prototyping of RF systems.

“There is clear synergy between the customers and product offerings of both companies,” said Dane Collins, CEO of AWR. “NI has a leading platform in prototyping and testing of RF systems which is complementary to AWR’s RF circuit and system software design tools to the benefit of mutual customers. Together, we are better able to support and service our growing global installed base.”

The aggregate purchase price to be paid at closing is approximately $58 million, which includes $7 million in cash on the AWR balance sheet. In addition, the merger agreement contains an earn-out provision, which is payable over three years. The transaction is expected to close within 30-45 days and is subject to customary closing conditions including Hart-Scott-Rodino regulatory clearance.

In this transaction, ThinkEquity LLC - A Panmure Gordon Company, acted as exclusive financial advisor to NI, and Needham and Company LLC acted as an exclusive financial advisor to AWR.

IPR take center stage in several recent court rulings

LOS GATOS, USA: The IT industry is being barraged by threats in various forms, and companies are being forced to protect some of their most valuable assets -- intellectual property rights (IPR). From patents, trademarks and copyrights to employee know-how, a company's IPR is increasingly more valuable than its physical assets.

AGMA (Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement) is a non-profit organization that brings together a number of leading high technology companies committed to addressing the gray marketing, counterfeiting, software piracy, warranty and service fraud and other IPR concerns of brand owners around the globe. Recently, AGMA member companies Cisco and EMC have made headlines in the brand protection fight.

A Massachusetts man that defrauded Cisco of $15.4 million was sentenced to four years in prison, in a warranty and service abuse case. The defendant used fictitious names to contact Cisco and falsely claim that parts supposedly covered under Cisco's SMARTnet warranty program failed and needed to be replaced. These fraudulently obtained replacement parts were then sold by the defendant. Under the SMARTnet program, Cisco provides customers with technical support, including advance hardware replacement. Advance hardware replacement allows customers to obtain immediate replacement equipment from Cisco, without having to first return the broken part.

Co-operating with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Homeland Security Investigations, EMC recently came to an agreement with defendants that had participated in schemes to sell equipment stolen from the company over the Internet. Known as 'e-fencing,' the use of the Internet to fence stolen goods resulted in charges of wire fraud and selling, receiving or transporting stolen property in interstate commerce.

Under the terms of the agreement, the defendants were ordered to pay restitution to EMC; cooperate with law enforcement officials and adhere to a strict compliance program designed to ensure that they do not purchase or sell stolen equipment or update used equipment without the manufacturer's agreement.

In another recent case highlighting the importance of AGMA's charter, the US Supreme Court decided that Swatch's Omega can effectively protect the pricing of its luxury watches sold in the US by enforcing its rights under U.S. copyright laws. Omega's watches are not identically priced from country to country. In this case, US retailer Costco bought new Omega watches on the gray market from middlemen outside of the US, then sold them at prices well below the retail price for Omega watches sold in the US market. The ruling in this case supports one of AGMA's key missions -- reducing illegal activities associated with gray marketing.

According to AGMA president, Ram Manchi: "IPR infringement takes many shapes and forms, and we applaud all of the AGMA member companies that are battling back against these infringements in the legal arena -- and winning. Cisco and EMC have given us great examples on how to successfully engage and partner with law enforcement agencies in order to better protect IPR."

AGMA provides a platform for sharing collaborative strategies, brand protection programs and effective processes which address the growing threats to the IT industry.

Rising consumer interest in iPads stings PC sales in Q1

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Rising consumer interest in media tablets like Apple Inc.’s iPad is beginning to take a toll on the global PC market, with shipments of desktops and notebooks in the first quarter of 2011 declining compared to the same period in 2010, according to new IHS iSuppli research.

Worldwide PC shipments amounted to 81.3 million units in the first quarter of 2011, down 0.3 percent from 81.6 million during the first quarter of 2010. Three out of the world’s top 5 PC makers suffered year-over-year declines in shipments during the quarter. No. 3-ranked PC maker Acer, which sells a high proportion of netbook-type PCs that face a direct competitive threat from media tablets, bore the brunt of the downturn, with its first-quarter shipments plunging by 20.4 percent to 9.2 million units, down from 11.6 million during the same period in 2010.

“The increasing momentum of the media tablet market, led by the iPad, is creating a difficult environment for the PC industry,” said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms research at IHS. “All the attention surrounding tablets contributed to weak consumer demand for PCs in the first quarter.”

And although corporate PC demand was strong, it wasn’t enough to offset the decline in consumer sales.

“IHS believes that the jury is still out on exactly how much tablets are cannibalizing PC sales,” Wilkins said. “However, the rising number of tablet models on the market, along with certain high-profile product launches during the first quarter, caused confusion among consumers as to exactly how to view the tablet platform relative to the PC platform. This contributed to the PC sales decline in the first quarter.”

The first-quarter decline came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the fourth quarter represented the best period ever for global PC sales as PC shipments hit a new quarterly record, blowing past the previous high of 88.9 million units set in the fourth quarter of 2009. Corporate demand had been driving growth of the market.
Despite the first-quarter weakness, PC sales growth should return later in the year.

The current IHS iSuppli forecast predicts the global PC market in 2011 will expand by
8 percent to 373 million units, up from 345 million in 2010. This compares to 14 percent growth in 2010.

Hewlett-Packard Co. continued its reign as the No.1 PC vendor in the first quarter of 2011, with a market share of 18.9 percent. The company suffered a 2.1 percent decline in sales compared to the same time a year ago because of the difficult conditions in the consumer market.

Dell continued to hold on the No. 2 position over third-ranked Acer in the first quarter, with a market share of 12.9 percent.

Rounding out the Top 5 were Lenovo and Toshiba, which coincidentally were the only Top 5 PC original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to achieve growth in their total PC shipments over those from the first quarter of 2010. Fourth-ranked Lenovo and fifth-ranked Toshiba achieved market share positions of 10.0 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Agilent intros industry’s first HDMI 1.4a protocol analyzer and generator to support 4K x 2K resolution

SANTA CLARA, USA: Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced the industry’s highest performance HDMI 1.4a protocol analyzer and generator. This instrument allows designers and engineers to test their devices to ensure they meet the requirements of the HDMI compliance test specification 1.4a (CTS 1.4a).

HDMI is a compact interface for transmitting uncompressed data between digital audio/video sources such as DVD players and set-top boxes and other devices such as computer monitors and digital televisions. The HDMI 1.4 specification increased the resolution of supported devices to 4K x 2K and defined an interface for transmitting 3-D video signals. The 1.4a revision supports additional 3-D formats.

The Agilent U4998A directly replaces the Agilent N5998A, the reference high-speed protocol analyzer, video timing analyzer, video picture analyzer, audio timing analyzer, and audio/video protocol generator for HDMI compliance tests required by the CTS. In addition, the U4998A AXIe-based module is the first instrument to support source and sink compliance testing up to the maximum transition modulated differential signaling data rates of 3.4 Gbps – essential to support 4K x 2K resolution.

Integration with an offline viewer enables debug through a waveform or listing view, giving designers much more insight into captured data. The component object model interface enables faster testing through automation.

SMPTE launches multiple member-driven initiatives

WHITE PLAINS, USA: Following a comprehensive global survey to assess how it can best serve broadcast, broadband, and cinema professionals, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, and entertainment industries, unveiled a comprehensive and multi-faceted expansion of the scope and reach of its offerings – one designed to bridge the gap in the motion-imaging workforce between audiovisual (AV) and information-technology (IT) professionals.

Key elements of the announcement include a new conference on emerging-media technologies to be held in Geneva 13-15 May of 2012 and co-produced by SMPTE and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU); a strategic relationship to co-locate the Society’s upcoming stereoscopic 3D conference with NewBay Media’s DV Expo East exposition in June in New York City; and the selection of Stanford University’s HighWire Press to create a SMPTE digital library.

“SMPTE is driven to support the needs of motion-imaging researchers, practitioners, and business decision makers,” said Society president Pete Ludé. “Today’s announcements reflect what our industry leaders and members say they need to thrive in the new digital media ecosystem.”

SMPTE survey respondents spoke repeatedly of a shift in the motion-imaging workforce from one dominated by AV experts with engineering degrees to one composed increasingly of professionals from the computer science, image processing, and IT sectors – and an industry landscape that is being remade by new IP-based content consumption, delivery devices, business models.

To help industry leaders keep pace with these changes, SMPTE will convene the SMPTE Forum on Emerging Media Technologies 13-15 May 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland. Co-produced with the EBU, the gathering will bring together thought leaders and business decision makers to examine key emerging technologies – from those likely to come onto the market in three years to those whose commercialization is a decade away.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Logitech wireless keyboard offers reliable wireless wherever you use keyboard

BANGALORE, INDIA: Logitech has introduced the Logitech Wireless Keyboard K270, a sleek keyboard that delivers Logitech Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity and up to 2 years of battery life — giving you the convenience of wireless with the reliability of a cord wherever you use your keyboard.

Logitech’s country manager for India and South West Asia, Subrotah Biswas, said: “The Logitech Wireless Keyboard K270 combines some of our most requested features, with the comfort and familiarity of a full size layout. From our tiny Unifying receiver to the convenient media keys, the Logitech Wireless Keyboard K270 is a great choice.”

With Logitech Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity, you’ll enjoy virtually no signal loss from up to 10 meters away (wireless range may vary due to environmental and computing conditions.) And to virtually eliminate the hassle of changing batteries, the Logitech Wireless Keyboard K270 delivers up to 24 months of battery life as well as auto-standby, which helps you save energy when you’re not using the keyboard.

The Logitech Wireless Keyboard K270 also features the tiny Logitech Unifying receiver, which is small enough to stay in your laptop. Plus, you can easily add another compatible mouse or keyboard — without the hassle of multiple USB receivers.
The sleek, compact keyboard saves you space without sacrificing comfort thanks to full-size keys and a wide-curved space bar. And Logitech’s newest keyboard offers hot keys that give you instant access to your favorite websites, e-mail, play/pause, volume and more.

National Instruments acquires Phase Matrix

INDIA: National Instruments announced its acquisition of Phase Matrix Inc. (PMI). The acquisition brings key RF talent, technologies and manufacturing capabilities to NI and will significantly increase the capability of NI products in high-frequency RF and microwave applications, extending the frequency range of NI products to 26.5 GHz and beyond.

Phase Matrix will continue to operate under the name “Phase Matrix, Inc.” as a wholly owned NI subsidiary and will continue to design and manufacture RF and microwave test and measurement instruments, subsystems and components. Phase Matrix founders, Pete Pragastis and Charanbir Mahal, will remain with the company as the general manager and chief technology officer, respectively.

“NI has been the leading supplier of PXI modular instrumentation for over a decade, and our significant investments in the development of our PXI RF platform have helped our customers build faster and more efficient RF test systems,” said Dr. James Truchard, president, CEO and cofounder of National Instruments. “Phase Matrix will help NI significantly accelerate the deployment of high-performance RF and wireless technologies for both R&D and production test applications.”

As NI works to drive growth of its PXI RF products, Phase Matrix will contribute critical experienced RF talent, technologies and manufacturing capabilities. NI and Phase Matrix have worked together for a number of years and, for some time, NI has been interested in adding Phase Matrix capabilities to the NI portfolio. Phase Matrix will also continue to sell directly to customers and OEMs, who should continue to contact Phase Matrix, or its distributors, for sales, support and service needs for all current product offerings.

“Phase Matrix is excited to become part of the National Instruments family,” said Pete Pragastis, general manager of Phase Matrix. “We believe our expertise in modular instrumentation, fast-switching synthesizers and high-frequency microwave components will complement the NI platform, and Phase Matrix looks forward to collaborating on products that will extend the current NI product offering into higher-frequency applications.”

The purchase price was approximately $38 million, and the other transaction terms are not being disclosed.

Production of half-million iPads at risk from Foxconn plant explosion

EL SEGUNDO, USA: The explosion at Foxconn’s plant in Chengdu, China, could result in a production loss of 500,000 Apple Inc. iPad 2 tablets in the second quarter, according to a new analysis from IHS iSuppli.

Total iPad 2 production capacity at the Chengdu site amounts to about 500,000 units per month. If the explosion results in a production shutdown until the end of June—which may or may not happen, depending on the outcome of the still-pending investigation—a production stoppage of half a million units could result. Should the production suspension last longer, the impact on production could be even greater.

Foxconn chairman Terry Gou reportedly said that the explosion will not delay the production of the iPad in the third quarter. However, IHS iSuppli believes this view is dependent on a return to full production pending the results of an investigation. IHS iSuppli research indicates there likely will be some impact on production in the second quarter.

While most iPad 2 production takes place at another Foxconn facility in Shenzhen, that plant may not be able to compensate for all the lost output in the second quarter at the Chengdu site. The Shenzhen facility at present has capacity to produce 7.5 million units in the second quarter—iSuppli forecasts 7.4 million iPad 2 units will be shipped out during this period.

To support these shipments, Foxconn must manufacture a larger quantity of devices, at between 7.8 and 8.1 million units during the second quarter. This means that Foxconn’s shipments will fall short of expected levels by between 300,000 and 600,000 units in the second quarter.

One Wall Street analyst predicted that owing to the Chengdu disaster, iPad 2 production could fall by as much as 2.8 million units and manufacturing could drop by 36 percent in the third quarter. IHS iSuppli believes this outlook is too pessimistic. The impact of this disaster will only last for the short term, given that there are more than 10 factories in the Foxconn Chengdu plant, and because the explosion occurred on the third floor of one of the buildings.

Chengdu just recently commenced production of the iPad 2 at the start of 2011, with the plant recently accounting for approximately 20 percent production of the iPad series. Furthermore, the shortage of raw components due to the Japanese earthquake in March already had slowed down the production ramp at the Chengdu plant.

The impact of the explosion will reignite the debate regarding Apple’s corporate responsibility. This debate began in 2010 when a number of Foxconn employees committed suicide and blame was placed on working conditions. Apple as a global company is accountable to all stakeholders for the conduct of its business, and the proper balance of safeguards and regulation will be debated because of the multiplicity of opinions on the topic. In the end, Apple will have to drive a level of corporate responsibility that is acceptable to its stakeholders.

Until more information is available about the cause of the explosion and deaths of three Foxconn employees, its unclear how this disaster will impact the relationship between Apple and Foxconn. Apple is the final authority for all decisions regarding production, component suppliers and other aspects of production. From a process and quality point of view, Apple must have deemed the Chengdu facility acceptable.

While Foxconn has demonstrated the capability to quickly ramp up manufacturing and is likely already taking steps to compensate for the disaster, this incident will increase pressure on Foxconn and its customers to address workplace safety.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

OfficeMax expands selection of tablet computers with new Acer Iconia Tab A500

NAPERVILLE, USA: OfficeMax Inc., a leader in office supplies and services, announced that the company is expanding its selection of tablet computers by adding the new Acer Iconia Tab A500 in all of its more than 900 retail locations nationwide and through OfficeMax.com.

The new Acer Iconia Tab A500 will be available at OfficeMax for $449.99. The new Wi-Fi enabled tablet PC computer is Acer America's first 10.1-inch tablet running the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system.

Applauded by PCWorld for its unique inclusion of both a USB port and microSD Card slot, its support for Dolby Mobile audio and its custom home screen widgets that help organize applications, the new tablet computer from Acer offers new user-friendly features for users on-the-go.

The new Acer Iconia Tab A500 tablet PC features a 10.1-inch multi-touch screen that provides accurate finger-tip control for personal access to applications, games and entertainment. The tablet computer also provides an enhanced level of performance with its NVIDIA Tegra 2 mobile 1GHz dual-core processor and integrated GeForce GPU that enables customers to enjoy HD gaming, 1080p video and faster browsing, as well as running multiple applications, digital media playback and flash-based sites, games and applications.

Built for usability on-the-go, the Acer Iconia Tab A500 features a slim and modern aluminum design, with a system weight of 1.69 pounds and measuring 0.52-inches thin. It also includes forward and rear-facing cameras to capture videos and photos as well as conduct video conferencing.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Oce announces template-making and masking paper for Oce Arizona series UV flatbed printers

TRUMBULL, USA: Oce, an international leader in digital document management, announced the availability of Oce VACUBOND paper for use with Oce Arizona Series UV flatbed printers to simultaneously facilitate the printing of pre-cut pieces and keep the vacuum table clean.

Because of the stationary vacuum table design, Oce Arizona Series printers can be used to print directly onto pre-cut items of any shape, up to two inches thick. Oce VACUBOND paper can be used to print a template for accurate placement of these items on the vacuum table. An operator aligns the pre-cut items to the template and begins printing.

Oce VACUBOND paper then serves as a mask to protect the vacuum table, particularly when overprinting (printing full bleeds) pre-cut items. Oce VACUBOND paper strikes the perfect balance between sufficient vacuum pressure and strong pull-through to hold pre-cut pieces in place. At 48 inches wide, it is conveniently sized for Oce Arizona Series UV flatbed printers to enable the operator to easily cover a single vacuum table zone with one cut of paper.

Z-Wave Technology expands to include second source for chip modules

MILPITAS, USA: Sigma Designs, the leader in connected media platforms, and Mitsumi announced that Mitsumi is now a licensed second source for Z-Wave wireless RF technology, a Sigma Designs technology. As a second source, Mitsumi will produce and deliver the popular Z-Wave modules.

"We welcome Mitsumi as a second source for our Z-Wave product line," stated Thinh Tran. "With Mitsumi, we are able to draw upon a wealth of experience, technology and ideas that it possesses as a general electronics component manufacturer. With Mitsumi as a certified second source, we can extend the global acceptance of Z-Wave devices, while continuing the assurance of 100% interoperability in the market of all Z-Wave devices."

As the defacto standard for home area networks, Sigma Design's Z-Wave is the first technology to bring affordable, reliable and easy-to-use wireless control to every aspect of daily life, including home monitoring and security, home control, entertainment control, healthcare, and energy management. Z-Wave is an award-winning, proven and interoperable wireless mesh networking technology that allows a wide array of devices in and around the home to communicate including lighting, appliances, HVAC, entertainment centres and security systems.

"We are pleased to be able to offer modules based upon Sigma's Z-Wave technology," says Fujio Furukawa, VP at Network Devices Business HQ of Mitsumi. "The market for Z-Wave is booming and we want to capitalize on Z-Wave's global potential. Further we are very exited to drive Z-Wave further in the Japanese market where the interest in Z-Wave technology has great potential for energy reduction applications."

CSR CD-quality audio enhances user experience for new Samsung Bluetooth stereo headset

BANGALORE, INDIA: CSR plc announced that its innovative aptX high-fidelity audio compression technology is a key feature in the new Samsung HS3000 Bluetooth Stereo headset, enabling Samsung to create a Bluetooth headset offering wireless stereo audio quality that is virtually indistinguishable from that of wired stereo audio devices.

“The HS3000 is Samsung’s first aptX-enabled consumer audio product and follows our recently announced partnership. This is the latest milestone along the road to widespread adoption of aptX technology as major consumer electronics manufacturers around the world embrace it as the ‘must have’ feature to enable high-quality music for their wireless audio products,” said Anthony Murray, senior VP of CSR’s Audio and Consumer Business Unit.

“Samsung Electronics is clearly enthusiastic about aptX technology in the high-volume consumer electronics marketplace, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them as they adopt our aptX technology across a broad range of mobile handsets, feature phones, smartphones, tablets and headset products. By adopting aptX technology across their product lines, Samsung is setting a new standard for wireless audio quality in the mobile entertainment ecosystem,” added Murray.

CSR’s aptX technology uses advanced ADPCM principles to squeeze the entire 10Hz – 22kHz high-fidelity audio frequency range neatly within the constrained bandwidth of Bluetooth transmission standards. It delivers unprecedented audio reproduction with 92dB dynamic range, and has low latency that avoids lip-sync issues.

When incorporated in Bluetooth A2DP stereo products like the Samsung HS3000, the aptX audio codec enables source material to be delivered transparently over the Bluetooth link, whether it is stored uncompressed on the source device or uses an alternative compression format such as MP3, AAC or FLAC.

Kingston launches its fastest USB 3.0 flash drive

MUMBAI, INDIA: Kingston announced the launch of the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Generation 2 (DTU30G2). The DTU30G2, Kingston’s fastest USB Flash drive, uses a native USB 3.0 controller for better performance and power management.

Kingston’s DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2 features the latest technology for USB 3.0 Flash drives, making it ideal for IT professionals and enthusiasts who want to take advantage of all the performance improvements offered by USB 3.0 technology right away. The new DTU30G2 has a read speed up to 100MB/s, and a write speed up to 70 MB/s. When plugged into a USB 2.0 port, the drive has read and write speeds of around 30MB/s. The DTU30G2 is available in 16-, 32- and 64GB capacities.

“Kingston is committed to help drive market adoption of the new USB 3.0 standard and make it more accessible to the mass market,” said Nathan Su, Flash Memory Sales director, APAC Region, Kingston. “The growing number of platforms and computers supporting the USB 3.0 standard as well as the benefits of the single chip controllers that allow better compatibility and performance are helping drive the adoption of USB 3.0 technology.”

The Kingston DTU30G2 USB Flash drive is the perfect solution for easily storing and quickly transferring large documents, hi-res photos and HD video. It is also backward compatible with USB 2.0. It is backed by a five-year warranty, free tech support and legendary Kingston reliability.

Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2 features and specs:
• Capacities: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
• Requirements: System with USB 3.0 port
• Backwards Compatible: With USB 2.0
• Speed: When plugged into a USB 3.0 system: up to 100MB/s (read) and 70MB/s (write);
when plugged into a USB 2.0 system: maximum specification performance (around 30MB/s
(read) and (write))
• Dimensions: 2.90" x 0.87" x 0.63" (73.70mm x 22.20mm x 16.10mm)
• Operating Temperature: 32°F to 140°F (0°C to 60°C)
• Storage Temperature: -4°F to 185°F (-20°C to 85°C)
• Practical: Durable casing with a solid lanyard loop
• Warranty: 5 years.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hamamatsu intros new Streak camera for UV to NIR measurements

BRIDGEWATER, USA: Hamamatsu Photonics introduced a new streak camera series for UV to near-infrared measurements of extremely fast light phenomena.

The C10910 series simultaneously delivers intensity vs. time vs. position (or wavelength) information with single-photon sensitivity and temporal resolution down to 1 ps. With such capabilities, these streak cameras are suitable for measuring fast fluorescence lifetimes, response times of quantum devices, electron bunch length and stability for synchrotron and LINAC applications, and most photonic applications requiring high temporal resolution.

The C10910 cameras are versatile, ultrahigh-speed detectors. They are sensitive at a wide range of wavelengths (from UV to NIR), depending on the streak tube's photocathode selection. In addition, the C10910 can be configured with various plug-in modules to optimize specific measurement needs. For example, the streak camera can detect one-shot events or repetitive phenomena in the GHz domain by selecting the appropriate sweep plug-in module. For added flexibility, there are two high-sensitivity CCD camera readout options to choose from, depending on the frame rate and data acquisition requirements.

Also available are various peripheral devices for the streak camera, such as spectrographs for time-resolved spectroscopy applications and optical delay and triggering units to assist in synchronizing with various light sources.

The C10910 will be exhibited at the LASER World of Photonics show in Munich, Germany on May 23-26, 2011.

Multiple benefits drive videoconferencing’s continuously expanding apps

LONDON, UK: Due to less travel and, in consequence, reduced number of regular in-person meetings, companies look for tools that enable to build and consolidate business relations while saving time and money. Videoconferencing comes here as a key solution. In the next few years, this market revenue growth will be mainly driven by an increased adoption of videoconferencing as part of unified communication solutions as well as the penetration of video in SMBs.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the market reached $518.3 million in 2010, growing at a rate of 20.3 percent from the previous year.

“The need for companies to reduce their travel cost while maintaining communication with their workers and clients will drive the European videoconferencing endpoints market,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Iwona Petruczynik. “Increasingly stringent environment policies imposed by the European Parliament will also promote market development.”

Enterprises can avoid common travelling and accommodation expenses, as well as lost productivity time. Moreover, videoconferencing can accelerate the decision-making process and enhance teamwork among an ever-more dispersed workforce.

“Educators can use videoconferencing as a convenient method for interactive access to classes, meetings and distance learning while physicians can leverage it to provide consultations and patient diagnostics,” adds Petruczynik. “Courts can deploy it to increase prison security and conduct video arrangements, while government offices can employ it to track daily strategic missions.”

However, the difficulty of attaching a hard-dollar ROI to the benefits of visual communications continues to prevent large-scale investments. In addition, the adoption of videoconferencing is largely dependent on the human element. The effort needed in changing established work behaviours and substituting live interaction with video communications remains a major restraint for adoption.

“The misconception that videoconferencing services are communication tools aimed at large enterprises is hindering its adoption among small and medium businesses (SMBs),” remarks Petruczynik. “Moreover, weak infrastructure and low bandwidth, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, are having an adverse effect on the videoconferencing endpoints market.”

The pace of adoption in Europe will remain strong over the next few years, as the new generation of videoconferencing systems offer enhanced value proposition and demand levels continue to remain high. The videoconferencing market revenue growth will be generated thanks to increased adoption of videoconferencing as part of unified communications solutions, as well as the rising penetration of video in SMBs.

“Vendors are steadily resolving security, firewall traversal, and Quality of Service issues associated with video communications between multiple sites, thereby easing inter-company communications,” concludes Petruczynik. “In addition, efforts by vendors and customers in verticals like government and healthcare (telemedicine) to harness the power of videoconferencing are leading to a wider application base. Both these factors will expand the potential target market for videoconferencing systems and lead to increased adoption.”

IT must adapt to dramatic shifts in the enterprise apps market

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: IT executives must change their approach to enterprise applications if they are to take advantage of dramatic shifts in the market and prevent them from being disruptive, according to Ovum.

In a new report, the independent technology analyst claims that IT professionals must adapt their applications strategy to take into account the rapid changes currently under way or they will find themselves at a disadvantage.

Carter Lusher, Ovum chief analyst and author of the report, commented: “The enterprise applications market is changing fast due to disruptive new technologies and aggressive new players. IT cannot continue with ‘business as usual’ as the tried and tested IT planning methods are no longer adequate. A change in approach is needed to allow IT to exploit the opportunities offered by this complex new system and ensure it is not disruptive to the organisation.”

According to the report, the enterprise applications market was once thought to be a graveyard for innovation, but it is quickly changing to a powerful environment that leverages new technologies to deliver business benefits.

Lusher believes that to navigate this complex and ever-changing landscape, IT executives should take an “ecosystem” approach and treat applications and their vendors as an interlinked community as opposed to stand-alone products.

Lusher continued: “There are several business benefits to taking this approach, such as improved vendor relationship management and governance and leveraged economies of scale. But just as important as the business value is the fact that is highly likely that there will come a point when IT will not have a choice as vendors move towards launching a unified platform running an integrated suite of applications. If IT is not ahead of vendors in terms of understanding ecosystems then it is the vendors who will have a negotiating advantage.”

The report advises IT professionals to audit their existing applications strategy, infrastructure and installed software to identify where there are potential opportunities for development and where there are risks. They should then plan a strategy, starting from the very bottom and covering everything, which takes account of new technologies and services, as well as disrupters and issues.

Entertainment media spending in western countries booms over last decade

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Consumer expenditures on entertainment media in North America and Europe grew a mighty 69 percent to $234.8 billion in 2010, up from $138.8 billion in 2000, with cable and satellite television retaining its primacy as the leading form of entertainment media during the decade, according to IHS Screen Digest research.

Fending off competition from other segments like home video, video games, music and cinema, cable and satellite television accounted for 59 percent—nearly three-fifths—of all entertainment media expenditures last year on the two continents, compared to 40 percent 10 years ago. Revenue from cable and satellite TV in 2010 reached $139.2 billion, up from $56.1 billion in 2000, with net growth since 2000 of 148 percent.
While cable and satellite TV remained the dominant segment, some clear shifts in consumption have occurred in the course of the past decade.

“Ten years ago, consumers in North America and Europe spent more on music than on video,” said Tony Gunnarsson, analyst for video at IHS. “However, the music segment has suffered from its failure to transition from physical to digital delivery.”

Spending on music across all physical and digital formats declined 55 percent in the period 2000-2010 and reached $13.9 billion last year, accounting for just 6 percent of total entertainment media spending compared to 22 percent a decade ago, IHS Screen Digest data indicates. “As a result, music is now the smallest entertainment media segment—a steep fall from its previous No. 2 perch a decade ago,” Gunnarsson added.

The second largest area in entertainment media during 2010 was video, which overtook music in terms of consumer spending as early as 2001. Video spending recorded net growth of 14 percent during the decade, generating $32.3 billion of total entertainment media spending in 2010.

Nonetheless, video is not without its challenges.

“Spending on the video sector peaked in 2004 at $40.7 billion, and despite subsequent growth on new platforms such as online and mobile, overall video spending since then has fallen as the DVD format reached market maturity and consumers found themselves exposed to ever-greater entertainment media choices,” Gunnarsson said. “Video now makes up 14 percent share of the total entertainment market, compared to 20 percent share 10 years ago.”

Games was the third largest area of entertainment media spending in 2010 and also boasts the fastest growth of any sector in the decade, up 193 percent from $9.9 billion 10 years ago to $29.0 billion last year. Benefiting from expanded demographics and the boom in digital 3-D, games made up 12 percent of total entertainment media spending in 2010, compared to just 7 percent in 2000.

Consumer spending on cinema, still the fourth largest of the five entertainment media sectors analyzed, reached $20.4 billion in 2010, representing net growth of 49 percent over the decade from $13.7 billion. However, as with the shift in spending from music to video, consumers now spend more on video games than on cinema tickets. Cinema’s share of the total entertainment media market was 9 percent in 2010, down one point from 10 years ago.

When cinema and TV are excluded from the analysis, the continuing dominance of packaged media over digital and mobile delivery is clear. Packaged media accounted for 82 percent of spending, followed by digital at 15 percent and mobile at 3 percent, IHS Screen Digest analysis indicates.

Within the packaged media business, North Americans spent a greater proportion on buying and renting video than their European counterparts—56 percent vs. 43 percent last year. The reverse is true, however, for packaged music: Europeans spent approximately double the 9 percent expended by North America on packaged music, reflecting the fact that consumers in North America bought more digital music than their European counterparts.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Barcoding continues to expand US Central region office with addition of two industry veterans

BALTIMORE, USA: Barcoding, Inc., a leader in enterprise-wide mobility solutions, today announced the continued expansion of its central region office with the addition of two successful industry veterans. Paul Dorado and Anthony Stepuszek will round out the company's central office supporting its enterprise customers.

Shane Snyder, vice president of sales, Barcoding, said: “It is important that Barcoding maintains the personal interest we have always taken in our customers as we sustain our growth across the United States. This is why we continue to bring in top talent to join our central region office. We are pleased to welcome these highly talented individuals to the Barcoding team and look forward to seeing them carry on the Barcoding tradition of excellent customer support for our enterprise customers."

With over 15 years in the automatic ID industry, Dorado comes to Barcoding with comprehensive experience in sales, management, and new business development in Chicago and the central United States.. Throughout his career, and most recently at Carlton Technologies, Dorado has built a proven track record with clients, resellers, and all of the leading hardware manufacturers. In his new position with Barcoding, Dorado will support current and new enterprise customers throughout the central region of the United States.

Stepuszek also brings to Barcoding over 15 years of experience supporting national accounts, including the Department of Defense and Wal-Mart. Stepuszek has specialized in the field of enterprise mobility and radio frequency identification (RFID) for the past six years, providing solutions that streamline operations within the industrial, retail, and healthcare markets. Stepuszek has been instrumental to the revenue growth at a number of companies in the Chicago area and central United States, most recently Miles Technologies.

Investment in 3D programming is low priority for broadcasters

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Broadcasters’ rate production of 3D content and channels as their lowest technology investment priority, and the lack of programming for consumers who have bought a 3D TV is set to continue, according to Ovum.

In a new report analysing the state of the 3D market, the independent technology analyst unveils findings from its Media and Broadcast Technology Investment Strategies survey, which reveal a clear lack of enthusiasm for 3D in the broadcast industry.

When asked to rate their strategic priorities for 2011, senior IT and business executives rated “production of 3D content and/or launch of 3D channels” as the lowest priority for strategic investment. Fifty-three percent of respondents globally said 3D content production was “not an important business consideration”. However, production of 3D content was rated as a slightly higher priority by executives in Asia-Pacific companies.

Tim Renowden, Ovum analyst and author of the report, commented: “In Asia-Pacific, various methods of implementing 3D are used. For instance, several broadcasters and pay TV operators, such as Fox Sports and the Seven Network in Australia have presented 3D programming on an ad hoc basis; in Japan, NTT Plala's IPTV service, Hikari TV, includes a 3D on-demand pay-per-view portal. However, the high cost of 3D production has limited content availability and delayed some channel launches. Given the lack of enthusiasm for investing in 3D content production and delivery expressed by broadcasters, this situation is unlikely to change rapidly.

“This ambivalence towards investment in 3D content production and creation of 3D channels, leaves a big hole in the availability of 3D content, and tells us that the lack of 3D programming we have seen during 2010 is unlikely to improve in 2011.

According to the report, the high cost of investment in infrastructure and personnel is a major factor in the reluctance of broadcasters to invest in 3D production.

Renowden added: “The lack of broadcast content means console gaming is likely to provide an important driver of 3D adoption, with Sony promoting the technology on its PlayStation 3. Gaming has the advantage that incremental costs of 3D production are much lower than for filmed entertainment.”

iPad-style media tablets to outship PC tablets by factor of 10 from 2010 to 2015

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Shipments of traditional PC-type tablet PCs will be dwarfed by the newer media-type tablets like the iPad from Apple Inc., with the media category outshipping the PC variety by a factor of 10 during the period from 2010 to 2015, new IHS iSuppli research indicates.

From 2010 to 2015, a total of 888.7 million media tablets will be shipped, compared to just 88.8 million PC tablets. A total of 45.2 million PC tablets will be shipped in 2015, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 81.5 percent from 2.3 million units in 2010. In contrast, media tablets will reach 262.1 million units by 2015, rising at a 72.1 percent CAGR from 17.4 million units in 2010.

Media tablets, built on ARM microprocessors and utilizing mobile operating systems, have already surged past the 25 million sales mark—easily surpassing the last decade’s worth of fully configured PC tablet sales.

“While there’s clearly a need for tablet PCs with full PC functionality, the media-type tablet pioneered by the Apple Inc. with the iPad will reign supreme during for at least the next five years,” said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research at IHS. “Because the tablet form factor will favor media consumption—rather than content creation—media tablets will massively outsell their PC-type tablet alternatives.”
The attached figure presents the IHS iSuppli shipment forecast for PC tablets and media tablets for the period of 2009 through 2015.

Take two tablets
While the media and PC tablets are both considered tablet devices, the categories differ greatly in terms of construction and usage.

Media tablets—such as the iPad, Xoom from Motorola Inc. and Galaxy Tab from Samsung Electronics Co.—typically are slate-style, utilize a mobile operating system and ARM-based or mobile CPU, and employ a touch screen as the primary interface. PC tablets, in contrast, can use slate or convertible/hybrid form factors based on Atom or x86 architecture, and incorporate a full PC operating system such as Windows 7, Linux, or Mac OS.

Media tablet usage is largely concentrated on Web browsing, social networking, email and consumption of a range of media content such as video, music, e-books/magazines and games. The applications are touch friendly, evolving from a smart phone environment, with touch as the primary interface.

In contrast, PC-based tablets have incorporated touch but made poor use of it in the past, burdened by legacy applications heavy with pull-down menus and a dizzying array of choices.

Still meeting a need
Yet for all the frustrations inherent in a fully configured PC tablet—the slow boot-up time, the tendency to crash or freeze and the awkwardness of the touch integration—they still meet a need that the media tablets do not. They are designed for work, allowing users to quickly accomplish data input, analysis and creation-oriented tasks that are still less than realistic to perform on a media tablet.

While improved productivity applications, incorporation of additional functionality and expanded access to the cloud will all work to expand the functionality of media tablets, it is not clear that they will be able to cross the line from consumption to creation devices for many in the corporate environment.

The emergence of a hybrid class of products combining aspects of the media and PC tablets holds promise for providing a bridge between the universes, allowing data-intensive workers access to the full functionality they have grown to rely on in a fully configured PC system, while still providing access to the speed and ease of use of a mobile system.

The system functions as a media tablet in a mobile environment but converts to a full operating system when linked to a docking station. The docking-station approach also allows for the easy incorporation of peripherals, including a full-sized keyboard, mouse and additional displays.

Will it blend?
The blended approach offers an opportunity for PC vendors to continue to distinguish their products from the growing competition in the mobile arena and will eventually work to slow the growth in the pure media tablet category. As appealing as the media tablets are, many users still need a more robust system. However, wider adoption of the hybrid PC tablets is likely to take several years, as there are still some issues to be addressed.

The first issue is faster start-up: The instant-on allure of media tablets is significant. While fully configured PC tablets are unlikely to match the start-up speed of a media tablet in the short term, substantial effort is being invested in narrowing the current significant time gap between the two devices.

The next issue is Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 8 operating system. Improved touch performance and a further evolution of graphics-based menus will help to make the systems more suited to a touch interface, both in the mobile and docked mode. The timing and performance of this release will be critical; IHS expects it won’t be until mid- to late 2012 introduction and an 18-month to two-year lag before there is significant business adoption.

Finally, there is a need for improved mobile operating systems. With Apple still owning the media tablet space, competitors are still struggling to match Apple’s OS capabilities. As Android and the others improve, the performance gap between the operating systems will narrow.

The nature of the computer market is change, with competitors leapfrogging over each other in the ongoing race to market share. At present, media tablets have the momentum, but the PC tablet is not finished yet.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

OmniVision launches 5-Megapixel OmniBSI-2 image sensor for slimmer tablets and smart phone

SANTA CLARA, USA: OmniVision Technologies Inc., a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, introduced the OV5690, the first 5-megapixel image sensor to use OmniVision's proprietary OmniBSI-2 pixel architecture.

The new 1.4-micron backside illumination pixel allows for a full five megapixels in a 1/4-inch optical format, and combines best-in-class image quality with a 20 percent reduction in camera module height, making it an effective solution for slimmer mobile handsets, smart phones and tablet computers.

"With industry sources placing 5-megapixel CMOS image sensors at more than 15 percent of the overall sensor market today, we view 5-megapixel sensors as occupying as a sweet spot in the market," said Per Rosdahl, product marketing manager at OmniVision.

"Some industry analysts believe that market share may exceed 30 percent by 2014(1) driven by the demand for higher performance resolution and increasingly slim mobile handsets, smart phone and tablet designs. With the OV5690 CameraChip, OmniVision brings a highly competitive, no-compromise solution to market, combining best-in-class performance while enabling extremely thin building height."

Based on OmniVision's efficient second-generation OmniBSI-2 technology, the OV5690 delivers advanced features including 1080p high definition (HD) video recording at 30 frames per second, an integrated scaler, and 2 x 2 binning functionality with re-sampling filter. The scaler enables electronic image stabilization, while maintaining full field of view in 720p and 1080p HD video modes, and allows for HD video with digital video zoom functionality. The OV5690's post-binning re-sampling filter minimizes spatial artifacts and removes image artifacts around edges, producing clean, crisp color images for 720p/60 HD video in binning mode.

The sensor features a standard 2-lane (1 Gbps/lane) MIPI/LVDS interface, and fits into the industry standard 8.5 x 8.5 mm module size with a z-height below 5 mm, or approximately 20 percent lower than existing industry-leading 1/3.2-inch 5-megapixel image sensors.

The OV5690 is currently being sampled by key customers and mass production is expected to begin in the second half of 2011.

Symantec unveils global security operations center in India

CHENNAI, INDIA: Symantec Corp. announced the opening of its new global Security Operations Center (SOC) in Chennai, India. Shoring up Symantec’s SOC network, the center in Chennai – along with SOCs in the UK, USA and Australia – will be part of the first line of defense against online threats for customers across the world. Symantec’s SOCs offer real-time, comprehensive protection from known and emerging threats, enabling business and governments to minimize risk and strengthen their security posture.

Experts at the Chennai SOC will provide real-time threat monitoring, analysis and remediation guidance to customers to help them minimize the impact of security incidents on their business operations and reduce their overall IT risk. Symantec’s SOCs analyze more than 10 billion logs worldwide each day to provide enterprise-wide protection and help customers bolster defenses and respond to new threats as they emerge. The GCIA (GIAC Certified Intrusion Analysts) certified analysts evaluate on average 15,000 potential events and validate 700 daily security incidents and have the capability to escalate 200 severe events per day, each within a record ten minutes.

“Businesses today are operating in times of advanced persistent threats and targeted attacks. They require powerful technology, accurate threat intelligence, proven processes, and experienced professionals to combat complex and sophisticated threats,” said Ajay Goel, MD, India & SAARC, Symantec. “The SOC in Chennai boosts Symantec’s Managed Security Service (MSS) offerings and helps our customers achieve compliance and reduce overall security risk.”

Increasing security incidents and risks requires correlated intelligence for better prevention. Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network (GIN) provides SOCs with information required to identify new attacks and techniques. The GIN monitors attack activity worldwide with 240,000 sensors in more than 200 countries, tracking more than 32,000 vulnerabilities in products from 11,000 vendors involving 72,000 technologies. The GIN also identifies spam and phishing with 2.5 million decoy accounts and gathers malcode intelligence from 130 million clients, servers and gateways. These reports eventually become the basis for creating rules and definitions for viruses and spam.

I would like to congratulate Symantec on its Security Operations Centre in Chennai, India,” said Gulshan Rai, director general, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT In). “India’s private and public sectors are witnessing increasing dependency on IT which is fuelled by various Government driven IT enabled initiatives. This rapid adoption of IT for personal and business purposes requires a secure computing environment. Infrastructure such as Symantec’s SOC is an important step towards building a robust cyber security eco system.”

In addition to being a global asset, the SOC in Chennai is seen to be of immense value to businesses in India. While the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) XVI revealed dramatic increases in global Internet threats in 2010, it also reported an alarming increase in threat activity in India. Particularly of concern has been the high prevalence of Stuxnet infections in India, calling attention to the fact that businesses here are very vulnerable to targeted and complex attacks.

The key to protecting information and infrastructure against such stealthy threats lies in threat intelligence networks, consisting of both people and technology. Engineers and security analysts at Symantec’s India Innovation Centers play a pivotal role in the research and development of Symantec’s security technologies.

“Having a global Security Operations Center in India speaks volumes of the confidence Symantec has in the engineering talent of this country. To date we have more than 3,000 employees across our Innovation Centers in Pune, Chennai and Banaglore and we look forward to continuing to expand our operations further,” said Shantanu Ghosh, vice president, India Product Operations, Symantec. “The Chennai SOC expands Symantec’s footprint in the country and, together with the Security Response Lab in Pune, it will ensure Symantec continues to offer customers the most comprehensive and up-to-the-minute threat intelligence possible.”

National Instruments announces plans for NIWeek 2011

INDIA: National Instruments announced plans for NIWeek, the world’s leading graphical system design conference and exhibition that attracts more than 3,000 of the world’s most innovative engineers, educators and scientists.

NIWeek 2011, the company’s 17th annual technology conference, takes place from August 2-4 at the Austin Convention Center and inspires attendees to explore cutting-edge technologies such as the use of graphical system design to test, measure and fix inefficient products and processes. Attendees participate in technical sessions, interactive demonstrations and keynotes to gain advanced technical knowledge and network with peers and NI developers.

“Graphical system design has gone mainstream, adopted by engineers worldwide for far-reaching and impactful applications such as the world’s first real-time 3D OCT medical-imaging system and revolutionary airborne technology that uses renewable energy to power remote villages,” said Dr. James Truchard, NI CEO, president and cofounder. “NIWeek will explore the technology behind graphical system design, how it is used and how you can apply it to increase your productivity.”

NIWeek 2011 highlights include the following:

* More than 250 technical presentations by NI engineers and industry experts.
* Five technical summits focused on aerospace and defense, energy technology, RF and wireless, robotics and autonomous vehicles and vision.
* Four technical tracks concentrated on embedded monitoring and control, software development techniques, test and data acquisition and structural test and measurement.
* Daily keynotes with NI executives and industry leaders.
* Interactive demonstrations on the exhibit floor from more than 75 companies such as Alfamation, Averna, Cal-Bay Systems, Texas Instruments and Xilinx.
* Special events including NI Alliance Day, Academic Forum, Big Physics symposium, Build Your Own Embedded System workshop and The Future of System Design symposium.

Additionally, NIWeek attendees have several opportunities to interact with NI R&D to learn more about NI technology and provide product feedback. Attendees can take advantage of networking opportunities such as nightly events and daily lunchtime peer-to-peer roundtables with engineers working in similar industries or on similar technological applications.

Shipments boom for touch screens in professional and signage markets

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Shipments of touch screen displays for the signage and professional market are set to surge by more than a factor of seven over the next three years to reach nearly 3 million units in 2013, as users in the public space, hospitality, health care, government, corporate retail, transportation and education segments gain interest in the technology, new IHS iSuppli research indicates.

Global shipments of touch screen displays for signage and professional applications are expected to reach 2.97 million units in 2013, up from 404,999 in 2010, as presented in the attached figure. The market will expand at a CAGR of 96.3 percent between the years of 2009 and 2013.

“Touch screen displays in the professional and signage segments are large displays that are used in various non-consumer, out-of-home applications, ranging from interactive whiteboards in classrooms to point-of-sale terminals in retail outlets, to information kiosks in tourist attractions,” said Sanju Khatri, director of signage and public information displays at IHS.

“Although the market for very large touch screens in the signage and professional display market holds great promise, it remains a nascent, undeveloped sector. The market presently suffers from the chicken-or-egg syndrome: Both suppliers and potential users believe these displays are going to become much more common during the next few years—but both camps are waiting for the other side to make the first move.”

In general, IHS is seeing increased interest from suppliers but not a great deal of commitment from the industry. However, as the market becomes better established in the next few years, competition will ratchet up, driving down prices and increasing the proliferation of such displays.

The largest growth areas for this segment will be in public spaces, hospitality and health care, which will account for 41.8 percent of overall touch screen signage unit shipments by 2013. Within this segment, touch-equipped displays are used to help guests and visitors navigate facilities, as well as provide a more effective method of distributing information such as meeting schedules, locations, local attractions, and events and maps to facilities. These displays also are used for real-time weather, airport information and to showcase services or amenities of the locations.

The second largest growth area will be in the government and corporate sectors, which will represent 31.2 percent of the total units shipped in 2013. These displays can provide a new way to facilitate meetings by providing a higher level of interactivity to those participating. Touch-enabled signage can also be used to more personally deliver company information and provide access to its employees.

The retail segment will be the third largest area for growth with 20.7 percent of overall signage unit shipments.

“The main goal of retail stores adopting digital signage is to capture end-user attention and provide relevant and targeted information, which in turn results in higher sales, increased brand perception and greater customer satisfaction,” said Dragana Boras, researcher for digital signage and public displays at IHS. “Touch screens bring a whole new level of personalization to the shopping experience by providing feedback to the retail store operator on what information is most relevant and what content customers find most compelling.

Two additional segments, transportation and education, will account for the remainder of the market in digital signage.”

Competitive technologies
While there are more than a dozen commercialized and emerging touch screen technologies, not all of them are applicable to, or designed for, the signage and professional market—defined as non-consumer displays 32-inches and larger. The most applicable touch technologies for signage include optical imaging, resistive, projected capacitive, bending wave, infrared (IR) and surface acoustic wave (SAW).

Under the skin
One example of large touch screen signage and professional displays making its way into everyday life will come during this week’s 2011 Society for Information Displays (SID) conference. UMA Information Technologies GmbH is unveiling its Skin multitouch environment with person tracking and semantic content streams.

UMA’s technology is targeted at both corporate use—having already been installed in a Siemens facility in Vienna, Austria—and retail signage where customers can utilize the multitouch screen interface to receive personalized content on interactive walls. Vendors can use the technology to run ads, offer alternate payment models, connect to iPads or other wireless devices and give their customers a more interactive shopping experience.

UMA’s technology is based on optical imaging technology that uses cameras to detect touch, gestures, or other body movement to determine the touch point. A typical implementation of optical touch involves placing two optical sensors at two corners of the screen, and a uniform field of infrared light is distributed across the screen by illuminated or reflected borders on the opposing three sides. When touching the screen, an object blocks the light seen by the cameras. A controller then analyzes the resulting imaging information and calculates the touch

location via triangulation
In a briefing, UMA CEO, Christian Doegl, confirmed that 3-D cameras are used to detect people coming to the screens, preloading content via software before a person even arrives. Then, using radio frequency identification (RFID), the Skin wall can personalize the experience based on the interests of the customer or retailer.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.